White House Sees Third Resignation This Week

Politico reports:

A senior official on the National Economic Council resigned on Tuesday after being informed that he would not receive a permanent security clearance, as the White House faces increasing scrutiny over the number of high-ranking officials allowed to work on interim clearances.

George David Banks, who had served since February 2017 as special assistant to the president for international energy and environmental policy, told POLITICO that he was informed by the White House counsel’s office Tuesday that his application for a permanent clearance would not be granted over his past marijuana use.

Banks is the third White House official to leave the administration over the last week. White House staff secretary Rob Porter resigned last Wednesday amid allegations of verbally and physically abusing his two ex-wives. Speechwriter David Sorensen, who worked at the Council on Environmental Quality, stepped down on Friday over domestic abuse allegations. Both Porter and Sorensen deny the allegations.

  • bkmn

    Its bad when you go from having a ‘Scandal du’jour’ to a ‘Scandal d’heure’

    • CharlestonDave

      I can imagine a Jimmy Kimmel skit where the restaurant diners order Scandal du Jour soup, only to have it whisked out for a newer, fresher, Scandal du Jour plate every five minutes.

    • AmeriCanadian

      The incorrect French is really bothering me. It should be “scandal de l’heure”. Sorry to be “that guy”.

      • m_lp_ql_m

        Sorry to be Canadian? 😛

        • AmeriCanadian

          No…the one who is always correcting someone else. I really, really try not to do so.

          • lymis

            Isn’t being considered fluent in French contingent on correcting everyone else’s French?

            Just asking.

          • AmeriCanadian

            LOL. I think that is THE definition of being French.

          • pch1013

            Bien entendu, but then I have the excuse that it is *literally* my job to do that.

          • TrollopeReader

            it’s why the rest of the world speaks excellent English ….

          • Tulle Christensen

            Same thing

          • 🐾vorpal🐾

            The way I look at it, I’d rather be corrected once than be wrong hundreds of times.

          • Joe in PA

            Sadly, I’m usually corrected more than once. 🙁

          • AmeriCanadian

            Well, you haven’t “arrived” until your correction gets corrected.

          • Ron

            Correcting someone in either French or English is fine as long as one does not use nylon rope to do so.

          • The_Wretched

            It’s not “correction”, it’s “religious counseling about prior drug abuse”.

          • Galvestonian

            Oh to hell with all that … drag out the Guillotine and lets start chopping Rebublirussian heads

          • Danieruw

            edited – wrong gif

          • Danieruw
        • 🐾vorpal🐾

          We do have our Canadian apology quota to meet every week. I try to get mine done in a single trip to the grocery store, genuinely apologizing to people who are in my way.

          • Joe in PA

            And I bet you say it in your most sincere, cat-like way. Ahem.

      • bkmn

        Appreciate that. I have not studied French and had a feeling the structure was wrong.

      • Robincho

        Sorry to be that other guy, but it’s “scandale de l’heure”…

        • AmeriCanadian


          • Todd20036

            Tish! You spoke French *kiss* *kiss*

          • AmeriCanadian

            Oh Gomez. Stop. (no don’t)

          • JD


          • 🐾vorpal🐾


          • AmeriCanadian

            Partout, bien sûr. 😉

        • pch1013

          Les grands esprits se rencontrent !

        • Chris Baker

          Sorry to be that other other guy, but typically, when using the expression ” … du jour”, in English, only the ‘du jour” part is kept in French when using the expression. We would say “Crisis du jour”, or “Headline du jour”, etc. We wouldn’t say “Crise du jour” or “Titre du jour” because listeners don’t know the meanings of the leading words.

          • gary47290

            I refuse to participate in the failure of American education and dumb down discourse. KEEP the original French when you import words.

            I also note the correct plural of octopus is optopodes.

      • pch1013

        Actually it should be “scandale de l’heure”.

        • AmeriCanadian

          T’as bien raison!

    • Barry William Teske

      ‘Poop d‘heure’…

      Now that gold toilet instead of art offer makes even more sense.

