President Donald Trump has squashed Eliot Abrams’ hopes of being picked for a crucial State Department post.
Abrams had emerged as a possible contender for deputy secretary of state, it was reported on Monday, and even met with Trump to discuss the position, according to Politico.
Even if Trump’s decision was motivated solely by his “thin skin,” the decision itself aligns well with his “America first” message.
Trump, however, reportedly vetoed Abrams’ appointment after learning Abrams had been a vocal critic during the campaign. Abrams, a Republican Establishment neoconservative, was incredibly hostile toward Trump’s campaign and its America first message.
“This was Donald Trump’s thin skin and nothing else,” a Republican source reportedly told Politico.
But it’s not difficult to see why Trump might not have the strongest desire to give such a man the number-two position in the State Department
In May 2016, Abrams wrote a column for neoconservative magazine The Weekly Standard entitled, “When You Can’t Stand Your Candidate.” Abrams wrote that the GOP had “nominated someone who cannot win and should not be president of the United States” and urged the party to resist “Trump and Trumpism.”
Even if Trump’s decision was motivated by his “thin skin,” the decision itself aligns with his America first agenda.
“What I’ve always wanted for President Trump is to have people around him who agree with him. I think a Never-Trumper should never be in the State Department,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Friday on “The Laura Ingraham Show,” before news of Trump’s decision broke.
“Eliot Abrams was dismissive of Donald Trump, was derisive, said that the chair that Lincoln and Washington sat in, Trump was not fit to sit in,” Paul continued.
Most importantly, Paul explained, Abrams is an archetypal neoconservative and represents the very worst of the old Establishment GOP.
“When the issue of nation-building came up and Donald Trump said something I agree with completely — we’ve got problems here at home that we need to take care of, we can’t be rebuilding everybody else’s countries and that nation-building doesn’t work and we don’t buy friends — I stood up and clapped,” Paul said. “Eliot Abrams said that he was completely wrong.”
“One of the things about Donald Trump that was profoundly different than any other presidential nominee we’ve had, or any other president we’ve had in the last 40 years, is he’s talking what we can do about our country — that we have to rebuild our country, jobs in our country and companies in our country,” noted Paul.
But “you can’t do that and rebuild everybody else’s country,” Pail said. “Nation-building — we do not have the money for it. We’re $20 trillion in debt and this was a distinct break from all the neoconservatives,” said Paul.
“If he puts a neoconservative one who has fought secret wars and deceived Congress about these secret wars — then you can’t trust a person like that to be in charge of a policy that should not include secret wars and should not include nation-building,” he said.