Donald Trump is setting new records for turnover of cabinet officials and advisors. The administration’s vetting process obviously needs to be revamped.
Too many recent appointees have skeletons in their closets that warranted immediate dismissal after their discovery. The situation is becoming embarrassing, and, frankly, it’s making it difficult for Trump to govern effectively.
All this is exacerbated by the fact that the press and Trump’s political enemies are looking to abase every choice made by the president. The groups are determined to find faults and missteps in the resumes of appointees, so the administration must follow suit and dig deeper into the backgrounds of all political appointments. All subjects are fair game.
The first step in the vetting process is to ask questions, really tough questions that drill deeply into the character of the people being interviewed. This will not guarantee that all the warts of a prospective cabinet member or advisor will be surfaced (an interviewee can lie). But together with follow-up by the FBI and other investigative resources available to the president, it will decrease the odds of a bad choice.
I pieced together a list of personal questions. Many are extraordinarily intrusive. The problem is if the president and his staff do not vet any of the issues discussed below, surely Democrats and the liberal press will.
- Have you ever been arrested?
- Have you ever been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony?
- Have you or do you currently use illicit drugs?
- Have you ever sexually harassed another person?
- Has anyone ever accused you of sexual harassment?
- Have you ever physically accosted your significant other or your children?
- Have ever committed adultery?
- Have you ever lied to the people you worked for?
- Have you ever driven a vehicle while intoxicated?
- Have you ever been charged with DWI or DUI?
- Have you ever stolen anything?
- Are you acquainted with any foreign officials?
- Do you know anyone who works for a foreign government?
- Have you donated money to political campaigns
- Do you frequent bars known as strip clubs?
- Have you ever paid a prostitute for sexual favors?
- Do you ever drive over the speed limit?
- Have you ever received a ticket for a moving violation?
- Have you paid all your taxes?
- Have you ever cheated on your taxes?
- Do all of your household employees pay taxes?
- Have you ever cheated on medical reimbursement forms?
- Have you ever physically attacked another person?
- Have you published any articles in college or after?
- Have you ever incited a riot?
- Have you ever marched in protest?
- Do you have any foreign bank accounts?
- Do you own common stock of any companies, private or public?
- Did you ever cheat on a test in high school or college?
- Have you ever been in a car accident?
- Have you ever provided inside information about a company to another person?
If the answers to any of these questions are yes, then follow-up should ensue. [Note: A positive response does not automatically disqualify an interviewee.] A response to one of them could result in an extensive investigation. The questions exclude those that are necessary to determine the ability of an interviewee to do the job.
It’s mind-boggling that individuals are being appointed to significant positions without being properly vetted . The character of a person matters, so the aforementioned questions are appropriate and will enable an interviewer to judge the quality of the person being interviewed.
It’s possible that some interviewees will lie. If this occurs and is uncovered at a later date, the person should be fired immediately. Interviewees should be warned about this contingency beforehand.
Society is becoming more judicious about people that govern, legislate and advise members of our government. Moreover there are watchdogs, including some that are inspired by political motives that are carefully assessing all political appointments. Trump is no longer running a privately held company in which he has total control. He must ensure that each staff member is competent. They must also have proven that they are people with great integrity.