not what you want to hear
President-elect Donald Trump's latest decisions about the National Nuclear Security Administration have led one Energy Department insider to conclude "we're so very very f---ed." The sentiment, conveyed in an interview with Gizmodo published Monday, followed Trump's decision Friday to inform the NNSA head and his deputy that they'll be out of a job when he takes office on Jan. 20.
While it's not uncommon for political appointees to resign on inauguration day, Gizmodo noted that's not usually what happens with appointees for the NNSA, the agency that "maintains and enhances the safety, security and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear weapon stockpile." Trump's team reportedly hasn't selected anyone to succeed them, which raises the question of who exactly will be in charge of finagling funding and heading up new initiatives.
Trump has also ousted the under secretary for nuclear security and his deputy, and the insider told Gizmodo more vacancies could crop up down the chain of command. "There are scores more appointees within the department," the Energy Department insider told Gizmodo. "Secretarial and administration appointments that don't require Senate confirmation, mostly performing policy, liaison, and strategic advisory capacities in support of the agency they're at. They serve at the will of the head of their agency. Those people are, theoretically, also out on inauguration day unless otherwise directed, which hasn't happened yet to my knowledge."
Per Gizmodo's tally, this will mark the first time in the NNSA's 17 years in existence that it will not have any appointed leadership whatsoever. Which, again, leads us back to the Energy Department insider's quote: "I'm more and more coming around to the idea that we're so very very f---ed."
For the full story, head over to Gizmodo.