Trump Falsely Blames Democrats For Fact Ambassadors Haven’t Been Confirmed

The President is blaming Democrats for the fact that so many of his Ambassadors have not been confirmed. The truth, of course, is quite the opposite.

Over the holiday weekend, President Trump blamed Democrats for the delays in confirming his Ambassadors despite the fact that Republicans actually control the process:

President Trump on Monday complained that the Senate isn’t confirming ambassadors he has appointed and claimed that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is to blame.

Trump wrote in a series of tweets that leaders from other countries have called to ask why ambassadors haven’t been confirmed and said Schumer “continues to hold them back from serving their Country!”

“Heads of countries are calling wanting to know why Senator Schumer is not approving their otherwise approved Ambassadors!? Likewise in Government lawyers and others are being delayed at a record pace!” he tweeted.

“360 great and hardworking people are waiting for approval from Senator Schumer, more than a year longer than any other Administration in history. These are people who have been approved by committees and all others, yet Schumer continues to hold them back from serving their Country! Very Unfair!” Trump continued.

Here are Trump’s tweets on the matter:

This is, of course, absolute nonsense. Other than slowing the process down somewhat by using all the available debate time that Senate rules allow for nominations, there is nothing that Democrats can do to stop Presidential nominations such as those at the Ambassadorial level. This has been the case since Democrats removed the filibuster for all Executive Branch nominations, and for Judicial nominations below the Supreme Court level, more than five years ago. Since Republicans have controlled the Senate since the start of the Trump Administration, and will continue to do so through the 2020 elections, the process largely entirely in their control. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has taken advantage of this fact by swiftly moving Trump nominees through the Senate. This has been especially true of Judicial nominees but has also been true of other nominees as well.

If Trump wants to find the reason for why so many of his top Ambassadorial positions have gone unfilled, he need look no further than the mirror. As I’ve noted several times in the past, the Administration has taken an unusually long amount of time to full vacant Ambassadorial slots, including Ambassadors to important parts of the world. Indeed, this list maintained by the American Foreign Service Association shows that a number of Ambassadorial spots remain vacant even as we approached the 2nd anniversary of the President’s inauguration, including Ambassadorships for nations such as Egypt and Turkey as well as NATO allies such as Estonia and several nations in Central and South America.

Additionally, it is highly unlikely that the President is getting calls from the leaders of foreign nations regarding this issue. For one thing, if this is an issue that a foreign government wanted to address, it would obviously be handled at the Foreign Minister/Secretary of State level. For another, in those nations where an Ambassador has yet to be confirmed or nominated, the Ambassadors duties are being handled by the highest ranking Foreign Service Officer in the relevant embassy. This is not the kind of thing handled at the leadership level. Secondly, these foreign leaders obviously know that the United States Senate handles confirmation of Ambassadorial nominees and that this body is controlled by Republicans. Finally, these nations all have embassies in Washington and their representatives are well-aware of what’s going on in Congress.

This is admittedly a somewhat obscure topic, but the fact that the President is so obviously lying about it is yet another sign of how pathological his need to lie actually is.

FILED UNDER: Donald Trump, National Security, Politicians, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. CSK says:

    In TrumpWorld, Trump is never to blame for anything, just as reality is what he wants it to be.

    8
  2. dennis says:

    Trump is the lyingest liar of all liars.

    9
  3. Kathy says:

    El Dennison must be under a curse, which will kill him horribly if he doesn’t tell outrageous, ridiculous, easily disprovable lies every hour of every day. I see no other possible explanation.

    9
  4. Teve says:

    He told military troops to their faces that he got them a 10% raise, which they knew was a lie. He said Obama had a 10-foot wall around his house when anybody can see that’s a lie. His need to lie is truly pathological.

    13
  5. Michael Reynolds says:

    Evidently back in my day no one taught any sort of civics in school because it is Baby Boomers buying this transparent bullsht. For all the whining we often do about ‘kids today’ it was apparently kids 50 years ago who were/are the problem.

    10
  6. grumpy realist says:

    If I could, I’d impeach Trump for his lies alone. Am desperately hoping that at some point he gets yanked into a law court or deposition and commits perjury.

    5
  7. Timothy Watson says:

    I was bored so I did some research on the Senate’s list of Presidential nominations.

    There are currently 16 pending nominations to be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States to different countries. (There are additional Ambassadorial-level nominations pending to different organizations which I didn’t count since Trump made no mention of those nominations.)

    Of those 16 pending nominations, seven of them where made in November 2018 (four on November 15, 2018, and three on November 13, 2018). The oldest pending nomination is from December 1, 2017 for David T. Fisher to be ambassador to Morocco.

    The countries with pending nominations are (in descending order from date of nomination): Morocco; a single person to serve concurrently as ambassador to Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; The Bahamas; UAE; Malta; Albania; Romania; Cambodia; Ecuador; El Salvador; Ireland; Sweden; Qatar; Saudi Arabia; Macedonia; South Africa; and Iraq.

