More often than not, being friends or close colleagues with a president will have its benefits. The influence that comes with the office is tremendous. However, as we have seen with the current administration, this is one of those times when avoiding a president is generally the best bet. Those who have gotten too close to Trump over the last year have seen their legitimacy and credibility in their respective fields dwindle, while some have even had criminal charges brought against them.
The most recent person to be denied a position due to her allegiance to the president is former advisor and nominee for U.S. ambassador to Singapore, K.T. McFarland, who had her nomination for ambassador withdrawn earlier today. During the earlier stages of the Russia investigation, when Michael Flynn’s involvement with Russian officials came into question, McFarland testified that she was unaware of any communication or conversations between Flynn and Russian-linked individuals. However, shortly after her testimony, evidence emerged showing that Flynn had emailed McFarland, letting her know of his contacts with a Russian envoy during the presidential transition phase. As a result, McFarland’s nomination was put on hold, due to her attempt to intentionally misinform the Senate regarding the ongoing investigation.
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) February 3, 2018
@GeraldoRivera K.T. McFarland, deputy to former national security adviser Michael Flynn, asked President Trump to withdraw her nomination as ambassador to Singapore amid revelations that she may have lied under oath when she claimed she wasn't aware of Flynn’s Russian contacts.
— Render03 (@Rendered03) February 2, 2018
In the typical behavior that the country has come to expect from Trump, the president made a statement blaming Democrats for the withdrawn of McFarland. According to a CNN article, Trump said:
‘I am disappointed that K.T. McFarland has withdrawn from consideration to be Ambassador to Singapore. K.T. served my administration with distinction. Unfortunately, some Democrats chose to play politics rather than move forward with a qualified nominee for a critically important post.’
Despite the fact that the Democrats had no hand in McFarland’s decision to fabricate information in her testimony, as well as the fact that Republicans simultaneously opposed the nomination, Trump continues to levy attacks and blame for anything on his opponents. McFarland, a former Fox News media figure, sent a letter to Trump requesting that he accept her withdrawal from consideration as ambassador. Her letter outlines that her decision is a reluctant one, and that she is solely doing so due to her support and belief in the president’s mission.
Trump forced to withdraw KT McFarland nomination – also an unforced error
Nomination already lapsed last year. Trump ** re-nominated ** her a few weeks ago
— DCResisterBee🐝 (@DC_Resister_Bee) February 3, 2018
It is also crucial to note that McFarland is not the first individual that would be denied a position in office due to the Russia investigation. In November of last year, Sam Clovis, another news and media figure, withdrew his nomination as the chief scientist for the Department of Agriculture. Clovis’s decision to drop the nomination came as a result of his involvement and awareness of a top foreign policy advisor, George Papadopoulos, who was attempting to broker a relationship between Russian-linked officials and the Trump campaign.
As the Russia investigation continues to progress, and those surrounding Trump understand the legal ramifications that would come with being linked to the probe, it is clear that many of his closest colleagues, supporters, and officials are doing whatever possible to distance themselves from the limelight.
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