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Another Long-Time White House Staff “Throws Trump Under the Bus” by Breaching Confidentiality Agreement

by Brennan Bobbie

Madeleine Westerhout, Donald Trump’s long-time personal executive assistant, finds herself out of a job after sharing intimate personal information about Trump’s family during a dinner with news reporters. Although Westerhout claimed her comments were made off-the-record, she is still bound by a confidentiality act stipulated under the Hatch Act.

 

Later, a reporter who said Madeleine did not state that her remarks about Trump’s family were to be treated as off-the-record, divulged the details of what transpired at the dinner. The executive assistant’s fallout from the Trump administration only marks the POTUS’ troubles with the extensive information leaks that have been coming out of the White House. The incident also makes Westerhout the sixth White House staff has breached the Hatch Act, since 2018.

Madeline’s departure also highlights the series of resignations currently besetting the Trump Administration.

What Personal Information Did Madeleine Westerhout Share with Reporters?

Apparently, Westerhout had one drink too many during the dinner that she and White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley attended at the Embassy Suites where reporters stayed to cover Trump’s visit. Such dinners are said to be common but are supposed to be off-the-record as far as any conversations that may have taken place during the gathering.

According to political news website Politico, Westerhout said that Trump will not be able to pick out Tiffany if ever she becomes part of the many faces in a crowd. CNN also reported her claim that she (Madeleine) enjoys a stronger relationship with Trump than Tiffany or even Ivanka. Another CNN report said Madeleine told the group that Trump prefers not to be photographed with Tiffany, because he thinks is youngest daughter is “overweight.”

 

 

Still, Trump who learned of Madeleine’s revelations to reporters said he understands why the incident happened, although it does not mean she is off the hook. He later tweeted that since Madeleine is a very good person, he does not see any reason to enforce full punishment over her violation of her confidentiality agreement with the White House.

Court of Appeals Upholds Lower Court’s Decision to Deny Emergency Appropriation of Funds for Border Walls

by Brennan Bobbie

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals handed down a ruling that upholds a lower court’s decision to deny the Trump administration the right to appropriate funds outside of Congressional approval. The appeal to reverse the lower court’s stay order was put forward by the Justice Department, on behalf of the Trump administration. That way, the latter can move forward in a supposed emergency need to reinforce the border walls located in Arizona, California, and New Mexico for security reasons.

The 3-judge panel of the Appeals Court though was not unanimous in arriving at the decision. Judge N. Randy Smith, an appointee of President George W. Bush, disagreed saying that a ruling in favor of the plaintiffs, the Southern Border Communities Coalition and the American Civil Liberties Union, is an approach that is contradictory to the basic fundamentals of judicial review. His opinion is that the majority of the panel members created a constitutional issue where none had existed. Mainly because the complainants who obtained the injunction, have no right to take part in what is actually a dispute between the U.S. president and Congress.

The dispute refers to Donald Trump’s insistence on spending as much as $8 billion for the construction and reinforcement of the U.S.-Mexico border walls, an amount that exceeded the $1.375 billion approved by Congress for border barriers. Congress denied his initial request for a $5.7 billion budget for wall-building this fiscal year, Trump’s insistence and disapproval of the national budget for the fiscal year led to a 5-week, partial shutdown of government offices and agencies.

Although Trump later relented by finally approving the national budget in order to lift the shutdown, he pursued the matter by calling a state of national emergency. In doing so, he gained the executive power to appropriate the budgets of other departments for the perceived emergency purpose of enhancing the security of the country via the border walls.

How the 9th District Court of Appeals Ruled

The two other members of the 3-judge panel, Judge Richard Clifton and Judge Michelle Friedland, wrote in a 75-page order that president Trump’s attempt to transfer Defense Department construction funds amounting to $2.5 billion in order to pursue and build the border wall project beyond what was appropriated by Congress, appeared as a clear violation of federal laww.

The Constitution delegates to Congress, the power to make decisions on how the government is to spend taxpayers’ money. More so where Congress added language that specifically states flexibility of budget does not include use for purposes previously denied by lawmakers. Judge Clifton and Friedland explained that

“Congress did not appropriate money to build the border walls Defendants (the Trump administration) seek to build here. Presumably, Congress decided such construction at this time was not in the public interest. It is not for us (the judicial branch) to reach a different conclusion.”

Moreover, Judges Clifton and Friedland cited the likelihood of the Trump administration’s violation of Appropriations Clause of the Constitution, which disallows drawing from the Treasury for purposes other that those appropriated by law.— the latter being the national budget that he initially refused to approve.

Sleeping Politicians

Being a politician is probably one of the most demanding jobs on earth. The demands and expectations from them take a toll on sleep. The demands do not depend on who the politician is. It will not likely to lessen for whomever is elected. The famous President Obama said that he really wanted to have 6 hours of sleep every night but it is not always possible because of the busy schedule. He also mentioned that having a quality mattress through Mattress Battle is of great help in promoting longer sleeping hours. How much sleep is really needed for senior executives like President Trump in order for them to have optimal function? This is an important question to ask especially to those candidates who already moved into full campaign mode because there are some studies that show that sleep affect an individual’s functioning.

According to Neurologists who have studied sleep for several years, sleep effects how an individual functions as well as his/her health. A very small percentage of people can function with 4-5 hours sleep a night but there are people who find it hard to function and be productive with so little sleep.

There are several studies that show the important functions of sleep on our body and brain. According to the meta-analysis of medical research literature, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society jointly released a consensus statement last year recommending that adults receive at least seven hours a night to maintain optimal health. This recommendation was based on a systematic review of former studies. In addition to that, having lower than 6 hours of sleep is inadequate to maintain optimal health.

Over the past few years, there are countless of evidence that shows the relation of sleep to the health and ability of a person to function well. Moreover, there are also studies illustrating the importance of sleep in eradicating age-related memory loss and progression to mild cognitive impairment and dementia.

In politics, a senior executive has staff that helps in organizing the myriad functions and communications necessary for regular operations such as meetings and managing problems or crises. Thus, a politician also need a capable staff with enough sleep.

 

 

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