Elliott Abrams Blames Steve Bannon for Blocking Job in Trump Administration

Elliott Abrams, senior fellow for Middle Eastern Studies, Council of Foreign Relations, left, accompanied by International Republican Institute President and former Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, Labor Lorne Craner, center, and the Washington Institute for Near East Policy Executive Director Robert Satloff, testifies on Capitol Hill in …
AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Former Reagan and Bush official Elliott Abrams is deeply upset with White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, after he was passed over for a job in Donald Trump’s administration.

Abrams was rumored to join the State Department as a deputy to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, but was ultimately rejected.

“The only person on the White House staff that I know was opposed to my being hired was Steve Bannon so that’s my guess,” Abrams told CNN’s Erin Burnett in an interview on Monday. “It’s a guess.”

Abrams didn’t mention that Sen. Rand Paul was opposed to his appointment because of Abrams’ neocon views.

“In a country of 300 million people, surely there are reasonable foreign policy experts who have not been convicted of deceiving Congress and actually share the President’s foreign policy views,” Paul wrote in an op-ed.

Abrams also ignored his role in the Iran-Contra scandal under Reagan, pleading guilty to misdemeanors in the scandal. George H.W. Bush pardoned Abrams at the end of his administration. He also didn’t mention his dogged support for the war in Iraq, something Trump remains opposed to.

At the end, Abrams had hoped that although he criticized Trump during the election, the president would allow him to join the administration.

Abrams authored an article in the Weekly Standard with the headline “When you can’t stand your candidate,” calling for the Never Trump movement to challenge him in the convention. He also described Trump as a candidate was “someone who cannot win and should not be president of the United States.”

“Do not allow the Republican convention to be a coronation wherein Trump and Trumpism are unchallenged,” he wrote.


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