Trump's Team Declined To Participate In Ethics Course For White House Staff

Well, this might have been helpful.

According to a new report from POLITICO, President Trump’s team decided to take a pass on a course for senior White House staff, cabinet nominees, and other political appointees that was meant to provide training in ethics, leadership, and management.


The documents suggest the program could have better prepared officials for working within existing laws and executive orders, and provided guidance on how to navigate Senate confirmation for nominees and political appointees, how to deal with congressional and media scrutiny, and how to work with Congress and collaborate with agencies — some of the same issues that have become major stumbling blocks in the early days of the administration.

Yeah. Ouch.

But the contract was never awarded because after the election the transition team shifted its priorities, according to a letter the General Services Administration sent to bidders such as the Partnership for Public Service. The program was expected to cost $1 million, the documents show.

It is unclear if the administration put in place its own program or offered any rigorous training to appointees and nominees across the government. The contract-based training program was authorized in 2000. The Obama and Bush transitions both received the training.

Matthew Gormley, GSA contracting officer, sent off a letter saying that the training program no longer fit the needs of the transition team.


This went down around the same time that VP Mike Pence took over for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie as head of the transition team.

Perhaps they felt Pence had it all under control, without outside help?

The changes included the transition team’s desire to control all the speakers and content, according to the notice. It is unclear if the administration put in place its own program or offered any rigorous training to appointees and nominees across the government.

Given some of the early blunders and controversy, I’m going to just take a stab at this and say the answer to that particular query is “No.”

While no one from the White House is answering questions on this, at the time, the Trump team did say they wanted to return as much money from the transition funds to the government as they could. They may have seen classes on ethics and management as wasteful expenditures.

I get it. I once worked in a company that had some different training course every month, always mandatory, and almost always useless.

Notice I said “almost always.” Every now and again, something of genuine use was proffered.


Several political appointees at agencies said they received very little training, and the time between the election and Inauguration Day was hectic. There has also been little contact between the political appointees at agencies and the longtime civil servants because of a lack of trust, several of these people said.

Do you get the feeling some of these people are letting their egos get in the way of the well-being of our nation?

It’s still early. Maybe with everything happening as it is, Trump’s team could still call this company or another back in and do a little back study, before charging ahead and getting into a mess they won’t easily extricate themselves from.



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