Archive for the ‘“Drain the swamp”’ category

Ex-Iranian Lobbyist at State Dept Moved After Conservative Pressure

April 23, 2017

Ex-Iranian Lobbyist at State Dept Moved After Conservative Pressure, Front Page Magazine (The Point), Daniel Greenfield, April 23, 2017

No one should assume that the election automatically changed everything. Much of the government is still under the control of the same folks who controlled it last year. And it will take pressure and scrutiny to change that. But pressure can and does work. Conservative activists can change things by focusing on people in government who should not be there.

This is progress.

A top State Department official who helped shape the Iran nuclear deal has reportedly been reassigned following criticism from conservative media outlets that questioned her loyalty to President Trump’s administration.

Sahar Nowrouzzadeh’s yearlong assignment to the secretary of State’s policy planning team was cut short earlier this month following critical stories from the Conservative Review and Breitbart News, Politico reported Friday.

A State Department official told Politico that Nowrouzzadeh did not want to be reassigned, and multiple officials in the State Department believe the media attacks were to blame.

“It puts people on edge,” an unnamed State Department official told Politico.

Good. The people being put on edge ought to be on edge. Especially since some of them are bringing us to the edge of nuclear war.

The State Department said in a statement that Nowrouzzadeh has returned to the Office of Iranian Affairs, but did not specify her new role or tell the publication why she was moved.

We’ll know soon enough.

The Hill story, predictably, makes no mention of why there were objections to her. That’s how you can tell it’s propaganda. It neglects to mention the Iranian lobbyist issue.

This Iran lobby, publicly represented by the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), has become a staunch institutional ally of the White House selling the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, as the nuclear deal is known. .. Perhaps NIAC’s most accomplished alum is Sahar Nowrouzzadeh, who is now National Security Council director for Iran in the Obama administration and therefore the top U.S. official for Iran policy, bringing together the various departments of government working on U.S. strategy toward the country. She is also, after the White House principals, one of the leading advisers to President Obama on Iran.

No doubt owing to the sensitivity (and influence) of her government role, Nowrouzzadeh has maintained a low profile, but her work at NIAC is publicly available. She drafted one of the organization’s annual reports for 2002-2003 and was referred to by Dokhi Fassihian, then executive director, as a “staff member” (DOC). The Obama administration insists that Nowrouzzadeh was only ever an intern with NIAC, and Nowrouzzadeh does not seem eager to play up her affiliation with the group. According to her LinkedIn profile, she has worked at the State Department and the Department of Defense. The profile doesn’t mention NIAC at all.

Neither does the Hill story.

Nowrouzzadeh should not be in any agency of the government. Let alone sitting pretty in the Office of Iranian Affairs. But there has been some progress. And this is part of draining the swamp.

Russia? No, the Pony in the Manure Is the Corruption of our Intelligence Officials

April 2, 2017

Russia? No, the Pony in the Manure Is the Corruption of our Intelligence Officials, American ThinkerClarice Feldman, April 2, 2017

There’s so much in print and online about the House and Senate intelligence committees and Russian “collusion” with Trump that I can’t blame people with real lives to lead who just throw their hands up and garden or go hiking. Some will assume there’s got to be a pony in there somewhere, as Ronald Reagan used to joke about the kid digging through manure. I think there is, but it isn’t that Russia corrupted the 2016 election, it’s that Obama and his closest aides, including some at the highest level in the intelligence community, illegally intercepted one or more Republican candidates’ communications before the election, circulated them widely to their cohorts and then tried to use this information to defeat and later to hamstring Trump when Hillary — to their surprise — lost the election.

I also suspect that the attacks on Flynn have nothing to do with his Russian contacts which he disclosed, but, rather, to misdeeds respecting the Middle East, particularly Iran, the country he observed as Obama’s head of the DIA.

The Surveillance and “Unmasking” of Trump and his Associates 

We learned this week that surveillance of Trump began long before he was the Republican nominee, and that the names in the intercepted communications were “unmasked” — that is, identified by name or context — by someone high up in the intelligence community.

