In the aftermath of the Van Jones mess the questions about the White House vetting procedure still remained.
Are there a other people working at the White House with credentials that are much worse than Van Jones? If Jones was properly vetted, who overruled the vetting team and sponsored him to become part of the government? If the POTUS and his staff knew about Jones and his off the chart opinions, what does that say about the White House? Beyond his provocative statements, Jones is self described communist. Even though the cold war is long gone, that is still disturbing to most Americans. How could all of this slip through?
We finally have the answer, it didn’t slip through–Jones was barely vetted at all. The president’s use of Czars to get around Senate confirmation and congressional questioning of what the Czars are doing in office has come back and bitten the POTUS on his presidential posterior.
Fox News is reporting that the Administration has a 67 page questionare for used to evaluate senior personnel that will be facing Senate confirmation.
Among the varied topics covered in the questionnaire: history as a lobbyist or other “legislative agent”, tax liens, bankruptcies, spousal employment, potential conflicts of interest, domestic help, internet “handles” and Facebook pages, and traffic fines in excess of $50.
Because Van Jones was a Czar and did not require senate confirmation, he did not have to fill out the form.
Question 61 reads as follows: “Have you had any association with any person, group or business venture that could be used – even unfairly – to impugn or attack your character and qualifications for government service?”
That question might have raised a flag since Jones signed a 2004 petition calling for an investigation into potential government complicity in the 9/11 attrocities that left nearly 3,000 civilians dead in coordinated hijacked airplane attacks in New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania.
If the President did not try to subvert the advise and consent role of the Senate the Van Jones mess would have never happened.
Before resigning, Jones issued a statement approved by the Council for Environmental Quality, that said he “did not agree” with the 9/11Truth.org statement and that it did not reflect his views “now or ever.”
However, Fox News correspondent James Rosen spoke with 911Truth.org spokesman Mike Berger on Friday and Berger said Jones knew what the petition said and agreed with its contents.
“He did agree with that statement and he did sign on to it,” Berger said in a phone interview with Rosen. Berger said the group’s “original board members individually confirmed all signatories that had signed on to the statement.” Asked by what means the confirmation was obtained, Berger said: “They did it through email or on the phone.”
An administration official said Jones never hid his controversial associations or remarks from the White House.
“It wouldn’t be fair to characterize him as being dishonest or hiding his comments or his positions,” the official said. “It’s just fair to say that he didn’t go through the most rigorous vetting process.”