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Trump Considers Tucker Carlson for Vice-President: Report

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Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

During Donald Trump’s presidency, his White House wasn’t exactly the dictionary definition of a functional workplace, with its staggering turnover rate and more leaks than any presidency in the modern era. But there were at least some cabinet-level appointees up to the task of running a government without trying to sabotage it. Well, maybe just one.

If there’s a round two, the staffing situation is probably going to deteriorate even further. While pundits have been positing how much worse Trump’s conduct would be in a second term, Axios got specific about personnel, putting forward a list of the potential candidates his team is considering to carry out his most dangerous impulses. According to sources close to the former president, Trump has been discussing several potential vice-presidential picks, who range from the frightening to the terrifying: Ohio senator J.D. Vance, Arkansas governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Arizona gubernatorial failure Kari Lake, South Dakota governor Kristi Noem, and Georgia representative Marjorie Taylor Greene. Meanwhile, Melania Trump has expressed interest in Tucker Carlson, who could rile up the MAGA base (but would run the risk of upstaging Trump at rallies).

To fill out his cabinet, Trump is looking to reward the loyalists who have never wavered from his bogus claims of election fraud. Axios reports that this list includes Stephen Miller (who is not even a lawyer) as attorney general, or at least in a position where he can institute his dream of a hard-line immigration crackdown. One source close to the Trump campaign told Axios that the Justice Department — which Trump has long tried to bend to serve his personal will — will be the office where Trump is “most likely to make a shocking pick.” Jeffrey Clark, a former assistant attorney general who was indicted in Trump’s effort to overturn the election in Georgia, may get a high-ranking job at DOJ — a move that would certainly count as shocking.

Other names in the mix for cabinet positions include New York gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin as Defense secretary; the pugilistic Richard Grenell to return to his post as director of national intelligence; and Steve Bannon as White House chief of staff.

A telling sign of how things could be different in a future Trump term is the potential appointment of Kash Patel, a former Devin Nunes aide who Trump is reportedly considering for a top role in the national-security apparatus. (Recently, Patel told Steve Bannon on his podcast that “we will go out and find the conspirators not just in government, but in the media.”) Last time around, Trump reportedly considered the inexperienced aide as a deputy director of the FBI or CIA before his team urged him to reconsider. Ex-CIA director Gina Haspel said she would resign if he became her deputy and former attorney general William Barr said that a top Patel appointment would happen “over my dead body.” Issues of torture or DOJ politicization aside, figures like Haspel and Barr were the so-called adults in the room of the first Trump administration, so what happens when they are gone? The Axios list helps answer that question, but raises one that is just important: If the first Trump White House was hobbled by incompetence, can the unseasoned Trump loyalists pull off their extreme agenda? We may find out come January 2025.

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