President Trump early Tuesday responded to criticism from conservatives that he has left key roles in his administration unfilled, saying he doesn't need many of the staffers.
Trump tweeted directly at "Fox & Friends" after conservative radio host Laura Ingraham said on the Fox News program that the federal government needs a full staff.
"We are not looking to fill all of those positions," he said. "Don't need many of them - reduce size of government."
“I think we can all look at these horrific pictures, and we can conclude a federal government does need staff. We see it acutely in need of staff in a situation like this,” Ingraham had said.
“We’re also facing a huge crisis with North Korea. We’re facing a crisis of confidence across the country where people wonder — even with President Trump in, he said he was going to drain the swamp — can we have a government that works for the people and not just have a people enslaved to the government?” she added.
The president's tweet came at 8:26 a.m., shortly before Trump landed at Joint Base Andrews to board Air Force One for a trip to Corpus Christi, Texas, where he’ll view devastation from Hurricane Harvey.
The Trump administration has been slow to fill key spots at some agencies. The president has in the past blamed Democrats for slow-walking his appointments.
The Department of Homeland Security, for example, which oversees the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is presently led by an acting director, Elaine Duke, after Trump pulled his DHS Secretary John Kelly into the White House to be his chief of staff more than a month ago.
Trump also has yet to nominate someone to lead the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the nation’s weather monitoring agency.