GOP Senator: ‘Yeah,’ Trump’s Cabinet Picks Should Be Treated Differently

Manuel Balce Ceneta

A Republican senator said flat-out on Monday that Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees should be subject to less exacting vetting standards than those of previous administrations.

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) was asked by the Huffington Post if Trump’s Cabinet picks should be asked to disclose income from foreign sources, as he and 25 other senators asked of President Barack Obama’s nominee for secretary of defense, Chuck Hagel, back in 2013.

Infohe said no.

“So it’s different now because it’s Trump?” HuffPost asked.

“That’s just right,” the Oklahoma senator replied.

“That’s right?” HuffPost pressed.

“Yeah,” he said.

In 2013, Inhofe signed onto a letter Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) wrote to Hagel asking for “full and complete answers” on whether he had “received compensation, directly or indirectly from foreign sources.” The letter said the Senate and American people deserved to know this information before determining whether Hagel could be confirmed to lead the State Department.

The same standard has not been upheld for Trump’s nominees, some of whom have yet to properly disclose their financial holdings or complete their agreements with the Office of Government Ethics.

A spokeswoman for Inhofe later told the Huffington Post that he did not mean to indicate support for treating Trump’s nominees differently.

“Of course we don’t believe there’s a double standard when it comes to President-elect Trump’s Cabinet picks,” Daisy Letendre, Inhofe’s communications director, said.

Listen to audio of Inhofe’s remarks below.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Allegra Kirkland is a New York-based reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked on The Nation’s web team and as the associate managing editor for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @allegrakirkland.
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