In addition, citizens affiliated with Trump’s team who were unmasked were not associated with any intelligence about Russia or other foreign intelligence, sources confirmed. The initial unmasking led to other surveillance, which led to other private citizens being wrongly unmasked, sources said.

“Unmasking is not unprecedented, but unmasking for political purposes… specifically of Trump transition team members… is highly suspect and questionable,” an intelligence source told Fox News. “Opposition by some in the intelligence agencies who were very connected to the Obama and Clinton teams was strong. After Trump was elected, they decided they were going to ruin his presidency by picking them off one by one.”

Nunes and Surveillance Reports

The best summation of this week’s distraction — respecting chairman of the House intelligence committee, Devin Nunes — is Victor Davis Hanson’s which I urge those of you interested to read in its entirety.

First, the central question remains who leaked what classified information for what reasons; second, since when is it improper or even unwise for an apprehensive intelligence official to bring information of some importance to the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee for external review — in a climate of endemic distrust of all intelligence agencies?[snip] Nunes also said that the surveillance shown to him “was essentially a lot of information on the President-elect and his transition team and what they were doing.” Further, he suggested that the surveillance may have involved high-level Obama officials. When a reporter at Nunes’ second March 22 press conference asked, “Can you rule out the possibility that senior Obama-administration officials were involved in this?” Nunes replied, “No, we cannot.” Ipso facto these are startling disclosures of historical proportions — if true, of an anti-constitutional magnitude comparable to Watergate. Given the stakes, we should expect hysteria to follow, and it has followed. [snip]

Some notion of such intrigue, or rather the former nexus between Congress, the Obama administration, the intelligence agencies, and the monitoring of incoming Trump officials, was inadvertently disclosed recently by former Obama-administration Department of Defense deputy assistant secretary and current MSNBC commentator Evelyn Farkas. In an interview that originally aired on March 2 and that was reported on this week by Fox, Farkas seemed to brag on air about her own efforts scrambling to release information on the incoming Trump team’s purported talks with the Russians. Farkas’s revelation might put into context the eleventh-hour Obama effort to more widely disseminate intelligence findings among officials, one that followed even earlier attempts to broaden access to Obama-administration surveillance.

In any event, the White House invited  the highest ranking  members of the House and Senate intelligence committees to come view the documents themselves. Adam Schiff did, and reported he’d seen what Nunes had, after which he did not deny the intercepted communications contained nothing about Russia or Trump. They clearly were of no national intelligence significance, but rather, as Hanson noted, were evidence that the prior administration was snooping on political adversaries using the apparatus of the state to do so.

We also learned this week that Hillary (despite her uncontested mishandling of classified information when she was Secretary of State), and her aides, including Farkas, were given access to classified information long after she left the Department of State which, with Farkas’ admission on MSNBC, underscores the apparent misuse of intelligence from her end.

FBI Director James Comey and former DNI James Clapper

As for Comey, Hanson notes:

There is no need to rehash the strange political career of FBI director James Comey during the 2016 election. As Andrew McCarthy has noted in his recent NRO analyses, news accounts alleged that Comey’s FBI investigations of supposed contacts between General Michael Flynn and the Russian ambassador were shared with Obama-administration officials — but why and how we are not sure. Comey himself was quick to note that his agency is investigating supposed collusion between Team Trump and Russia, but he refused to comment on whether or not the FBI is investigating possibly inappropriate or illegal intercepts of Trump officials and the surely illegal dissemination of intercepted info through leaks to favorable media.

But there’s much more to be said about him and his “investigation” which seems to be continuing only to cover his own backside.

The FBI was concerned that the ill-secured DNC internet communications were being hacked and sought to examine them. The DNC refused and engaged an outfit called Crowd Strike to do the job. Crowd Strike reported the Russia had likely tapped their server. There’s no explanation of why Crowd Strike was chosen, why the FBI allowed this, and why it apparently relied on that outfit’s findings. Recently Crowd Strike has walked back many of its claims after a VOA report that the company misrepresented data published by an influential British think tank.