    4
  8. James Pearce says:

    This is, of course, absolute nonsense.

    Despite posting nothing but nonsense on his Twitter feed, we keep returning to the trough, ready to gobble up another helping.

    Trump may be dishonest, but he’s not stupid. Congress has been holding up his appointments, and they’re doing it as a check on his administration, which is way too appropriate for someone so openly corrupt as Trump.

    If Schumer’s response to Trump isn’t “damn right we’re holding up your ambassadors” he should just resign.

    2
  9. CSK says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Isn’t that why his lawyers are desperate not to have him questioned in person by Mueller?

    4
  10. Michael Reynolds says:

    @James Pearce:
    Jesus F. Christ, Pearce: every foreign government on earth pays attention, as does every cowardly GOP pol, so obviously they matter, but because you are just desperate to worship Trump you willingly exclude anything you don’t want to hear. Invincible stupidity.

    7
  11. Blue Galangal says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Additionally, Trump is both dishonest and stupid.

    6
  12. EddeInCA says:

    @James Pearce:

    If Schumer’s response to Trump isn’t “damn right we’re holding up your ambassadors” he should just resign.

    Are you kidding? Do you not realize that Schumer, as the Minority leader of the Senate, HAS NO POWER TO BRING UP ANY NOMINATIONS. That’s McConnell’s job. Schumer can’t do squat.

    Trump created a wholly false narrative, that goes against what’s specifically in the Constitution, and you choose to focus on Schumer?

    WTF Dude??? Seriously. What is wrong with you?

    17
  13. Michael Reynolds says:

    @EddeInCA:

    WTF Dude??? Seriously. What is wrong with you?

    Pearce knows nothing about government, nothing about history, nothing about politics or foreign affairs and insists on reminding us all of those facts on a daily basis.

    8
  14. Kathy says:

    @EddeInCA:

    WTF Dude??? Seriously. What is wrong with you?

    That’s a really good question.

    He should be peddling his wares elsewhere. The level of discourse here is too smart to fall for such a stupid ploy. Namely “Look, I hate Trump, but the best way to beat him is to knuckle under and obey him and never, ever, ever, ever, criticize him. If you do anything else, you play right into his hands.”

    8
  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @James Pearce:

    Despite posting nothing but nonsense on his Twitter feed, we keep returning to the trough, ready to gobble up another helping, and I having heard the bell am helpless to resist my slavering desires.

    Finished TFY.

    3
  16. James Pearce says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Pearce knows nothing about government, nothing about history, nothing about politics or foreign affairs and insists on reminding us all of those facts on a daily basis.

    You don’t know anything about me, so cut it out and leave me alone.

    @Kathy:

    The level of discourse here is too smart to fall for such a stupid ploy.

    For most people. For some people, “the level of discourse” is “agree with me or I’ll say terrible things about you.” Demonstrated daily.

    For instance:

    Namely “Look, I hate Trump, but the best way to beat him is to knuckle under and obey him and never, ever, ever, ever, criticize him. If you do anything else, you play right into his hands.”

    No, I have -many times- suggested teaming up with Never Trump Republicans and at every turn, the preference is to double down on your own partisan BS and eschew any kind of coalition building. You’d rather believe in your stereotypes than your own ideology. Sorry, but count me out.

    @OzarkHillbilly: If you ever hear me referring to “Trump’s tweets,” you have permission to slap me.

    1
  17. MarkedMan says:

    I think it’s useful in this (and several other concurrent discussion) to remember that among Trump supporters aware enough of current events to register this there are basically two kinds: those who actually believe what he says (i.e. the same group that is convince professional wrestling is real), and those who like to pretend they believe his nonsense because it pisses off the libs. In either case, there is no point in wasting even a millisecond engaging them, since the former can’t process reality and the latter already knows it is BS and doesn’t care.

    6
  18. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    “… the fact that the President is so obviously lying about it is yet another sign of how pathological his need to lie and the need of his supporters (and James Pearce, who isn’t a supporter, but is trying to lure Trump into a game of 99 dimensional chess) to be lied to actually is.”
    FTFY.

    3
  19. grumpy realist says:

    @James Pearce: If you don’t want to be taken as a total idiot, then don’t hold forth with opinions that can be immediately shown to be a) erroneous b) stupid c) ignorant of history.

    9
  20. Michael Reynolds says:

    @James Pearce:
    Well, what I know is that a) your beef with Democrats has something to do with tiny houses; b) you have the power to intuit the opinions of strangers you see on light rail and feel that method is far superior to polling; c) think tweets don’t matter despite the fact that every foreign leader, every US pol pays very close attention to same, and d) you know squat about anything political. Like, for example, not knowing that a minority leader like Schumer cannot move legislation, which is politics 101. Which, in the context of a politics blog is sort of disqualifying.