      • ChrisMorley

        French has a word for poop: merde.

        • Barry William Teske

          Just trying to be inclusive to english only proponents.

  • Proud MOFO Beaner (bkb)

    It’s only Wednesday, brah

    • Yeah, I’m curious to see how many will be exiting over the VA scandal.

  • Lazycrockett

    Rachel’s wall is growing and growing and growing.

  • June Gordon

    Pardon me while I side-eye the “marijuana use” excuse. NOBODY would be able to work in govt if that were true.

    • Michael

      Probably not talking about a shared joint once during college.

      • June Gordon

        There’s a dead hooker somewhere.

    • Use alone won’t do it, you’re right.

      • BobSF_94117

        Maybe he lied about it.

    • Uncle Mark

      Maybe the real problem is that Putin is his marijuana dealer

  • jimbo65

    And of course the stupid people that voted for 45 valued racism over national security…

  • TrollopeReader

    I have a hard time believing every other security-cleared person is being honest, if this is the case ….

  • Rebecca Gardner

    Only the best people.

    • bkmn

      The smartest people, the most qualified

      • Rebecca Gardner

        So much winning!

  • Proud MOFO Beaner (bkb)


    We have a right to know

    • Judas Peckerwood

      Sorry, you’re not cleared for access to that information.

      • Bad Tom

        Shorter: That’s classified!

    • The_Wretched

      Actually, it’s public info. Were I in a news agency, I’d file the FOIA today.

    • Artsy

      For past marijuana use.

      • DoctorDJ

        “But I never inhaled!”

      • John30013

        Seems kinda tame/lame, unless he didn’t disclose it on his application, or he was a distributor and not simply a user.

    • Galvestonian

      For one thing the orange poop head insulted and turned down ( because they didn’t vote for him or they said ‘quoted’ mean things about him ) many qualified people and evidently none of them wanted to work for the turd in chief. The only people that were remotely qualified were flawed – decent workers but messed up – so he took what was available from the scrapings at the bottom of the barrel. It’s Cheetolini’s fault — plus he doesn’t have a clue on how to staff or understand what positions he’s filling.

  • shellback
    • lymis

      Maybe one with a trap door over a piranha tank…

  • lymis

    If the Republicans in Congress even bother to react, one thing I’m confident of is that they certainly won’t hold themselves in any way responsible.

    The majority of these scandals are coming from people who are nominated by Trump and approved by the Senate. Most of them were transparently unqualified for the jobs, and yet they sailed right on through.

    What the hell did they expect while they were approving a parade of people whose qualifications were almost universally that a) they were rich, b) they were campaign contributors rather than having any background in the areas they were approved for, and c) more often than not, had a public record of claiming that the agencies they were being appointed to were useless and should be abolished?

    It didn’t seem to occur to them that a few basic questions, like “Why do you even want this job” might have been appropriate.

    I also don’t know, but can’t help but wonder, if the Senate committees couldn’t start saying “Come back for the confirmation hearing once you’re cleared for the job.”

  • MikeinATL

    I have to say, if it was ONLY “past marijuana use”, I think that is ridiculous. Now, if it was trafficking or dealing or who knows what, that it is understandable.

  • David Walker

    I’m not happy that weed use is the reason to deny him security clearance, but it is sort of satisfying that the criminalization of marijuana, a banana republican tenet since near-ancient times, is used to punish one of their own. Beauregard should be proud.

    • It’s especially awkward since marijuana has been decriminalized in the District of Columbia.

      • TrollopeReader

        but not on federal property, as folks at national seashores have discovered ….

    • Buford

      Pot user… no dice. Violently assault the women in your life… you’re up for a promotion.

    • John30013

      As others have speculated, I’m not buying that marijuana *use* was the disqualifying factor….

  • BeaverTales

    I wonder if Tiffany, Eric, Ivanka and Junior have security clearances?

