President Donald Trump’s decision not to make a full statement on opposing white supremacists during the first presidential debate was met with fiery criticism. Some of his opponents took the opportunity in the media to argue that his lack of response means he actually supports the hate groups.
Nothing could be further from the truth, stated the Trump Campaign’s Strategic Advisor and Jewish Voices for Trump Co-Chair, Boris Epshteyn.
He told this reporter in an exclusive interview Wednesday that Trump condemns white supremacists and the fact was “clear as day” at the debate Tuesday night.
Trump’s comments Tuesday were as follows:
“Sure, I’m willing to do that. But, I would say almost everything I see is from the left wing, not from the right wing… I’m willing to do anything. I want to see peace,” Trump said in response to Fox News host Chris Wallace, who asked him to condemn white supremacist groups.
Wallace wasn’t satisfied with that response, and again pressed Trump.
“What do you want me to call them? Give me a name. Go ahead, who would you like me to condemn? Who,” Trump then asked Wallace,
Wallace specified that Trump should condemn ‘white supremacists and Proud Boys.’
“Proud Boys, stand back and stand by,. But, I’ll tell you what, somebody’s got to do something about Antifa and the left because this is not a right wing problem, this is a left wing problem,” Trump said before Biden interrupted him to clarify that ‘Antifa is an idea, not an organization,’ citing FBI Director Christopher Wray’s earlier comments.
Epshteyn responded, “President Trump did condemn white supremacists. When Chris Wallace asked him that as part of asking whether Joe Biden condemned Antifa, Chris Wallace ended up asking President Trump if he condemns white supremacists and he said yes, he said ‘sure.”
“And then Joe Biden jumped in with his mumbo jumbo and really didn’t know what day it was I guess… and then even specifically to the Proud Boys, President Trump said ‘stand back,’ so it’s pretty clear where President Trump stands,” added Epshteyn. “It’s absolutely clear where he stands. He’s been clear on it for a long time now going back to the Jake Tapper interview and denouncing David Duke and so on and so forth.”
He added, “President Trump has been clear that he denounces white supremacists and he did that also in his speech about Charlottesville that the left likes to lie about so much, including Joe Biden, who lies about it all the time. The President condemned white supremacists then.”
Epshteyn was born in the former Soviet Union. He and his family escaped communism in the region as Jewish refugees to the United States in 1993.
He said Trump has championed the fight against antisemitism, which Epshteyn understands personally.
“I’m Jewish and I’m proud to work for a president who’s done so much to combat antisemitism, signed the Never Again Holocaust Education Act into law, which gave $10 million towards Holocaust education in this country, signed the Just Act into law, which makes it easier for victims of the Holocaust and their descendants to receive restitution and then signed an executive order which absolutely classified antisemitism as a hate crime and enable the federal government, federal agencies to use their full resources to combat antisemitism, and that’s just domestically,” Epshteyn explained.
He continued, “He’s done so much on the international front in terms of standing with the State of Israel, moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, something that president after president had promised, tearing up the terrible Iran deal, recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, recognizing the Golan Heights as Israeli territory, and then the historic Abraham Accord.”
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Biden Administration Proposes Rule to Fortify Federal Bureaucracy Against Republican Presidency
In a strategic move, the Biden administration has unveiled a proposed rule aimed at reinforcing the left-leaning federal bureaucracy, potentially hindering future conservative policy implementations by Republican presidents. This move has raised concerns about the efficacy of democratic elections when a deep-seated bureaucracy remains largely unchanged, regardless of electoral outcomes.
Key points of the situation include:
Presidential Appointees vs. Career Bureaucrats: Of the 2.2 million federal civil workers, only 4,000 are presidential appointees. The vast majority, made up of career bureaucrats, continue in their roles from one administration to the next. This continuity is facilitated by rules that make it exceedingly difficult to discipline or replace them, resulting in a bureaucracy that tends to lean left politically.
Union Political Affiliation: A striking 95% of unionized federal employees who donate to political candidates support Democrats, according to Open Secrets, with only 5% favoring Republicans. This significant political skew among federal workers raises questions about the potential for political bias in the execution of government policies.
Obstructionism and Challenges for GOP Presidents: Some career bureaucrats have been accused of obstructing Republican presidents’ agendas, leading to policy delays and challenges. For example, during the Trump administration, career lawyers in the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division declined to challenge Yale University’s discrimination against Asian American applicants, prompting Trump to seek legal counsel from other divisions. The case was subsequently dropped when Joe Biden took office.
Biden’s Countermeasures: President Biden has taken steps to protect the bureaucracy’s status quo. In October 2020, Trump issued an executive order aiming to reclassify federal workers who make policy as at-will employees, but Biden canceled it upon taking office.
Proposed Rule and Congressional Actions: The rule unveiled by the Biden administration seeks to further impede a president’s ability to reinstate Trump’s order. Additionally, some Democrats in Congress are pushing to eliminate the president’s authority to reclassify jobs entirely. This has been referred to as an attempt to “Trump-proof the federal workforce.”
Republican Candidates’ Pledge: GOP candidates such as President Donald J Trump, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Ron DeSantis have pledged to address this issue. According to reports from Fox News, Ramaswamy has gone further, advocating for the elimination of half or more of civil service positions, emphasizing the need for accountability.
Debate on the Merit of the Civil Service: While Democrats and their media allies argue that civil service protects merit over patronage, critics contend that the system has evolved into a form of job security for federal workers with minimal accountability. Federal employees often receive higher salaries and more substantial benefits than their private-sector counterparts.
In summary, the Biden administration’s proposed rule and broader actions to protect the federal bureaucracy have sparked a debate over the role of career bureaucrats in shaping government policy.
Republican candidates are vowing to address these concerns, highlighting the need for accountability and ensuring that government agencies work in alignment with the elected president’s agenda. This ongoing debate raises important questions about the relationship between the bureaucracy and the democratic process in the United States.
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