The more I watch the interactions of the Republican congress, the new Republican president and his assistant, the more I’m reminded of C.S. Lewis’ depiction of the way devils interact in The Screwtape Letters.
For example, there’s the latest on the creation of the Muslim Ban executive order (Politico):
Senior staffers on the House Judiciary Committee helped Donald Trump’s top aides draft the executive order curbing immigration from seven Muslim-majority nations, but the Republican committee chairman and party leadership were not informed, according to multiple sources involved in the process.
The news of their involvement helps unlock the mystery of whether the White House consulted Capitol Hill about the executive order, one of many questions raised in the days after it was unveiled on Friday. It confirms that the small group of staffers were among the only people on Capitol Hill who knew of the looming controversial policy.
Kathryn Rexrode, the House Judiciary Committee’s communications director, declined to comment about the aides’ work. A Judiciary Committee aide said Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) was not “consulted by the administration on the executive order.”
The work of the committee aides began during the transition period after the election and before Donald Trump was sworn in. The staffers signed nondisclosure agreements, according to two sources familiar with the matter. Trump’s transition operation forced its staff to sign these agreements, but it would be unusual to extend that requirement to congressional employees. Rexrode declined to comment on the nondisclosure pacts.
Because what could Rexrode say, assuming she knew what the hell was going on before the reporter called?
Much of the article covers various Republican’s fuming because their new president didn’t warn them or provide talking points, which meant they didn’t know what was going on until their phones blew up. But this paragraph stood out.
It’s extremely rare for administration officials to circumvent Republican leadership and work directly with congressional committee aides. But the House Judiciary Committee has some of the most experienced staffers when it comes to immigration policy.
If the EO was the best some of the most experienced staffers could do, the GOP may be even more full of inept chair polishers than I imagined.
However, it has been reported that President Bannon messed around with it and Guliiani claims that he, Pete King and several other people had their paws on the thing so who knows. Just as there’s no way to tell who is doing what behind someone’s back because the White House asked them to or when Bannon will turn into a giant centipede and consume Miller. I just hope the cameras are rolling when it happens.