    • TrollopeReader

      some of junior’s tweets seem to suggest that he has seen classified stuff (or been told it)

      • Bad Tom

        Sadly, in the Trump White House, that does not answer the question.

  • Pollos Hermanos
  • TrollopeReader

    how do you resolve this when more and more states are legalizing (even promoting) pot usage?? It’s okay for elected folks in Congress and the presidency, but not their staffers?

    • David Walker

      Bingo. And you KNOW that Beauregard’s plantation has a couple of acres devoted marijuana.

  • Moebym of the Returners

    Still #winning, I see.

  • Hank

    “his application for a permanent clearance would not be granted over his past marijuana use.”

    DAMN!!! There goes any chance, that I had of getting MY Clearance!!!!

    • Hank

      Of course it was ONLY for my MEDICAL Needs!!!

      • Artsy

        It now has a 25% tax in CA!!!

        • Hank

          You can still grow your OWN plants. When it was just Medically legal, many guys I met in SF, had their own plants, that they harvested for their own use!

  • In a normal administration, none of these people would’ve been offered jobs in the first place.

    Also, we’re gonna find out this wasn’t the case because “past marijuana use” isn’t a typical disqualifier. Far more likely we’ll learn there were arrests for possession, at minimum.

    • Tread

      It probably wasn’t because of marijuana, period.

      • You’re likely right. It’ll be something else. I know for a fact, being acquainted with a number of individuals with top-level clearances where MJ use in the past was not a disqualification. The Feds’ only concern was whether use was current or very recent…or if there’d been arrests involved.

        • It Takes a Village, People

          Plus, if it was more than a few weeks ago, how would they ever find out unless you tell the truth on the questionnaire…oh wait.

      • Uncle Mark

        You’re probably right. The drug of choice was most likely not marijuana and the records of wife-beating were probably omitted as well

  • lymis

    Hey, on the plus side, maybe this will make Trump come out in favor of legalized pot nationwide…

  • Robincho

    So many Felicias, so little time…

  • but like Sessions says….hey, pot prohibition is still on the books.

  • ChrisMorley


    Much Happier News

    Tom Daley and Dustin Lance Black expecting their first child

    [Brit] Olympic diver and film-maker say they are thrilled and share news on Instagram, showing ultrasound scan of baby



  • Hank

    Herr Drumpf was a Pot Head in NYC in the 70′ and 80’s!!!

    Pass it on!!!

    • David Walker

      Well, he was a habitue of Studio 54. I’ve read that on the interwebz, I’m sure. I’m pretty sure some people who know have said that, too. And he wasn’t a nice stoner, either. Always kept the jay that was passed to him, had no idea how to work a bong, and refused Alice B. Toklas brownies because Roy Cohn said she was a lesbian communist.

      • if you read it on the interwebz, it’s totally true.

      • Cipher

        If he showed up at 54, you know he was spun on, at a minimum, the poppers they released into the HVAC system!

        I heard he bragged about the size of the Js he smoked. The best Js. The Yuuuugest!

  • JWC
    • greenmanTN

      Descent Into The Trumpstrom

      • JWC

        reminds me of a toilet bowl on steroids

        • TexasBoy

          That pretty much sums up this administration, doesn’t it? A giant shithole.

          • JWC


        • TrollopeReader

          See, The Guggenheim was just trying to be helpful ….

  • Mark Née Fuzz

    Can’t wait for the one that really matters. I’ll do naked cartwheels in the street when that happens.

  • Cuberly Deux
  • Treant

    So they really ARE draining the swamp!


    • Adam King

      But ducks like swamps.

  • Mr. Ric

    And it’s only Wednesday. I would say we’re on track to get two more. It’s like Queen for a Day except with massive payouts and nukes.

  • Randy Ellicott

    Its an interesting concept that the president gets security clearance based on the people electing him to office, a clearance he could in no way achieve in any other way….

  • Tor

    Marijuana use is a piss-poor reason.

  • AtticusP
    • Halou

      Shit shows for a shit hole country.

