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 TrumpPossible GOP challenger says Trump doesn't doesn't deserve reelection, but would vote for him over Democrat O'Rourke: Trump driving global, U.S. economy into recession Manchin: Trump has 'golden opportunity' on gun reforms MORE and Alex AcostaAlex Alexander AcostaFeds face mounting pressure over Epstein's death Sasse calls on DOJ to 'rip up' Epstein nonprosecution deal to bring 'co-conspirators to justice' FBI searches Jeffrey Epstein's home in Virgin Islands 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 PricePress: Acosta, latest to walk the plank 'I alone can fix it,' Trump said, but has he? Chaotic Trump transition leaks: Debates must tackle how Democrats will govern differently MORE, Health and Human Services; David ShulkinDavid Jonathon ShulkinPress: Acosta, latest to walk the plank Senior Trump administration official to leave post next week Trump sent policy pitch from Mar-a-Lago member to VA secretary: report MORE, Veterans Affairs; Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeNew policy at Interior's in-house watchdog clamps down on interactions with press Overnight Energy: EPA proposes scrapping limits on coal plant waste | Appointee overseeing federal lands once advocated selling them | EPA lifts Obama-era block on controversial mine Latest appointee overseeing federal public lands once advocated to sell them MORE, Interior; and Acosta. Five others either clashed with Trump or walked away: Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonScaramucci breaks up with Trump in now-familiar pattern Senate braces for brawl over Trump's spy chief Press: Acosta, latest to walk the plank MORE, State; Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsDOJ should take action against China's Twitter propaganda Lewandowski says he's 'happy' to testify before House panel The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy MORE, attorney general; James MattisJames Norman MattisOnly Donald Trump has a policy for Afghanistan New Pentagon report blames Trump troop withdrawal for ISIS surge in Iraq and Syria Mattis returns to board of General Dynamics 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 PruittEnvironmentalists renew bid to overturn EPA policy barring scientists from advisory panels Six states sue EPA over pesticide tied to brain damage Overnight Energy: Trump EPA looks to change air pollution permit process | GOP senators propose easing Obama water rule | Green group sues EPA over lead dust rules 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 ShanahanWhy Dave Norquist is the perfect choice for DOD's deputy secretary Five questions for Trump's new defense secretary on first major tour Trump says media is part of vetting his nominees: 'We save a lot of money that way' 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 HicksHope Hicks defends accuracy of her congressional testimony Nadler subpoenas Lewandowski, former White House official for testimony House panel to go to court to enforce McGahn subpoena, Nadler says MORE, Robert Porter, Reince PriebusReinhold (Reince) Richard PriebusTrump blasts Scaramucci as 'incapable' Trump taps Sean Spicer to join Naval Academy board of visitors Trump's no racist — he's an equal opportunity offender MORE, Sean SpicerSean Michael SpicerOvernight Defense: Dems talk Afghanistan, nukes at Detroit debate | Senate panel advances Hyten nomination | Iranian foreign minister hit with sanctions | Senate confirms UN ambassador Trump taps Sean Spicer to join Naval Academy board of visitors Trump falsely claims his events have never 'had an empty seat' MORE, Omarosa Manigault NewmanOmarosa Onee Manigault NewmanScaramucci breaks up with Trump in now-familiar pattern Press: The new Southern Strategy Press: Acosta, latest to walk the plank MORE, Anthony ScaramucciAnthony ScaramucciWhite House spokesman: Scaramucci 'trying to profit' from Trump's name Scaramucci asks left to create 'off ramp' for Trump officials, compares it to 'trying to deprogram people from a cult' Trump complains of Republicans defending CNN's Cuomo over 'Fredo' video: 'We never learn!' MORE, Don McGahn, Ty Cobb and Sarah HuckabeeSarah Elizabeth SandersSarah Sanders: Democrats should 'quit lying and do their jobs' Biden pledges return to daily press briefings as president Sarah Sanders: I will walk out of the White House 'with my head held high' 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.”