A tranche of internal documents from the Trump transition reveals a whole host of alarming flags about possible candidates for different positions, revealing how cursory President Donald Trump’s selection process was.
The documents, obtained by Axios, flagged former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson as having “Russia ties” that “go deep;” Kris Kobach, considered for DHS Secretary, for his “white supremacy” entanglements; and former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt for “coziness with big energy companies.”
The vetting, which was outsourced to RNC staffers, highlighted candidates’ criticisms of Trump, putting them near the top of the files. In some cases, like with former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley and Energy Secretary Rick Perry, the usually thin-skinned President ignored their insults and chose them anyway.
In response to the report, the White House touted Trump’s record, telling Axios that “no disgruntled, establishment, D.C. swamp creature’s cowardly leaks can change” his legacy.