  • Snarky

    I’m getting tired of all this winning.

  • Tread makes a good point in his reply to my comment below.

    Given the way this WH lies about EVERYTHING, we’ll likely learn the clearance refusal wasn’t due to MJ use in the past. The only way that happens is if the FBI agents ask you whether you did use it, and you say you never did, and someone else they interview says you are or were a stoner. Meaning they don’t care that much about drug use that took place years or decades earlier, but rather whether you could be potentially blackmailed—and whether you lied to the investigators.

    The only way I could see mere MJ use as disqualifying for a clearance is if Banks lied, his lie was uncovered by the Feds (esp if there was an arrest in there some time ago), and the WH staff office was told that Banks potentially committed the felony of lying. THAT I could see this mendacious administration trying to make about the MJ use and not about the current crime surrounding it.

    After all, we learned from the very beginning that this administration and its hires felt totally free to omit information or flat out lie when applying for background checks, providing legally required disclosures, or trying for a clearance.

    Of course given this corrupt administration, it’s entirely possible we’ll learn MJ wasn’t involved at all in the real reason Banks couldn’t win a clearance.

    • Tulle Christensen

      marijuana/heroin pretty much the same thing in Jeff Sessions eyes

      • True, but not in the FBI’s. And certainly not when applying for a clearance.

      • David Walker

        Same thing with lying and “forgetting.”

        • Tulle Christensen

          I am just going to forget you said that

          • Adam King


          • Tulle Christensen


          • TrollopeReader

            and how!

    • Cipher

      I was thinking along the same lines about the MJ. If truthful, could that really be disqualifying? The issue would arise with a concern for blackmail if he was interviewed and lied about the extent of MJ use, dates, time frames and fellow users – that and any potential charges that might arise from lying if it were to the FBI or otherwise contained in statements made under oath.

      • Exactly. I personally know several individuals who either have or had clearances despite drug use in the past. One closely enough to know roughly the questions asked:
        – Did you use illegal drugs?
        – If yes, which ones, how much and when?
        – Are you currently using illegal drugs?
        – Were you ever arrested on drug charges, and if so what were the circumstances?
        – Is anyone close to you using illegal drugs?
        – Are you being completely truthful in your answers to us here today?

        The answer “I smoked a lot of weed in college, but haven’t in the last ten years” isn’t going to get you disqualified.

        • Cipher

          That makes perfect sense. So how many more days until the real story about this latest personnel ‘mishap’ finds it way into the papers?

    • Lazycrockett

      Maybe past usage was last week.

      • Possible, but even if that’s so, lying about it would be the real reason for being turned down.

      • Gil

        Couldn’t pass a drug test ?

      • Tulle Christensen

        this morning maybe?

    • SoCalGal20

      One of the Pod Save America people was talking about this on one of the recent podcasts when they had to get a security clearance for working in the WH. You admit to it and you might have to do drug tests for a period of time but if you lie and they know you lied they can deny your security clearance because you lied.

      • Ann Kah

        That’s the good old-fashioned notion that people in a position of trust should be trustworthy. It’s been out of favor for…oh…a year and a few days…

  • Talisman

    There are only 2 resignations that matter.

  • Lindoro Almaviva
  • narutomania
  • stevenj

    “….his application for a permanent clearance would not be granted over his past marijuana use.”

    But did he inhale?

  • -M-

    Sure, Jan.

  • The_Wretched

    30+ people are on “interim clearance.” They need to get rid of all of them.

  • Joe in PA

    would not be granted over his past marijuana use.

    Ok, now they’re not even trying. FFS…sure Jan. It’ll come out…it’ll come out.

  • Buford

    “…his application for a permanent clearance would not be granted over his past marijuana use”.

    Good call. Can’t have some crazy pot smoker in the WH. They might get violent and hit somebody..

    • Cipher

      We can’t have someone swipe the Big Macs intended for the President…

  • Politico:

    Banks said he was told that his clearance would not be granted because he admitted to smoking marijuana in 2013.