And then there’s the dossier compiled by the former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele. If you recall, this dossier was commissioned through a DC firm, Fusion GPS, by Hillary to dig up opposition research on her opponents, and when she dropped it, unnamed Republicans followed up on the contract. At some point (accounts vary about how this occurred), dog in the manger John McCain got it and widely distributed it to the press and political figures. These Republicans, too, dropped the service, at which time the FBI picked it up, though they claim not to have paid GPS. Comey apparently has based his still ongoing “investigation” on it. The dossier is utter bunk. Ironically, it is Fusion GPS that is tied to Russian intelligence.

“It is highly troubling that Fusion GPS appears to have been working with someone with ties to Russian intelligence — let alone someone alleged to have conducted political disinformation campaigns — as part of a pro-Russia lobbying effort while also simultaneously overseeing the creation of the Trump/Russia dossier,” writes [Senator] Grassley.

Akhmetshin hired Simpson and Fusion GPS last year to work on a campaign to roll back the Magnitsky Act, a law passed in 2012 which imposed sanctions against a handful of Russian criminals accused of human rights violations.

The law was named in honor of Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer who was killed by jail guards in 2009. Magnitsky was working for Bill Browder, a London-based investor who once operated in Russia, when he uncovered a $230 million fraud being carried out by the Russian government.

After Magnitsky’s death, Browder began lobbying U.S. lawmakers to enact sanctions against Russian criminals engaged in human rights abuses.

In a FARA complaint submitted in July, Browder laid out the case that Akhmetshin conducted a covert lobbying campaign to hinder the Global Magnitsky Act, an expansion of the original law.

The report is not worthy of consideration, but the FBI and Rep. Adam Schiff did apparently rely on it, drawing into question the FBI’s “independence from politics” and Schiff’s credulity or venality:

Citing current and former government officials, the New Yorker reported the dossier prompted skepticism among intelligence community members, with the publication quoting one member as saying it was a “nutty” piece of evidence to submit to a U.S. president.

Steele’s work has been questioned by former acting CIA director Morell, who currently works at the Hillary Clinton-tied Beacon Global Strategies LLC. Beacon was founded by Phillippe Reines, who served as Communications Adviser to Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state. From 2009-2013, Reines also served in Clinton’s State Department as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Strategic Communications. Reines is the managing director of Beacon…

Morell, who was in line to become CIA director if Clinton won, said he had seen no evidence that Trump associates cooperated with Russians. He also raised questions about the dossier written by a former British intelligence officer, which alleged a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia…

Morell pointed out that former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said on Meet the Press on March 5 that he had seen no evidence of a conspiracy when he left office January 20.

“That’s a pretty strong statement by General Clapper,” Morell said.

Regarding Steele’s dossier, Morell stated, “Unless you know the sources, and unless you know how a particular source acquired a particular piece of information, you can’t judge the information — you just can’t.”

Morell charged the dossier “doesn’t take you anywhere, I don’t think.”

“I had two questions when I first read it. One was, How did Chris talk to these sources? I have subsequently learned that he used intermediaries.”

Morell continued:

And then I asked myself, why did these guys provide this information, what was their motivation? And I subsequently learned that he paid them. That the intermediaries paid the sources and the intermediaries got the money from Chris. And that kind of worries me a little bit because if you’re paying somebody, particularly former FSB officers, they are going to tell you truth and innuendo and rumor, and they’re going to call you up and say, “Hey, let’s have another meeting, I have more information for you,” because they want to get paid some more.

I think you’ve got to take all that into consideration when you consider the dossier.’

Maybe Comey is continuing the investigation to blur his own role in the Obama administration’s improper and illegal snooping on his party’s opponents. He has not closed the investigation despite its apparently flimsy basis, perhaps to protect himself. He was supposed to report this investigation in a timely manner to the Congressional and Senate intelligence committees and did not.

As a correspondent with some knowledge of these matters related to me:

“When push comes to shove, no investigation gets opened, no FISA order is applied for, without James Comey’s say-so.  They can bluster, but it’s damned hard to get rid of an FBI Director without a very, very public stink.  He could have said no, but he didn’t.  That means the investigation is bound to focus on him.  And count on it — the decision to short circuit Congressional oversight was probably pushed on him by those same people, but once again, it was ultimately his decision.  He could’ve gone to the Committee, but he didn’t.  His decision, his responsibility.”

