Why didn’t Trump ‘shatter the deep state’ when he was president for four years?

Donald J. Trump
FILE – Former President Donald J. Trump watches the NCAA Wrestling Championships, Saturday, March 18, 2023, in Tulsa, Okla. Trump’s calls for protests ahead of his anticipated indictment in New York have generated mostly muted reactions from supporters, with even some of his most ardent loyalists dismissing the idea as a waste of time or a law enforcement trap. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File) Sue Ogrocki/AP

Why didn’t Trump ‘shatter the deep state’ when he was president for four years?

Former President Donald Trump has released a grand plan to “shatter the deep state and restore government that is controlled by the people.”

That’s fantastic. So, why didn’t he do that when he was president for four years?


Trump’s plan involves firing “corrupt actors” in national security agencies and federal departments and publishing “all documents on deep state spying,” among other things. There is no doubt that the blatant politicization of the federal government, especially the three-letter national security agencies, must be addressed by the next Republican president. And yet, whether or not Trump’s plan is good or bad is irrelevant. It is late.

Trump was president for four years. Trump and his allies were talking about the “deep state” as early as March 2017, not even two months after he was inaugurated. He was the head of the executive branch and could have come up with and implemented a plan to “shatter the deep state” whenever he wished. And yet, it is only now, more than two years removed from office, that he wants to take up the fight.

So, why didn’t he do this while he was president? He and his team had identified this problem early in his presidency, so ignorance is no excuse. The common refrain from his supporters will likely be something along the lines of “the deep state obstructed his plans.” But if Trump was so weak that he couldn’t pull it off the first time, what is stopping them from obstructing him again?

If the excuse is that “RINO Republicans didn’t stand with him,” has anything happened to change that? Most of Trump’s chosen MAGA candidates lost, in case anyone has forgotten. Maybe Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) was the magic chess piece Trump was waiting for, but the GOP House and Senate makeup is otherwise remarkably similar to what it was when Trump left office.

Aside from all the issues involving ethics or winning elections, this is the biggest issue facing Trump’s campaign. Everything he is pledging to do, he was already in the position to pursue for four years but did not do.

If “shattering the deep state” is so important, why didn’t he do it during those four years? If Dr. Anthony Fauci was so terrible (and he was), why didn’t Trump fire him? Why did he praise Fauci and leave him in charge of the federal COVID response?

Trump and his team have to answer those questions, but the fact is their answers will be insufficient. There is no excuse Trump could come up with that excuse four years of inaction on these things he claims are his top priority. He had an opportunity to “shatter the deep state” and ignored it for four years. “I mean it this time” isn’t good enough.


© 2023 Washington Examiner

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