Renewed Scrutiny For Trump’s Ambassador Nominees

NBC News reports:

For ambassador to the United Arab Emirates — a job so sensitive in the tense Middle East that every previous president gave it to a career diplomat — Trump picked a wealthy real estate developer with no diplomatic experience. The ambassador to Morocco? A well-heeled car dealer. The nominee for Iceland? While well-traveled, he had never been to that Nordic country. For Melania Trump’s native country of Slovenia? The founder of an evangelical charity who frequently reposted false far-right social media posts on her Facebook page.

None have diplomatic experience, but they share one trait: All were big donors to Trump’s presidential inaugural committee, which is now under federal investigation. An NBC News review of those who donated to the Trump inauguration found at least 14 major contributors to its inaugural fund who were later nominees to become ambassadors, donating an average of slightly over $350,000 apiece.

The pending nominee to be US ambassador to the Bahamas, San Diego hotel magnate Doug Manchester, appeared regularly on JMG years ago for his $125,000 donation to the Prop 8 campaign, a move that spawned a boycott of his properties.

Manchester donated $1 million to Trump’s inauguration and during his confirmation hearing told astounded senators that the Bahamas belong to the US. In fact, the Bahamas are a former British territory and achieved independence in 1972.

Other presidents have sometimes given ambassadorships to big donors, but Trump is handing them out right and left. Dozens of countries currently have no US ambassador as the Senate ponders his bizarre choices.