His view is strengthened by Comey’s obfuscation at a Congressional hearing:

The counter-intel investigation, by his own admission, began in July 2016. Congress was not notified until March 2017. That’s an eight month period – Obviously obfuscating the quarterly claim moments earlier.

The uncomfortable aspect to this line of inquiry is Comey’s transparent knowledge of the politicized Office of the DNI James Clapper by President Obama.

The first and second questions from Stefanik were clear. Comey’s understanding of the questions was clear. However, Comey directly evaded truthful response to the second question. When you watch the video, you can see Comey quickly connecting the dots on where this inquiry was going.

There is only one reasonable explanation for FBI Director James Comey to be launching a counter-intel investigation in July 2016, notifying the White House and Clapper, and keeping it under wraps from congress. Comey was a participant in the intelligence gathering for political purposes — wittingly, or unwittingly.

As a direct consequence of this mid-thought-stream Comey obfuscation, it is now clear — at least to me — that Director Comey was using his office as a facilitating conduit for the political purposes of the Obama White House.

John Brennan

It’s possible that the tissue-thin, incredible Steele “dossier” was not the only disinformation source. At the Spectator there’s a plausible account of how Obama’s CIA director John Brennan worked with Hillary and certain Baltic figures to discredit Trump with the charge of collusion with Russia.

Brennan pushed for a multi-agency investigation of the Trump campaign, using as his pretext alleged intelligence from an unnamed Baltic state. That “intelligence” was supplied at the very moment Baltic officials had their own political motivation to smear Trump.

“Last April, the CIA director was shown intelligence that worried him. It was — allegedly — a tape recording of a conversation about money from the Kremlin going into the US presidential campaign. It was passed to the US by an intelligence agency of one of the Baltic States,” reported the BBC’s Paul Wood.

Is it just a coincidence that Brennan got this tape recording from a Baltic State intelligence agency in April when officials in the Baltic States were up in arms over candidate Trump? Recall that in March of 2016 — the month before Brennan allegedly got the recording from Baltic spies — Trump made remarks about NATO that the press was hyping as hostile to the Baltic States. [snip]

Hillary and her allies in the media seized on these remarks and ripped Trump on the false claim that, if elected, he would “pull out of NATO,” leaving Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia to fend for themselves against Russia.

Such fearmongering set off an anti-Trump panic in political circles within the Baltic States. Out of it came a steady stream of stories with headlines such as: “Baltic States Fearful of Trump’s Nato Views” and “Estonian Prez Appears to Push Back on Trump’s NATO Comments.”

[Snip]

Both Brennan and officials in the Baltic States had strong incentives to help Hillary and hurt Trump. That Brennan and some Baltic spies teamed up to inflate the significance of some half-baked intelligence from a recording isn’t surprising. Only in such a feverish partisan milieu would basic questions go unasked, such as: Is it really a good idea to investigate a political opponent on the basis of a lead provided by a country that wants to see him lose?

Flynn

Flynn was Obama’s head of the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) and served only days under Trump. Reports this week initially made it appear that he was under investigation for ties to Russia, but it is more obvious to me that he knows about skullduggery by the prior administration in the Middle East, most likely Iran, and wants protection against the sort of unwarranted prosecutions Ted Stevens and Lewis Libby suffered at the hands of vindictive Democrats and their minions. The charges against him are being leveled by former Obama aide Sally Yates, who has utterly discredited herself earlier by her demonstrably false claim that the White House blocked her from testifying to Congress when the documentation clearly shows she was not.

Perhaps the easiest thing to do is to just consider everything the Democrats say, directly or through the media, which just prints as truth handouts from the same Democratic sources, as a lie. You’d save a lot of time and most likely be right.

 

3-9-17 David Horowitz on Hannity

March 10, 2017

3-9-17 David Horowitz on Hannity, Fox News via YouTube

 

U.S. Senator Colludes With Russians to Influence Presidential Election

March 3, 2017

U.S. Senator Colludes With Russians to Influence Presidential Election, PJ MediaJ. Christian Adams, March 2, 2017

kennedy-sized-770x415xc

Yes, a United States senator really did collude with the Russians to influence the outcome of a presidential election.  His name was Ted Kennedy.

While Sen. Al Franken (D-Ringling Bros.) and other Democrats have the vapors over a truthful, complete, and correct answer Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave in his confirmation hearing, it’s worth remembering the reprehensible behavior of Senator Ted Kennedy in 1984.

This reprehensible behavior didn’t involve launching an Oldsmobile Delmont 88 into a tidal channel while drunk.  This reprehensible behavior was collusion with America’s most deadly enemy in an effort to defeat Ronald Reagan’s reelection.

You won’t hear much about that from CNN and the clown from Minnesota.

To recap, from Forbes:

Picking his way through the Soviet archives that Boris Yeltsin had just thrown open, in 1991 Tim Sebastian, a reporter for the London Times, came across an arresting memorandum. Composed in 1983 by Victor Chebrikov, the top man at the KGB, the memorandum was addressed to Yuri Andropov, the top man in the entire USSR. The subject: Sen. Edward Kennedy.

Kennedy’s message was simple. He proposed an unabashed quid pro quo. Kennedy would lend Andropov a hand in dealing with President Reagan. In return, the Soviet leader would lend the Democratic Party a hand in challenging Reagan in the 1984 presidential election. “The only real potential threats to Reagan are problems of war and peace and Soviet-American relations,” the memorandum stated. “These issues, according to the senator, will without a doubt become the most important of the election campaign.”

Among the promises Kennedy made the Soviets was he that would ensure that the television networks gave the Soviet leader primetime slots to speak directly to the American people, thus undermining Reagan’s framing of the sinister nature of the USSR.  Event then, the Democrats had the power to collude with the legacy media.  Kennedy also promised to help Andropov penetrate the American message with his Soviet agitprop.

That’s right, folks.  Even 30 years ago, Democrat senators were colluding with America’s enemies to bring down Republicans.

And no, Jeff Sessions didn’t perjure himself.  It’s not even a close call.

So now they are after Jeff Sessions instead of Ronald Reagan.   Ideological comrades throughout the Justice Department are helping out this time.  Just before Trump’s inauguration, the Obamites widely distributed intelligence information throughout the Department of Justice, where their political comrades could be counted on to leak the information after January 20.

This is a problem that will plague President Trump and General Sessions until they drain the swamp at the Justice Department — something that isn’t even close to getting started.  Ideological leftists throughout the DOJ are serving as agents of the Obama regime and undermining the new administration.

For example, even now, the front office at the Civil Rights Division is largely made up of Obama holdovers and “permanent career political” appointees.  The Obamaites expanded the number of deputy assistant attorney general slots throughout the Department of Justice and populated them with the most reliably radical people.  They also appointed swarms of radicals into political offices on January 18 to “assist” the transition.  They, too, are still there watching, observing, and probably “reporting.”

Nobody thinks the noise about Jeff Sessions is a substantive issue. Eric Holder was found in criminal contempt of Congress and there wasn’t a fraction of the sanctimonious outrage from Democrats and CNN like we see today.

Today’s Justice Department drama is a tactic by Democrats to personalize and polarize a target.  It is a strategy to make Jeff Sessions devote time and energy to this instead of protecting America from foreign influences and cleaning up the Justice Department from the lawless rot that Obama caused.  The Democrats prefer the lawless rot, so they want Sessions to be diverted from his job.

Of course the leaks are going to continue until the new administration has the guts to clean the place out of all the radicals that were embedded there.

Leaks are pouring out over large and small matters because so far nobody is afraid of crossing the new administration.  The attacks on Sessions started when some of his own employees decided to leak intelligence information — just like happened to General Flynn.  It will continue unless the administration realizes the media isn’t the only gang in Washington opposed to the interests of the American people.

Trump scolds House GOP for gutting ethics office

January 3, 2017

Trump scolds House GOP for gutting ethics office, Washington Examiner, Gabby Morrongiello, January 3, 2016

(Update: House Republicans dropped the plan after Trump complained. — DM)

draintheswampPresident-elect Trump urged GOP lawmakers to “drain the swamp” after GOP members moved to gut the independent Office of Congressional Ethics in a closed-door vote Monday night. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

President-elect Trump Tuesday criticized House Republicans for moving to gut the independent Office of Congressional Ethics in a closed-door vote Monday night, saying their attention should be focused elsewhere and hinting they had violated the spirit of his campaign slogan, “drain the swamp.”

“With all that Congress has to work on, do they really have to make the weakening of the Independent Ethics Watchdog, as unfair as it may be, their number one act and priority,” the incoming Republican president wrote in a pair of tweets.

“Focus on tax reform, healthcare and so many other things of far greater importance!” he added, while including the hashtag “#DTS” or “drain the swamp.”

With all that Congress has to work on, do they really have to make the weakening of the Independent Ethics Watchdog, as unfair as it

……..may be, their number one act and priority. Focus on tax reform, healthcare and so many other things of far greater importance!

Michelle Malkin DESTROYS The World’s Foremost FAKE NEWS Provider Hillary Clinton 12/10/16

December 10, 2016

Michelle Malkin DESTROYS The World’s Foremost FAKE NEWS Provider Hillary Clinton 12/10/16, Fox News via YouTube, December 10, 2016

Donald Trump’s Team of Outsiders

December 2, 2016

Donald Trump’s Team of Outsiders, Washington Free Beacon, December 2, 2016

outsidersAll images via AP

Only a liberal could believe that Trump’s pledge to drain the swamp was an attack on the wealthy or on market economics. While he and Bernie Sanders struck similar notes on trade, Trump happily attacked the Vermont senator as a socialist nut. The swamp to which Trump and his audiences refer isn’t Wall Street per se but an interlocking system of major financial institutions and multinational corporations, lobbyists, academics, media, and, most importantly, the consultants and rent-seekers in Washington, D.C., that get rich despite failure after failure in economic, foreign, and domestic policy.

*********************

Democrats and the media are confused about the meaning of Donald Trump’s pledge to “drain the swamp” in Washington, D.C. The president-elect’s critics say his appointment of wealthy Republicans to cabinet positions is hypocritical and reveals him to be a phony populist. “Hypocrisy at its worst,” cry  Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. “Trump’s Economic Cabinet Picks Signal Embrace of Wall St. Elite,” reads the headline on the New York Times. “Stick a sterling silver fork in Trump’s ‘populism,’” reads the title of a Washington Post column.

This is the same sloppy thinking that led practically everyone in politics and media to believe Trump would lose the election. If populist voters despise wealth, then why did they back Trump, the wealthiest man ever to become president, who paid for much of his own campaign and bragged on the trail about using bankruptcy and tax laws to his advantage?

The mark of a populist isn’t his net worth but his relationship to the establishment, his rejection of the ideologies, fashions, clichés, and manners of the political and social and cultural elite, his attitude toward the capacities of ordinary people to manage their daily affairs. Rich as he might be, Donald Trump’s candidacy was an exercise in populist confrontation and polarization. He ran against the eastern establishment of both parties with his opposition to comprehensive immigration reform, criticism of global trade, and repudiation of the foreign policies of the last two presidents. His blunt, uncouth, dramatic, untutored, brash, politically incorrect manner was about as far as one can get from elite habits of deference and groupthink. For decades, the nation’s cultural and political elites treated him with disdain, disgust, or ironic fascination. Trump was the original deplorable. That’s how he forged a gut connection with his base of white voters without college degrees.

Only a liberal could believe that Trump’s pledge to drain the swamp was an attack on the wealthy or on market economics. While he and Bernie Sanders struck similar notes on trade, Trump happily attacked the Vermont senator as a socialist nut. The swamp to which Trump and his audiences refer isn’t Wall Street per se but an interlocking system of major financial institutions and multinational corporations, lobbyists, academics, media, and, most importantly, the consultants and rent-seekers in Washington, D.C., that get rich despite failure after failure in economic, foreign, and domestic policy.

