Trump says he won't fill 'a lot' of vacant appointments

Trump says he won't fill 'a lot' of vacant appointments
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President Trump says he doesn't plan to fill many of the appointed positions left vacant across federal agencies, calling the size of the government work force "unnecessary."

“I'm generally not going to make a lot of the appointments that would normally be — because you don't need them," Trump told Forbes in an interview published Tuesday.

"I mean, you look at some of these agencies, how massive they are, and it's totally unnecessary. They have hundreds of thousands of people," he added.

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Trump repeatedly promised to "drain the swamp" and shrink the size of the federal government on the campaign trail.

But critics say he's leaving crucial offices unstaffed.

The State Department, which oversees diplomatic relations and deals with foreign policy issues across the globe, has many empty seats. Trump has left roughly half of the confirmable positions unfilled, including ambassadorships to many key countries.

In addition to the limited number of nominations, many of the positions that require congressional confirmation are still waiting to be formally approved by the Senate.

Only 142 of the president's nominees have received Senate confirmation, while 165 others who have been formally nominated are still waiting to be confirmed by the upper chamber, according to a database jointly run by The Washington Post and the Partnership for Public Service that tracks "roughly 600 key executive branch nominations through the confirmation process."

That number, however, is only about half of the total number of positions that require Senate confirmation.