What comes below the bottom of the barrel? Looks like Trump's crack HR team is trying to find out, as they lackadaisically pretend to fill federal vacancies while frantically updating their LinkedIn profiles. The latest reject from the bar on Tattooine is retired Army Brig. Gen. Anthony Tata, whose nomination to the number three position at the Defense Department was unceremoniously yanked yesterday just minutes before he was supposed to testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

"There are many Democrats and Republicans who didn't know enough about Anthony Tata to consider him for a very significant position at this time," said Committee Chair James Inhofe. Although it seems more likely that the opposite is true — Democrats and Republicans have heard quite a bit about this guy, and none of it is good.


Tata currently serves at the Pentagon as a senior advisor to Defense Secretary Mark Esper. In April, President Trump nominated him to serve as undersecretary of defense for policy, after which CNN's Andrew Kaczynski dug up Tata's nasty, racist tweets. Golly, who could have seen that coming?

According to Tata, President Obama was a "terrorist leader" who did more to harm the US "and help Islamic countries than any president in history," as evidenced by the Iran nuclear deal, which "is more than enough evidence of his drive to subvert US national interests to Islam and globalist agenda."

In addition to multiple gross tweets about Islam, Tata called House Financial Services Chair Maxine Waters a "vicious race baiting racist who made her chops by fanning the flames of LA Riots" and invited former CIA director John Brennan to "pick your poison: firing squad, public hanging, life sentence as prison b*tch, or just suck on your pistol. Your call." Because HAW HAW prison rape and suicide.

Naturally Tata demanded to be judged on all the times he wasn't a bigoted asshole, saying "Out of the 8,800 tweets I authored and hundreds of speeches I have given, the few misstatements on Twitter, while grievous, are not indicative of who I am."

But according to the North Carolina NAACP, that is exactly who Anthony Tata is. After Tata was nominated, the group released a statement about his time as superintendent of the Wake County School District, saying "Tata's first project for the Tea Party was to re-segregate Wake County Public Schools, transferring huge numbers of African American students back to inner city schools and their white counterparts back to the suburbs. His racial insensitivity quickly became notorious. He seemed to regard African American parents as ideological adversaries, rather than taxpayers invested in the quality of their Public Schools."

The county bought Tata out of his contract after less than two years, probably because he did such an amazing job that all the other school superintendents were jealous.

But wait, there's more! In 2006, Tata's ex-wife registered a complaint with the Army accusing him of adultery and failure to pay their daughter's medical bills. As evidence, Tata submitted a court order stating that the child's mother was to blame for racking up unnecessary medical expenses by failing to use military medical providers. The problem was that the order was totally faked, and the court had said no such thing.

According to the Charlotte News & Observer:

In a November 2007 email to Gen. Alan Thrasher, then the Army's deputy inspector general, Tata said he had mistakenly "believed the document I originally submitted ... to be a true and accurate rendering of the judge's final decision." He attached a copy of the genuine April 2002 order "to set the record straight."

Tata says he had learned of the bogus order from his lawyer, Fierman, who says he does not know the document's origin.

"I couldn't tell you where it came from," Fierman said in an interview. "I do not know how it came up."

You know how sometimes you're at the Wendy's drive through and you ask them to substitute a side salad for french fries, and they fuck it up and give you a forged court order? That's probably what happened with Anthony Tata.

Also, he appears to have gotten so confused by that mixup at Wendy's that he forgot whether he was married and obligated by the Uniform Code of Military Justice to keep it zipped up and not put a baby into anyone else until his divorce was finalized.

The Army investigators gave Tata the benefit of the doubt on this one. They accepted his assertion that he mistakenly believed his marriage had ended after a December 1992 court hearing, a few weeks before the baby was conceived.

Anyhoo, by absolute coincidence, he retired from the Army pretty much right after that investigation.

Naturally, the Trump administration was eager to avail itself of Gen. Tata's wise judgement, so they snapped him up for a position at DOD. But after lamestream reporters went digging, multiple retired military officials withdrew their support, and Tata's nomination started to look pretty shaky.

If they'd gone through with the hearing, the committee's Democrats would have aired all Tata's dirty laundry, leaving Republicans to choose between getting crosswise with Trump by rejecting his nominee, or eating the shit sandwich and voting to confirm.

Did we mention that Joni Ernst, Thom Tillis, David Perdue, and Martha McSally all sit on Foreign Affairs? Because they do, and they were probably not licking their lips at the prospect of casting this vote. In the end, Inhofe took the shit sandwich off the table and pulled the nomination. Womp womp.

But hope is not lost for Tata! On Wednesday night, Inhofe was recorded talking to Donald Trump – he was eating dinner in a restaurant and put the speakerphone on, natch – and the president indicated that he hoped to give Tata the position in an acting capacity.

As law professor Steve Vladeck points out, this is in direct contravention of the Vacancies Reform Act, which states that "a person may not serve as an acting officer for an office under this section, if ... the President submits a nomination of such person to the Senate for appointment to such office." But it's not like the Trump people care about picayune shit like the law — they've kept Chad Wolf as (acting) head of DHS long after the 210 day limit. Who's going to stop them, right? Bill Barr? Mitch McConnell? Mark Esper?

Lolololol.

IS IT NOVEMBER YET?

[CNN / News & Observer / NYT]

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.

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