During the 2016 campaign, NeverTrump biggie Elliott Abrams famously said that Donald Trump was unfit to sit in “the chair in which Washington and Lincoln sat.”
It’s not too late for President Trump to have second thoughts about the appointment of Abrams late last month as special envoy regarding the crisis in Venezuela. Instead of keeping quiet, Abrams’ gloating friends and supporters have not ceased to juxtapose praise for their hero with asseverations that the president is both a knave and a fool.
The latest example is the Washington Examiner’s piece, citing anonymous smurfs and munchkins supposedly employed at the White House, avowing that the president’s rejection of Abrams’ proposed nomination as deputy secretary of state in 2017 had been a case of mistaken identity! The tabloid was duped into reporting that Trump had confused Elliott Abrams—whom it called a “bit player” in the 2003 invasion of Iraq—with Eliot Cohen, another vitriolic NeverTrumper who also had experience in the George W. Bush administration.
Actually, the Examiner reported a fake mistake. Cohen, a professor at Johns Hopkins, certainly was a cheerleader for the Iraq invasion, but he did not join the administration as counselor to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice until 2007. Abrams joined the NSC staff in 2001 and in 2002 was promoted to be head of Middle East policy, in which post he was one of the top Iraq war planners. During his second term, W. promoted Abrams again, to the number-two position at the NSC.
The president, and Sen. Rand Paul, who alerted him to the problems with Abrams, knew very well who the man was.
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