President Donald Trump said Tuesday that the understaffing of the executive branch under his administration has been a conscious choice as part of a larger effort to shrink government, pushing back against conservative commentator Laura Ingraham, who told Fox News that the federal government is short on manpower.
In an interview Tuesday morning on “Fox & Friends,” Ingraham noted that FEMA Administrator Brock Long, the man overseeing the federal response to the storm damage and flooding in Texas from Hurricane Harvey, has only been in his position since June. The storm, recovery from which Long said will take years, along with a full plate of other domestic and international issues to deal with, are proof that the Trump administration needs to be fully staffed, Ingraham said.
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“We can all look at these horrific pictures, and we can conclude that a federal government does need staff. We see it acutely in need of staff in a situation like this,” Ingraham said. “This isn’t the only crisis we’re facing. This is massive, humanitarian. We’re also facing a huge crisis with North Korea. We’re facing a crisis of confidence across the country where people wonder even with President Trump in, he said he was going to drain the swamp, can we have a government that works for the people and not just have a people enslaved to the government.”
Trump, known to be a regular “Fox & Friends” viewer, responded to Ingraham on Twitter, writing that “we are not looking to fill all of those positions. Don’t need many of them – reduce size of government.”