The “Contract with the American Voter” that Trump outlined in his October 22 speech at Gettysburg did not include provisions saying no one with Goldman Sachs on their resume would serve in his administration. What he pledged instead were term limits, a hiring freeze on federal workers, “a requirement that for every new federal regulation two existing regulations must be eliminated,” five-year bans on executive and legislative branch personnel from lobbying after leaving government, lifetime bans on White House personnel from lobbying for a foreign government, and a “complete ban on foreign lobbyists raising money for American elections,” as well as “seven actions to protect American workers,” “five actions to restore security and constitutional rule of law,” and legislation to reduce and simplify corporate and individual taxes, impose tariffs to protect U.S. industry, add $1 trillion in infrastructure spending over the next decade, create a federal school choice program, end Common Core, replace Obamacare, make child care expense tax deductible, build the wall and crack down on illegal immigration, give more resources to police, increase defense spending, and reform the VA. All in his first 100 days in office.

This expansive and substantive agenda was the hidden story of the 2016 campaign. So obsessed were we with the accouterments of the Trump phenomenon—the crowds, the controversies, the tweets, the harangues, the drama—that the only people who heard the details of his program were the ones that attended his major speeches or listened to them on talk radio. Now, as president-elect, Trump faces the challenge of enacting even a part of this grandiose vision. His cabinet selections give us an early clue into the character of his incoming administration. And they tell us his fight with the political class is just beginning.

It’s been reported that Trump has cited Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals as he mulls appointing Mitt Romney as secretary of State. But the Trump cabinet looks less to be a team of rivals than a team of outsiders. The men and women Trump has nominated are largely in sync with the program on which Trump campaigned, and while Trump enjoys delegating and hearing different opinions, it is unlikely any member of the cabinet will last long if they displease or undermine or embarrass him. The big worry for Trump isn’t infighting. It’s the massive bureaucratic resistance that will soon greet his nominees.

Only one of the men and women nominated by Trump has experience managing the gigantic and recalcitrant organizations that comprise the administrative state: Elaine Chao, who served as George W. Bush’s secretary of labor and is now slated to head the department of transportation under Trump. White House counsel Don McGahn knows Washington as an attorney and former chair of the FEC. And, as I write, there are two members of the administration who have experience as elected executives: Mike Pence and Nikki Haley.

But Haley has no background in diplomacy or foreign affairs, and she’s going to be ambassador to the United Nations. Senator Jeff Sessions is liked by his peers and has been a U.S. attorney and state attorney general, but he never has had as much authority as he will have next year. Neither Reince Priebus nor Steve Bannon has served in government, much less the White House. General Flynn made his reputation as a hard-charging “disrupter,” K.T. McFarland’s last government job was in the Reagan administration, Betsy DeVos is a philanthropist and activist who will be new to government, General Mattis is an American hero beloved by Marines but also a stranger to domestic politics, Mike Pompeo was elected to Congress six years ago, and Ben Carson is, well, Ben Carson.

The press has covered the economic team of Steve Mnuchin at Treasury and Wilbur Ross at Commerce as a win for insiders. However, as successful as Mnuchin and Ross might be, neither is the sort of insider who routinely traverses the Acela corridor, alternating between government office and lucrative business interests. And both are at odds with establishment thinking on economics. The Wall Street Journal editorial page on Thursday slighted Mnuchin’s praise and concerns for small banks. Ross’ views on trade are as heretical as Trump’s.

This roster of new personnel is a reflection of the man who put it together, the ultimate outsider who relishes combat with entrenched institutions such as the media, the political parties, and Clinton Inc. But he and his top officials will have to draw on all their talents amid the bureaucratic inertia and conventional wisdom of Washington life. They ought to remember that the CIA chewed up and spat out President George W. Bush’s director Porter Goss, just as the World Bank revolted over Paul Wolfowitz.

Trump supporter Newt Gingrich, who won’t be joining the administration, advises incoming cabinet officials to read Peter Drucker’s The Effective Executive. “President-elect Trump and his senior team have to acquire the habit of asking of every situation, ‘Is this a symptom, or a problem?’” writes Gingrich. “If it is a symptom, they must take some time to look for the real underlying problem. When they solve that problem, they will have solved orders of magnitude more symptoms.” The problems are large and daunting as Donald Trump and his team of outsiders prepare to take up residence in the swamp.