Former president Donald Trump demands loyalty above any other quality, and if the former president succeeds in 2024, he plans to bring back the most loyal staffers of his first term, no matter how obviously incompetent or malevolent.
Sources around Trump say that he wants to bring back Michael Flynn and Jeffrey Clark, two of the main players in the January 6th coup, and put the two in important positions in a second Trump administration.
It isn’t the least bit surprising that the disgraced ex-president would want his loyalists surrounding him, but these two men, in particular, have unequivocally proven themselves to be among the most dangerous Trump administration alumni.TrumpThe thought of them in senior positions should take one’s breath away.
Former Lt. General Michael Flynn urged Trump to suspend the Constitution and use the military to hold another election. The recommendation would, of course, have ended this nation’s “great experiment” in democracy.
Another appointment would again allow Flynn to be in the room to make similar, or identical, radical and fascist recommendations.
Perhaps worse, Flynn would run an entire department under Trump’s inattentive direction (imagine if it’s the Pentagon) and move that department’s agenda in a direction that Flynn believes is in the country’s best interest.
Flynn is a man who was credibly taped pledging loyalty to Q-Anon, though Flynn denies it and says that what looked exactly like a Q-anon pledge is just a “family tradition.”
Jeffery Clark’s past service proves that he rivals Flynn in submissiveness to the ex-president, which makes Clark just as dangerous.
Clark led DOJ’s Environmental Division under Trump and was the most senior DOJ official willing to follow Trump’s insistence that the Department sign a letter finding fraud in the 2020 election.
At the time, acting-A.G. Rosenberg and four other top DOJ officials threatened mass resignations. Clark would have signed the letter.
Clark is Trump’s man and has proven that the law will not get in the way of doing Trump’s bidding.
According to Rolling Stone, even though Trump insists he will have Flynn and Clark in his “future” administration, Trump understands that there would be, ahem, problems:
“In at least one of these conversations, Trump was self-aware enough to say that any senior role for Flynn would ‘probably’ have to be a non-Senate-confirmed appointment, one of the sources with direct knowledge tells Rolling Stone. Flynn’s comments calling for martial law in the wake of the election prompted some Republicans, like Sen. Mitt Romney, to criticize him, potentially leaving any Senate-confirmable position effectively out of reach for the retired Army general.”
Yes, advocating a military coup over the Constitution will get one some tough questioning at a confirmation hearing.
But one should take little comfort from the reality. Flynn will be around.
Recall that Trump’s cabinet was a revolving door and that, at times, it seemed that there were more “acting” heads than Senate-confirmed department heads. It is likely true that Flynn could not start out leading a department that requires Senate confirmation.
But it doesn’t follow that he couldn’t eventually lead a department.
According to two sources obtained by Rolling Stone, Trump thinks of Flynn as an American hero (The man who advocated a military takeover and military-run election).
The source then concludes, “Why wouldn’t Trump want an American hero working for him?”
It is all in the definition.
In a reasonable world, these two have done more than enough to disqualify themselves from government service ever again.
Exxon would not offer Flynn or Clark serious positions of authority, but Trump, as head of the U.S. government, would.
Trump not only wants people like Flynn and Clark, but his plans also require people exactly like them.
As Chris Hayes noted on Thursday night in discussing the CNN town hall, Donald Trump effectively attempted to end American democracy in his last administration and — if put in power again, Trump will want to “finish what he started.”
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Assuming Hayes is correct that Trump believes he should “rule” even if it requires a Constitution-free dictatorship, then it makes perfect sense that Trump is talking up hiring Flynn and Clark.
Trump’s plan to hold on to power in 2020 inherently required people willing to place loyalty to Trump over the Constitution.
Why would it be any different in 2024 when the disgraced former president returns to “finish what he started”?
And that is why Trump ultimately values loyalty above competence.
Competence doesn’t do Trump any good if the world’s greatest military analyst won’t violate the Constitution on Trump’s order.
The best lawyer in the country is of no use to Trump if the lawyer insists that Trump cannot institute what he’s planning because it violates the Constitution.
In this sense, it’s critical for the American public to absorb not only “who” Trump wants to bring into a second administration but “why” he wants those same people.
Trump may want to do things that only the “most” loyal of the loyalists are willing to do.
Reach me at email@example.com, or @JasonMiciak
Jason Miciak is an associate editor and opinion writer for Occupy Democrats. He's a Canadian-American who grew up in the Pacific Northwest. He is a trained attorney, but for the last five years, he's devoted his time to writing political news and analysis. He enjoys life on the Gulf Coast as a single dad to a 15-year-old daughter. Hobbies include flower pots, cooking, and doing what his daughter tells him they're doing. Sign up to get all of my posts by email right here: