“If you want to know what it looks like when a president fails,” MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow asked viewers during her program yesterday, “in every conceivable way, in every conceivable measure: this is what it looks like when a president fails, in every way.”
Maddow had just finished listing seemingly never-ending bumps in the road faced by the administration of President Donald Trump.
Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, President Trump’s choice for Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, faces a tough vote in the Senate today after an Oklahoma court ordered that the Oklahoma AG’s office release thousands of documents under freedom of information requests related to the oil and gas industry that it had refused for the past two years.
Oklahoma district Judge Aletia Haynes Timmons called the refusal on the part of Pruitt an “abject failure to follow the law.”
Rachel Maddow held up Pruitt’s record of having ordered the use of an untested drug to execute rapist and murderer Clayton Lockett that resulted in his 45-minute ordeal that included the recipient of the death sentence aiding his executioners with the placement of a needle before finally dying from a heart attack. Further, the Oklahoma AG was found to have represented copied and pasted text supplied by donors representing the oil and gas industry as his own in correspondence.
The New York Times reports that Donald Trump’s pick for head of the EPA has sued the agency 14 times. Although the Senate is currently debating Scott Pruitt’s nomination, the order to release documents goes into effect on Tuesday, February 21.
Maddow suggested that Republicans may join with Democrats who have voiced concern about Pruitt’s appointment and that the vote could possibly be put off until the documents in question are released.
The MSNBC host then moved on to Monica Crowley, Donald Trump’s pick for deputy national security adviser, who was withdrawn from consideration after it was discovered that portions of a book, newspaper columns, and her Ph.D. thesis had been plagiarized. Maddow noted Trump’s choice for secretary of the army, billionaire donor Vincent Viola, had his name dropped from consideration after it was discovered that he had been cited by police for “punching a guy out.” She also pointed out Michael Flynn’s shortest-ever tenure as national security adviser.
Maddow went on to note a new Washington Post report that, in addition to misleading the Trump administration, Michael Flynn may have lied to the FBI, an act that could carry considerable legal consequences. Flynn is accused of making misleading statements to the bureau regarding whether U.S. sanctions on Russia were discussed with Russian officials.
WATCH: Senators debate the nomination of Trump's EPA pick Scott Pruitt ahead of vote. https://t.co/1gXVgf9BLi— Reuters Live (@ReutersLive) February 17, 2017
The host then made note of the withdrawal of Trump’s labor secretary nominee, Andrew Puzder, and the fact that the president’s choice to replace Michael Flynn as national security adviser, Admiral Robert Harward, has turned the offer down, saying that he is “conflicted” between his duty as a service member and “obvious dysfunctionality.”
“I see stories of chaos,” Donald Trump said to reporters at a press conference yesterday.
The president went on to describe the situation as the “exact opposite” and state that his administration is performing like a “fine-tuned machine.”
“The result of all the melodrama is a sense of constant chaos for a watchful nation and a crippling anxiety for White House officials,” writes Time of the numerous incidents seemingly plaguing the Trump administration.
Rachel Maddow called the current situation surrounding the Trump administration “unlike anything we have ever seen at the start of a presidential term.” She continued with news that the president intends to rescind the executive order with regard to immigration, which has been ruled unconstitutional, and replace it with a “substantially revised” order.
“Nobody wants to see the United States of America fail,” Maddow said to viewers, before explaining her view that current signals from the White House are creating worries of just that.
[Featured Image by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]