Donald Trump’s pay-to-play scheme goes off the rails

The impeachment process is certainly bringing out many other interesting facts about Donald Trump and his appointees. In a sense, it’s fitting for a faux president to have faux diplomats, like Gordon Sondland, who has zero experience in diplomatic endeavors. Instead, he, like Trump, is a hotel mogul and reportedly donated $1 million to Trump’s inauguration. Apparently, his generosity was repaid by appointing him U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, which has absolutely nothing to do with Ukraine, a non-member.

So, why was Sondland even involved in the Ukraine matter if not doing a favor for Trump? In light of all of the obvious inconsistencies in Trump’s administration, Politico took a closer look at Trump’s ambassador appointments for good reason.

Career diplomats and other government employees have been skeptical of Trump’s appointees from the beginning, but now that the impeachment inquiry is exposing questionable activities, they are looking even closer. Some believe their behavior threatens the careers built by traditional envoys. Most of Trump’s appointees are woefully unqualified for their roles. Sondland is a great example of that lack of qualification. Let’s face it: They are easily manipulated by a man who has spent his life manipulating others.

One of Trump’s other appointees, Duke Buchan (ambassador to Spain) also has no diplomatic experience, though he speaks fluent Spanish and has studied the culture. He was interested in the position for very selfish reasons. One of the first things he did was complain about the EU’s regulations, which makes it hard for him to ship his polo ponies to Spain. Seriously. When asked about this controversy, Buchan’s spokesperson said that he is “only concerned about EU regulations that affect security and the prosperity of the American people.” Sure he is. That’s why he’s up in arms about his ponies. Don’t we all own polo ponies? He has also, incidentally, given hundreds of thousands to Trump’s campaign.

Trump Israel envoy is David Friedman. What’s his experience? Serving as Trump’s bankruptcy lawyer. He is also, according to Politico, the one who came up with the bright idea of moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. Ah, another Trump appointee serving the American Public. Not. Finally, Trump’s German envoy is Richard Grenell. While Grenell does have experience as the U.S. spokesman at the UN, he is rapidly annoying allies. Politico cites that “he’d barely set foot in Germany before demanding that German companies stop doing any business with Iran.” Do you see a pattern here? All of these men are Trump “yes men.” They bring absolutely nothing to the tables at which they serve.

Michael McFaul was appointed by President Obama. He is often heralded as one of the best examples of a qualified appointee, as he is an expert on Russia and had federal experience prior to his appointment. Yet, he is called a “political appointee,” simply because he was appointed by Obama. McFaul responds to such criticism in perfect fashion: “Yes, I was a political appointee. I gave Obama $250.” That says all you need to know and continues to highlight the major differences between the Trump administration and a real administration.

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