In case you needed a reminder, President Donald Trump does not only surround himself with the “best people.” Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker has now been discovered to have routinely lied on his resume, claiming an academic honor in college that he never received.
Both in and out of government, he’s insisted that while playing football at the University of Iowa in the early 1990s, he was named an “Academic All-American.” He was not, although he did receive a district level honor according to the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). In order to get the higher honor, Whitaker would have had to have maintained at least a 3.3 GPA.
Whitaker’s claim that he did get the recognition went down the line to the point of appearing in a 2009 Justice Department press release and on a 2010 application to be an Iowa judge, but it’s false. Justice Department spokesperson Kerri Kupac insisted that Whitaker used a 1993 media guide that named him as a recipient of the higher level honor as basis for inclusion on his resume, but CoSIDA spokesperson Barb Kowal says that whatever Whitaker used appears to have been false, concurrently noting that her organization didn’t have operations as systematized as they do now back in the 90s.
One would hope, though, that an acting attorney general would be careful enough with their resume to not include items they couldn’t thoroughly back up.
The claimed honor apparently appeared on the resume he submitted to World Patent Marketing, a company that eventually went down under the weight of fraud allegations. While working with the company, he acted as their attack dog at least once, explicitly threatening a complaining customer with punitive legal action.
Whitaker is not the first Trump appointee to lie on their resume. For instance, earlier this year, The Washington Post uncovered that deputy chief of staff in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Taylor Weyeneth claimed to have earned a Master’s degree from Fordham University although the school insisted they’d actually never finished their coursework.
Additionally, he’d claimed to have worked at a law firm for eight months after he was actually dismissed for not showing up to work.
Whitaker’s resume issues aren’t the full extent of his problems. He’s all along been a political appointee, with President Donald Trump having stepped in to elevate him from the now fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ office to his present position as acting attorney general. He’s previously expressed adamant opposition to the Russia investigation, going so far as to call the special counsel’s team a “lynch mob.”
Ethics officials at the Department of Justice have reportedly found no legal reason demanding Whitaker step aside from overseeing Robert Mueller’s investigation, although at least one ethics adviser suggested Whitaker recuse himself anyway, which he hasn’t done.
Trump has nominated former attorney general William Barr to take on the role once more in a more lasting capacity following Sessions’ firing, although he still awaits confirmation by the Senate, which will remain Republican-controlled heading into 2019.
Featured Image via YouTube screenshot