Anderson Cooper: If Trump only hires the best people, why are there so many departures, scandals?

CNN anchor Anderson Cooper on Tuesday questioned President TrumpDonald John TrumpKimberly Guilfoyle reports being asymptomatic and 'feeling really pretty good' after COVID-19 diagnosis Biden says he will rejoin WHO on his first day in office Lincoln Project offers list of GOP senators who 'protect' Trump in new ad MORE’s frequent claim that he only hires “the best people,” wondering why so many officials have left the administration amid scandals.

“If the president hires only the best people, why aren’t they still on the job?” Cooper asked. “Why have so many left the administration? Why are others serving under ethical clouds? Why are some facing so much difficulty getting confirmed?”

The questions came after the postponement of the confirmation hearing for Trump’s nominee to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) amid allegations of misconduct during his tenure as the head White House physician.


Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson has been accused of creating a “hostile work environment,” including “excessive drinking on the job [and] improperly dispensing meds," CBS News reported Tuesday.

“That’s on top of longstanding bipartisan concerns that Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson has no experience running large organizations,” Cooper noted.

The VA is the second largest federal bureaucracy behind the Defense Department, with more than 300,000 employees.

Jackson's nomination was a result of last month's ouster of former VA Secretary David ShulkinDavid Jonathon ShulkinSchumer demands answers in use of unproven coronavirus drug on veterans Former Trump VA secretary says staffer found plans to replace him in department copier VA under pressure to ease medical marijuana rules MORE

Shulkin was accused of using taxpayer money to pay for his wife to accompany him on a trip to Europe, where he allegedly spent more time sightseeing than conducting government business. 

He also reportedly improperly accepted tickets to a Wimbledon tennis match as a gift. 

Cooper said Trump decided to tap Jackson for the job because he was pleased by a press conference in January in which Jackson praised Trump's “good genes” and health.

“He said medically questionable things, he certainly said flattering things, and he looked good on TV, which counts for a lot to the president,” Cooper said.

The larger question is why Trump can’t back up his claim that he only hires “the best people,” Cooper said.

“How does a president who champions extreme vetting of foreigners not even do basic vetting of people who are responsible for multi-billion dollar agencies or the country’s national security?” Cooper asked. 

Cooper added that the president's personnel choices have caused undisclosed conflicts of interest, allegations of corruption and poor judgment to plague several high-level government officials.