Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Top-Level Think Tankers Being Ignored by Trump Team

The numerous think tank scholars who signed anti-Trump pledges that had been circulating around for several months are now feeling the repercussions deeply.  Here is more from the Washington Post:

They are some of the biggest names in the Republican national security firmament, veterans of past GOP administrations who say, if called upon by President-elect Donald Trump, they stand ready to serve their country again.
But their phones aren’t ringing. Their entreaties to Trump Tower in New York have mostly gone unanswered. In Trump world, these establishment all-stars say they are “PNG” — personae non gratae.
Their transgression was signing one or both of two public “Never Trump” letters during the campaign, declaring they would not vote for Trump and calling his candidacy a danger to the nation.
One letter, with 122 names, was published by War on the Rocks, a website devoted to national security commentary, during the primary season in March. The other, with 50 names, including some repeat signatories, was published by the New York Times during the general-election campaign in August.
Now, just days before Trump is sworn in as the nation’s 45th president, the letter signers fear they have been added to another document, this one private — a purported blacklist compiled by Trump’s political advisers.
...The purportedly blacklisted figures report to their jobs at Washington law firms and think tanks in a state of indefinite limbo as their colleagues, some working in the same offices, are flirting with potential administration jobs.

The article goes on to note that the Trump transition team held a private briefing for secretary of state nominee Rex Tillerson to prepare him for his Senate confirmation hearing.  But an unnamed former Bush national security official who works at a think tank said that some of his younger staff assistants were invited to participate but he was not.  The reason?  Likely retribution for signing an anti-Trump letter.

Think Tank Watch wrote about the "Never Trump" letters early last year.

But people who signed those letters are not the only think tankers who may be left out in the cold as the Trump Administration takes office.  After all, it is looking increasingly likely that Mr. Trump will largely ignore the *entire* think tank community as he favors businessmen over scholars.