One unanticipated development from the testimony Wednesday of Amb. Gordon Sondland before the House impeachment panel was the animosity of President Donald Trump's strongest grassroots supporters against the U.S. ambassador to the European Union — and other diplomats like him who have no record of commitment to the president's agenda.
Speaking to reporters outside the White House on Wednesday, while Sondland was testifying, the president said: "This is not a man I know well. He seems like a nice guy, though."
To a person, Trump "true believers" who spoke to Newsmax felt that much of the current impeachment ordeal he is undergoing over Ukraine is due in part key ambassadorships going to career diplomats (Ex-Amb. Marie Yovanovitch and Amb. William Tayor) and Republicans with no ties to Trump (Oregon hotelier Amb. Sondland).
"Trump unfortunately has appointed to positions of influence many people who have made a lot of money and been big contributors to him, but who have no background in government and politics and do not necessarily share – or even understand – the views that got Trump elected," former State Republican Chairman Tom Pauken of Texas told us.
Pauken recalled a saying during his years as a Reagan administration official: "I liked to say 'I personnel makes policy.' And not choosing the right people to serve has been a real failure of the Trump administration."
Perry Hooper, Jr., Trump's state campaign chairman in Alabama, was even more outspoken.
"Get rid of the whole bunch of 'em — Sondland, Taylor, Yovanovitch!" Hooper said. "They have no commitment to what this [resident is doing. And the president needs to focus on appointing ambassadors in the same way he has done appointing federal judges."
Hooper recalled his namesake father, who was the first Republican chief justice of Alabama.
"Dad, I'm sure, is in heaven applauding the president for what he is doing with the judiciary," he said. "[Trump] understands the importance of a lifetime appointment and that's why he was focused on nominating federal judges and his two Supreme Court justices. Now he needs to 'get it' when it comes to ambassadors."
"I personally know several excellent candidates who would jump at a chance to serve in Mr. Trump's administration and have applied and have repeatedly been passed over," said Van Mobley, president of the Board of Trustees for the village of Thiensville, Wisconsin, and one of Trump's earliest backers in the Badger State.
"I am pretty sure they were passed over for less qualified and less loyal candidates, but I highly doubt Mr. Trump himself passed them by unless he had a good reason. Sometimes a president is poorly served by his staff, and at other times perhaps he is saving excellent and perhaps even the best candidates in reserve. Who knows? It took Lincoln a long time to find his Grant, Sherman, Thomas, and Sheridan."
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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