Donald Trump lets the news media do his vetting for his administration, meaning vetting has not been high on his requirement meter. That has been apparent from the unprecedented turnover rate. Some of them have left amid a flurry of scandal. This is the lastest unpleasant surprise.
An NBC News investigation discovered that the Deputy Assistant Secretary in the State Department’s Bureau of Conflict of Stability Operations Mina Chang inflated her resume with astounding dishonesty.
She claimed to be a Harvard graduate, but she was not. She also greatly expanded the depth of her nonprofit’s scope. When Congress began to question her resume as part of an even larger government job with a one billion-plus dollar budget, that was when things began to unravel.
She lied about being part of a U.N. panel, saying she had spoken at “both Democratic and Republican national conventions and implied she had testified before Congress.”
Her current job in the Trump administration called for her to help manage conflict prevention in politically unstable countries. Her salary is six figures, and she managed a six million dollar budget. She would be required to have a top-secret security clearance for that position, but whether she had one was not clear.
Chang had been the CEO of her nonprofit organization Linking the World, a small online organization. She claimed she gave speeches in dozens of countries as they built schools. She claimed she impacted thousands of individuals. However, her 301 [c] 3 tax returns do not show proof of offshore projects. Its budget was under $300,000, and she maintained a small staff.
Her biography claimed was she took part in a United Nations (UN) panel on drone use in humanitarian relief efforts. However, there was no record of that.
On her State official biography. she claimed to be a graduate of Harvard Business School. She only attended a seven-week course in 2016. She also said she graduated from an Army War College program. Instead, she attended a four-day seminar on national security.
She did have an undergraduate degree from an unaccredited Christian School with volunteer teachers, the University of the Nations.
Expert on nonprofit tax forms and accountant at the Clark Nuber accounting firm in Washington state Jane Searing said, according to NBC:
‘How are they accomplishing so much without spending at least $10,000 in those countries? That does not make sense to me. They could be partnering with another organization, but then they should say that and not claim those accomplishments as their own.’
Attorney with Harmon Curran law firm and well-established expert on nonprofit tax law Eve Borenstein said:
‘To not file with the IRS for three years is really being a scofflaw. They should know how to properly report their program accomplishments and also address other required asks.’
Former chief of staff of Linking the World Ian Dailey defended his organization. He said it was a “small nongovernmental organization (NGO):”
‘We are not implementers of programs. We pilot new technologies, testing their practicalities, and seek to identify the ‘unintended consequences’ that are rife in our industry.’
Chang’s nonprofit’s former chief of staff Ian Dailey noted she did not work on the Trump presidential campaign. However, her former West Point classmate and business partner with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Brian Bulatao did go to fundraising events for her charity. He bid on an auction item at one of her charity events and paid $5,500 for it. However, he had no other connection with her nonprofit. Daily said:
‘Brian was one of approximately 400 to 500 individuals regularly invited to our fundraising events. At one of those events he bid on an auction item, which accounts for the donation in its totality.’
A 2017 video on Chang’s nonprofit site showed her face on the cover of a TIME magazine scrolling past as she described her work:
However, TIME magazine spokesperson Kristin Matzen said that this cover was “not authentic.” Apparently, Chang had something in common with Trump. He printed fake TIME covers with his face and posted them in his resort golf stores.
Trump has claimed that his administration’s screening of job candidates was fine. After all, he noted that the news media “helped the White House filter nominees:”
‘If you take a look at it, the vetting process for the White House is very good. But you’re part of the vetting process, you know? I give out a name to the press, and they vet for me. We save a lot of money that way.’
George Mason University professor, an expert on the Executive Branch. and former Office of Personnel Management which does the vetting, James Pfiffner pointed out:
‘It does seem that this administration has not been doing the same depth of vetting as previous administrations.’
The Mueller Report Adventures: In Bite-Sizes on this Facebook page. These quick, two-minute reads interpret the report in normal English for busy people. Mueller Bite-Sizes uncovers what is essentially a compelling spy mystery. Interestingly enough, Mueller Bite-Sizes can be read in any order.