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The sorcerer’s apprentice


What would happen if you turned the executive branch of the US government over to a career criminal and inveterate grifter? Probably something at least a little bit like this:

A senior Trump administration official has embellished her résumé with misleading claims about her professional background — even creating a fake Time magazine cover with her face on it — raising questions about her qualifications to hold a top position at the State Department.

Yeah, questions!

The gap between Chang’s actual qualifications and her claims appears to be the latest example of lax vetting by the Trump administration, which has become known for its many job vacancies and appointments made without thorough screening.

That’s a bit of an understatement:

In a 2017 video posted on her nonprofit’s website, Chang can be heard describing her work while a Time magazine cover with her face on it scrolls past.

“Here you are on Time magazine, congratulations! Tell me about this cover and how it came to be?” asks the interviewer, who hosts a YouTube show.

“Well, we started using drone technology in disaster response and so that was when the whole talk of how is technology being used to save lives in disaster response scenarios, I suppose I brought some attention to that,” Chang said.

The interviewer says Chang brought the Time cover to the interview as an example of her work.

Time magazine spokesperson Kristin Matzen said the cover is “not authentic.”

You know who else made up fake covers of Time featuring his fabulous visage? No, not that guy: Donald Trump.

Moving right along:

Chang’s biography says she was part of a panel on drones in humanitarian relief efforts convened by the U.N. But there’s no record backing up her claim and a source with knowledge of the matter said she was not part of the “panel,” which was a single public roundtable.

Chang says in her official biography that she is as an “alumna” of Harvard Business School. But according to the university, Chang attended a seven-week course in 2016, and does not hold a degree from the institution.

Her biography on the State Department website says she is a “graduate” of a program at the Army War College. But the program she attended was a four-day seminar on national security, according to the college.
Chang does not cite any undergraduate degree in her biography, but her LinkedIn account mentions the University of the Nations, an unaccredited Christian school with volunteer teachers that says it has 600 locations “on all continents.”

She says she “addressed” both the Democratic and Republican national conventions in 2016, but videos and documents show she instead spoke at separate events held in Philadelphia and Cleveland during the same time periods.

And no story of this type would be complete without reference to the Instagram account:

Her Instagram account, with 42,000 followers, includes selfies with celebrities and Washington luminaries like former President Bill Clinton, retired Gen. David Petraeus, former Defense Secretary Bob Gates, Karl Rove, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Buzz Aldrin.

OK boomers.

This, as Phil Parisi once observed, is who leads us.

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