    12
  21. Teve says:

    @MarkedMan: yesterday on Facebook a friend of mine who also used to be a scientist posted a basic article about climate change. The comment section got overrun by idiots saying things like climate science is all fake, I don’t believe that Al Gore bull-shit, etcetera.

    did I waste time explaining that chemists have known since 1897 that carbon dioxide traps heat? Did I explain that it was simply impossible for several million scientists in 200 countries to all be engaged in a massive conspiracy? did i argue that we have a dozen different ways of looking at heat and temperature and carbon dioxide, and they all point in the same direction? did I mention that Exxon scientists and executives were privately worrying about this since 1978?

    Fuck no! I happily blocked nine or ten idiots in 2 minutes and got on with my life. when people are determined to be willfully ignorant there’s no point wasting your time.

    7
  22. PJ says:

    @Teve:

    Fuck no! I happily blocked nine or ten idiots in 2 minutes and got on with my life. when people are determined to be willfully ignorant there’s no point wasting your time.

    While I believe there will one day be a cure for cancer, there will never be a cure for stupid.

    2
  23. James Pearce says:

    @grumpy realist: Thanks, but no one thinks that. They just say that kind of thing hoping to hurt my feelings. Does it work?

    Only if I let it. So no, it doesn’t work. It doesn’t work at all.

    @Michael Reynolds: What part of “cut it out and leave me alone” made you think I wanted you to put it in outline form?

    1
  24. MarkedMan says:

    @Teve:

    I happily blocked nine or ten idiots in 2 minutes and got on with my life.

    I applaud you your blood pressure thanks you.

    2
  25. Teve says:

    @MarkedMan: I spent many years arguing with idiots before it occurred to me one day that with all my knowledge, all my rhetorical skill, all my analytic reasoning, I never changed one numbskull’s mind in years. And just like that, I quit. :-p

    2
  26. Teve says:

    Same with creationists. I haven’t argued with a creationist in a decade. I just point and laugh, when i even bother to read them.

    1
  27. grumpy realist says:

    @James Pearce: We don’t care what you think. We care more about innocent bystanders who may be taken in by your BS. That’s why we laugh and point out your errors.

    We already know that you don’t have the courage to admit reality. You’ve made it very obvious that you have no respect for truth, integrity, or self-introspection. The only stuff you’re interested is in acting like a troll.

    We know this. You don’t have to keep trying to show it. The only thing that exists in your life is to “annoy the libs.”

    4
  28. Kathy says:

    @Teve:

    I spent many years arguing with idiots before it occurred to me one day that with all my knowledge, all my rhetorical skill, all my analytic reasoning, I never changed one numbskull’s mind in years.

    You need more time than that. How long is an eon? You need more time than that still.

    But, IMO, debate an argument in public fora are useful. For one thing, you can change a thinking person’s mind, provided you have the evidence and arguments required. The second reason is simply to put the information out. You could say I believed in creationism when the only explanation for the world I’d come across was the story in Genesis. Once I learned about astronomy and evolution, I dropped the Genesis myth. And while eventually I got that information in school, I ran across it first on my own reading, and Carl Sagan’s invaluable “Cosmos.” These days, I know it may not be taught in some schools at all.

    Corollary to the second reason, is that you’ve no idea how you may affect those who read posts but don’t write them. I think some posts here get more upvotes, or downvotes, than there are active posters (though that’s only an impression, not a quantitative analysis).

    1
  29. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @James Pearce: Wow! That’s an amazing vacuum you live in. A person could suck the universe inside out with a vacuum that strong.

    2
  30. James Pearce says:

    @grumpy realist:

    We don’t care what you think.

    I care very much, so…¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    1
  31. grumpy realist says:

    @James Pearce: Sorry, but talking with you is like trying to discuss quantitative finance with someone who can’t even be bothered to learn his times tables. If you want to be ignorant, remain so, but don’t pretend that you know how things work. You don’t.

    4
  32. James Pearce says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Sorry, but talking with you is like trying to discuss quantitative finance with someone who can’t even be bothered to learn his times tables. If you want to be ignorant, remain so, but don’t pretend that you know how things work. You don’t.

    You know those comments where the only idea being expressed is “You suck?”

    Yeah, you should keep those to yourself.

    1
  33. Teve says:

    @Kathy: I was making a more limited point that I won’t argue with them specifically to change their minds. Discussing what they say to a broader audience is as you mentioned sometimes useful and important, and I Will do that at times.

  34. MarkedMan says:

    @Teve: Agreed. Trying to explain something to a creationist, an anti-vaxxer, a climate change denier or a Trumper is about as fruitful as explaining calculus to a dog.

    (Me, to my dog) … There, I’ve very clearly laid out the fundamental basis of calculus using these diagrams showing the use of asymptotic approximations of rectangular areas. Do you get it now?

    (My dog)
    He’s looking at me and making noises! Is he going to give me food? Is he going to give me food? Is he going to give me food?