    Still nope. Gonna be something else.

    Because this:

    A former Obama administration official who worked on personnel and vetting issues said the Obama White House usually only denied clearances when there was both past drug use and a lack of full disclosure.

    In other words at minimum, lying about the MJ use. At minimum.


    • The_Wretched

      FOIA time. All 30+ interim clearance people.

      • Topped by Jared, whose debts alone would disqualify him from a permanent clearance.

        I’m not kidding, that alone would do it, because it means others—foreign investors especially—have leverage over him. This is why blind trusts and divestiture are the norm whenever someone switches from business to gov’t service.

      • Halou

        Here is what happened the last time someone sent an FOIA request to the Trump regime. You think it’ll be any different this time around?


        • The_Wretched

          Black out shades? A smuge swimming in an inkwell?

        • The MF’ers need to be impeached now. All of them.

  • alc2018

    posted in error

    • Joe in PA

      Yeah, sorta too soon, and sorta not funny. Hold off on this stuff I think.

  • Joe in PA

    Third WH official…

    Rachel is gonna need a bigger board again. 🙁 But we should also be tracking Trump appointees…the ones that didn’t make it AND the ones that did and had to resign (the guy at the VA and the deputy head at the RailRoad safety commission Heath Hall).

  • Halou
  • JustDucky
  • Joe’s already covered this, but there’s no way this doesn’t result in firings/resignations, too: http://www.joemygod.com/2018/02/14/office-va-secretary-accused-doctoring-email-lying-public-paid-wifes-10-day-europe-trip/

  • What I want to know is IF, WHEN, and HOW did 45 get a security clearance? If he got one, was it a PASS, or a REAL ONE. Should not that be a requirement for any presidential candidate BEFORE assuming the office?

    • Natty Enquirer

      It’s not in the Constitution, so it’s not a requirement.

  • It Takes a Village, People

    Jared STILL does not have security clearance and is a serious security risk: http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/373718-kushner-adds-millions-more-in-debt-since-joining-white-house

  • “… he was informed by the White House counsel’s office Tuesday that his application for a permanent clearance would not be granted over his past marijuana use.”

    Hardly seems like a good reason for disqualifying someone. Who has never committed some minor indiscretion? These days, I pretty much assume everyone I meet has tried marijuana or been in a porno flick.

    I have never tried marijuana.

    • The_Wretched

      I went to a Pink Floyd concert in college. The entire stadium was smoking pot so it wasn’t exactly optional for anyone else there.

    • ChrisMorley

      So which was your porno? Not asking for a friend.

    • You’re hired!

  • DoctorDJ

    “Both Porter and Sorensen deny the allegations…” when asked: “Do you still beat your wife?”

  • ClevelandJim

    Goodness, all these bad, bad people. SAD!

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    Makes sense, unstable genius has unstable staffing.

  • paulrees100

    Guy forced out over marijuana use, but other guys not forced out over domestic violence until it becomes public…priorities.

  • Charlie 2001

    I thought Jared also lacked a clearance. He is reading the daily intelligence briefing since his father-in-law cannot read or sit still or long enough for people to read it to him.

  • mike2000917

    I but Drumpf is about to resign or be impeached or leave the office in shame. I but he will never get the nomination. I bet he will never get over pussy grab . I bet he will never recover from whatever. He will never get enough electoral votes and on and on. You OCD lefty bitches and your bleating endlessly amuses us. Please keep it up.

    • Spray on abs

      Trump loves the “poorly educated”.

    • Sam_Handwich

      ^triggered snowflake

  • mike2000917

    Cattle futures, Whitewater, Travelgate, 400 dollar haircuts on the tarmac at LAX while delaying civilian air traffic. All that stuff in Clinton’ first term, hell most of it in his first six months. He won easily next go around.

  • sfmike64

    Oh for god’s sake. Marijuana use?

    Queen, please.

  • Ann Kah

    All these resignations, and it’s never the right one who leaves.