According to an official within the Department of Energy, this past Friday, the President-elect’s team instructed the head of the National Nuclear Security Administration and his deputy to clean out their desks when Trump takes office on January 20th.
The NNSA is the $12 billion-a-year agency that “maintains and enhances the safety, security, and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile.” It’s unclear when the two officials will be replaced.
Trump, however, appears determined to immediately push out everyone who was appointed by Obama, regardless of whether or not he has anyone in line for the job. Or, as our source put it: “It’s a shocking disregard for process and continuity of government.”
Just as with Obama’s soon-to-be-removed international envoys, Trump has ordered Under Secretary for Nuclear Security Frank Klotz and his deputy, Madelyn Creedon—both Obama appointees—to leave their posts, even if it means no one is in charge of maintaining the country’s nuclear weapons. According to our Energy Department source, Trump’s team has yet to nominate anyone to succeed them. Since both positions require Senate confirmation, if could be months before their chairs are filled. And the vacancies may extend beyond the leadership roles.
“There are scores more appointees within the department,” our source told us. “Secretarial and administration appointments that don’t require Senate confirmation, mostly performing policy, liaison, and strategic advisory capacities in support of the agency they’re at. They serve at the will of the head of their agency. Those people are, theoretically, also out on inauguration day unless otherwise directed, which hasn’t happened yet to my knowledge.”
The source later added, “I’m more and more coming around to the idea that we’re so very very fucked.”
Yes, we certainly are fucked. Probably much more than we know. A government run on spite. That ought to work out just great. Fuck.