CNN Freaks About ‘Litmus Test’ for ‘King’ Trump Appointees

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CNN continued its habit of making mountains out of molehills on Tuesday as CNN Right Now host Brianna Keilar, White House correspondent Jeremy Diamond, and Never Trump Republican Sophia Nelson decried the White House's new "Trump-focused litmus tests" for those who seek political appointments in the administration. Nelson melted down, at one point, comparing Trump to an “emperor or a king.” 

Diamond explained that the White House has updated its questionnaire for prospective job candidates to include, "for example, 'What part of Trump's message mostly appeal to you and why?' Also asking prospective candidates to describe their political evolution, what their interest in serving in the Trump Administration. The previous questionnaire that was used to ascertain a candidate's qualifications didn't mention Trump once. 

 

 

He alleged, "this goes beyond the kind of ideological test that other administrations have also used to make sure everyone is in line with the President's objectives" and after impeachment, accused President Trump of, "looking to purge disloyal aides and really surround himself with people who are loyal to him and his campaign for a long time."

Diamond concluded by reporting a statement from Press Secretary Stephanie Graham that stated the obvious, "every president has the right to appoint people who are in line with their agenda and policies."

This basic truth of American politics upset Nelson, who agreed that the president has the right to have people who are, "in line with their views," but that somehow Trump is different. Nelson argued that this is unprecedented and evidence of monarchical behavior, "no president has the right to ask you these questions about themselves as if they're an emperor or a king because we don't have that here in the United States of America. And this president continues to go down a path. It's like nothing we've ever seen."

Nelson concluded by alleging, "he really wants a litmus test of, are you loyal to Donald Trump versus the government of the United States of America and they're very different." They are not "very different" as the executive branch reports to the president, especially the political appointees.

Here is a transcript of the March 3 show:

CNN

CNN Right Now with Brianna Keilar

1:47 PM ET

JEREMY DIAMOND: There’s a questionnaire that political candidates for political appointments in the Trump Administration have to fill out and that questionnaire was just updated and sent out to all the departments across the government, yesterday and it now asks a series of Trump-focused litmus tests. Including, for example, “What part of Trump's message mostly appeal to you and why?” Also asking prospective candidates to describe their political evolution, what their interest in serving in the Trump Administration. The previous questionnaire that was used to ascertain a candidate's qualifications didn't mention Trump once. Now it's at least five times in this document that we have obtained where it says Trump and asks people for their views of the president. So this goes beyond the kind of ideological test that other administrations have also used to make sure everyone is in line with the president's objectives. Now it's very much focused on the president himself and of course this is coming at a unique moment at Trump's presidency after the impeachment trial. The president’s been looking to purge disloyal aides and really surround himself with people who are loyal to him and his campaign for a long time. Now, we do have a statement from Stephanie Grisham, the White House press secretary, she said, “every president has the right to appoint people who are in line with their agenda and policies.” 

BRIANNA KEILAR: Sophia, you're over there shaking your head. 

SOPHIA NELSOM: Well Brianna, look every president does have the right to have whoever he, or hopefully one day she, want in line with their views. That’s fair, but no president has the right to ask you these questions about themselves as if they're an emperor or a king because we don't have that here in the United States of America. And this president continues to go down a path. It's like nothing we've ever seen. I've applied for jobs in administrations before, I've been vetted in The Office of Personnel Management, it's very standard. Of course they want to know that you're a Republican or a Democrat, but they never ask you what your personal feelings are about the president, and some of these questions, here particularly the one about your political evolution, not sure what that means, but the one here they talk about most appealed to them, he really wants a litmus test of, are you loyal to Donald Trump versus the government of the United States of America and they're very different. 

 

 

 

 
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