Press: Acosta, latest to walk the plank

Press: Acosta, latest to walk the plank
© UPI Photo

Let’s start with this fact: Nobody believes what Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpPelosi arrives in Jordan with bipartisan congressional delegation Trump says his Doral resort will no longer host G-7 after backlash CNN's Anderson Cooper mocks WH press secretary over Fox News interview MORE and Alex AcostaAlex Alexander AcostaThe Hill's Morning Report — Presented by National Association of Manufacturers — Whistleblower complaint roils Washington On The Money: Senate confirms Scalia as Labor chief | Bill with B in wall funding advanced over Democrats' objections | Lawyers reach deal to delay enforcement of NY tax return subpoena Sanders calls Eugene Scalia's Labor Dept. confirmation 'obscene' MORE told reporters about Acosta’s departure as Labor secretary. Not even Donald Trump and Alex Acosta believe it.

Isn’t it obvious? Acosta didn’t resign, he was forced out. He didn’t make the decision, Donald Trump did. He didn’t step down because he wanted to spare the administration any further embarrassment, he was told to get out of Dodge to distract reporters from paying any more attention to Donald Trump’s buddy-buddy relationship with pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. He wasn’t a “great labor secretary,” he was a second-rate lawyer who should never have gotten the job in the first place.

There was no way Acosta could defend his kid-glove treatment of Epstein in 2008. There’s no doubt the wealthy socialite was guilty of luring underage girls to his Palm Beach, Fla., mansion and paying them for sex. Acosta’s argument that he had no choice but to accept a plea deal allowing Epstein to walk was emphatically rebutted by then-Palm Beach attorney Barry Krischer, who noted that Acosta’s office had actually drafted a 53-page indictment against Epstein, which Acosta ignored.

ADVERTISEMENT

But, of course, in the age of Trump, it was not Acosta’s failure to prosecute Epstein that caused the president to dump him, it was Acosta’s failure to do a better job explaining it on TV. Trump pressured him to hold a news conference, watched it from the Oval Office, didn’t like what he saw, and fired him, further proving that the entire Trump administration is nothing but a giant, daily reality TV show.

Acosta made zero impact as Labor secretary. He will not be missed. What’s significant about his departure is not the fact that he left, but the fact that he’s the latest of nine Trump Cabinet members to leave or be kicked out in 30 months. Four left in the middle of a scandal: Tom PriceThomas (Tom) Edmunds PriceIndustrial food system is at the heart of biodiversity degradation and climate change Joe Lieberman's son running for Senate in Georgia The Hill's Campaign Report: Impeachment fight poses risks to both Trump, Dems MORE, Health and Human Services; David ShulkinDavid Jonathon ShulkinVA under pressure to ease medical marijuana rules Press: Acosta, latest to walk the plank Senior Trump administration official to leave post next week MORE, Veterans Affairs; Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeOvernight Energy: Perry to step down as Energy secretary | Future of big-game hunting council up in the air | Dems lose vote against EPA power plant rule Future of controversial international hunting council up in the air Overnight Energy: Advisory panel pushes park service to privatize campgrounds | Dems urge Perry to keep lightbulb efficiency rules | Marshall Islands declares national climate crisis MORE, Interior; and Acosta. Five others either clashed with Trump or walked away: Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonTrump sends nomination for Russia ambassador to Senate Democrats eye Pompeo testimony On The Money: IMF estimates US-China trade war to shave 0.8 percent from global economy | NY prosecutors urge appeals court not to block Trump tax subpoena | Turkish bank linked to Giuliani client charged with fraud, money laundering MORE, State; Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump attacks Sessions: A 'total disaster' and 'an embarrassment to the great state of Alabama' Ocasio-Cortez fires back at Washington Times after story on her 'high-dollar hairdo' Trump's tirades, taunts and threats are damaging our democracy MORE, attorney general; James MattisJames Norman MattisWhite House staggers after tumultuous 48 hours Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Trump insists Turkey wants cease-fire | Fighting continues in Syrian town | Pentagon chief headed to Mideast | Mattis responds to criticism from Trump The Hill's 12:30 Report: White House does damage control after Mulvaney remarks MORE, Defense; Kirsten Nielsen, Homeland Security; and John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE, Homeland Security, before becoming chief of staff. 

Note: This does not count EPA’s Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittSierra Club sues EPA over claim that climate change 'is 50 to 75 years out' EPA on 'forever chemicals': Let them drink polluted water EPA moving ahead with science transparency rule by 'early next year' MORE, national security adviser Michael Flynn, or head economist Gary CohnGary David CohnTrump says US will hit China with new round of tariffs next month Gary Cohn bemoans 'dramatic impact' of Trump tariffs Press: Acosta, latest to walk the plank MORE, who were technically not Cabinet members. Nor does it include former acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and former acting Defense Secretary Patrick ShanahanPatrick Michael ShanahanDefense chief calls on European allies to be wary of China's investments, blasts Russia Pentagon chief approves 20 more miles of border wall Why Dave Norquist is the perfect choice for DOD's deputy secretary MORE. All in all, as tracked by the Brookings Institution, Trump has triggered more turnover in his first 2 1/2 years than any of his five predecessors did in their entire first terms.

On top of that, reports Brookings, as of July 8, the rate of turnover among “A” level, non-Cabinet but senior, White House aides is a stunning 76 percent. That list, of course, includes one-time Trump favorite Stephen Bannon as well as Hope HicksHope Charlotte HicksTrump: 'Top shows' on Fox News, cable are 'Fair (or great)' to me Trump criticizes Fox, which 'isn't working for us anymore' Sarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor MORE, Robert Porter, Reince PriebusReinhold (Reince) Richard PriebusPoliticon announces lineup including Comey, Hannity, Priebus Sunday shows - White House stresses Trump's determination in China trade fight as GOP challenger emerges Priebus: Left's 'wacko ideas' are opportunity for Republicans in 2020 MORE, Sean SpicerSean Michael SpicerWhite House correspondent April Ryan to moderate fundraising event for Buttigieg White House condemns violent video Trump calls for votes for Spicer on 'Dancing With The Stars' MORE, Omarosa Manigault NewmanOmarosa Onee Manigault NewmanJuan Williams: Black Republicans call out Trump — finally — on race Michael Cohen denies Omarosa advising him in prison Trump renews attacks on Omarosa, slamming her as 'disgusting and foul mouthed' MORE, Anthony ScaramucciAnthony ScaramucciScaramucci calls Trump a 'traitor' to the US Scaramucci: Trump is 'gone' and 'done' Trump blasts 'Mr. Tough Guy' Bolton: 'He made some very big mistakes' MORE, Don McGahn, Ty Cobb and Sarah HuckabeeSarah Elizabeth SandersWhite House correspondent April Ryan to moderate fundraising event for Buttigieg White House press secretary defends lack of daily briefings: Trump 'is the most accessible president in history' Sarah Huckabee Sanders says she is 'relentlessly' attacked by women MORE Sanders.

Why the record turnover? Other than the fact that Donald Trump is clearly impossible to work for — his abusive treatment of everybody but Ivanka and Jared has been well-documented by several former staffers — Kathryn Dunn Tenpas, head of the Brookings presidential tracking project, notes that, in choosing senior staff, Trump clearly “valued loyalty over qualifications” and thus “suffered from a White House that has functioned in a chaotic manner.” Which is a nice way of saying that Donald Trump is a lousy manager and knows nothing about governing.

Every administration has its hallmark. The symbol for the Trump White House will be a revolving door.

Press is host of “The Bill Press Pod.” His Twitter handle is @BillPressPod. He is author of “From the Left: A Life in the Crossfire.”