Trump administration’s parade of blunders could be due to decision to skip ethics training.
It has recently come to light that during the transition, Trump’s team passed on an opportunity to participate in an ethics training program utilized by the previous two administrations.
According to Politico, which obtained documents regarding the rejection of educational and advisory input, the series of sessions would have covered, “working within existing laws and executive orders, and provided guidance on how to navigate Senate confirmation for nominees and political appointees, how to deal with congressional and media scrutiny, and how to work with Congress and collaborate with agencies.”
A letter sent by the General Services Administration to the contractors offering the service noted that the requirements of the program, “do not accurately reflect the current needs of the Presidential Transition Team.”
It is unknown if any training was offered in its place, but there have been a number of reports from inside the team that the months leading to the inauguration were chaotic.
Norm Eisen, former White House ethics lawyer, spoke with Politico on the matter, commenting, “It looks like a good program, and I wish they had implemented it. It might have spared them the numerous ethics and other messes they have encountered.”
Among the “messes” is Kellyanne Conway’s use of the White House press room and media exposure to plug Ivanka Trump’s fashion line, a move that prompted a call for disciplinary action.
Conway’s comments on Fox & Friends in early February, included, “go buy Ivanka’s stuff,” and the lengthier endorsement, “This is just wonderful line. I own some of it…I’m going to give a free commercial here. Go buy it today, everybody. You can find it online.”