Swamp creatures: Leaked docs of Trump transition team show ‘opposition to torture’ is ‘red flag’

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Former CIA Director David Petraeus was considered for the Secretary of State, but there were “red flags”: he was against “torture” and “military solution in Syria”, according to leaked vetting documents of Trump’s transition team.

A trove of internal vetting documents, compiled by the Republican National Committee (RNC) at the behest of then President-elect Donald Trump’s team were leaked to Axios, which reported the scoop on Sunday.

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While there is nothing unusual in vetting process during which candidates’ history is checked for potential problems, the documents give a glimpse of Washington’s “swamp” and have been picked apart for eye-catching quotes by commentators and Twitter ‘pundits.’ Some were dumbfounded by the RNC choice of that particular concern.

For instance, four-star general Petraeus, who was mooted for the Secretary of State job, had many red flags in the eyes of those who combed through his biography – and one of them is that the former CIA chief was opposed to torture.

Petraeus’ argument that there can be no military solution to the Syrian conflict has also been marked as a possible non-starter in the report as well as his criticism of Brexit and hardline approach to Russia.

People who got the top government jobs eventually also had some interesting red flags on their files, according to Axios.

Former US ambassador to UN Nikki Haley was flagged for saying that Trump is everything “we teach our kids not to do in kindergarten.” Mick Mulvaney, now Trump’s acting Chief of Staff, reportedly considered the president “is not a very good person.” Former US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who Trump fired in March last year,  received a black mark from the RNC vetting team for having a history of doing business with Russia, supposedly as the head of ExxonMobil.  “Tillerson’s Russia ties go deep,” his form stated. Former EPA head Scott Pruitt raised concerns over “allegations of coziness with big energy companies.”

Most of the information in the leaked documents was the compilation of news reports. Many noted that the leaked documents show what everyone knows that Washington politics remained the swamp even despite Trump’s promises to drain it.

 Addressing the leak, the White House has hailed Trump’s ability to pick the right people, calling his administration, “an incredible team” of professionals. White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley also lashed out at the source of the leak, labeling it “cowardly” and those behind it “disgruntled, establishment, D.C. swamp creature.”

Despite her sharp criticism of then US President-elect Donald Trump, it appears that the choice of now Democratic presidential hopeful Tulsi Gabbard, a US army veteran, was deemed appropriate by the Team Trump to head the Department of Veteran Affairs . Gabbard’s file is relatively thin. it suggests grilling The Hawaii Democrat on her support for Bernie Sanders and a controversy over her skipping a Veteran Affairs hearing and going on “extreme surfing” trip back in 2014 instead.

It was reported at the time, that Gabbard did meet with Trump and the transition team officials in the Trump Tower and was considered for jobs at the Defense Department, State Department and the United Nations.

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