President Trump doesn't surround himself with individuals who turn out later to be of low moral character, so much as he surrounds himself with individuals whose lousy reputations were already well-known.
Take, for example, this Steve Wynn business.
The White House and GOP lawmakers are scrambling following news that the Las Vegas mogul and former Republican National Committee finance chair is a prolific sexual predator.
The scandal is a major political problem for Republicans, and not just because they’ve accepted millions of dollars in donations from Wynn. It’s a problem because President Trump himself nominated his old friend in January 2017 to act as RNC finance chair, despite the obvious signs of Wynn’s dubious moral character.
Remember: Wynn has significant investments in the Chinese region of Macau, meaning he is more than a little inclined to keep the government over there happy. Wynn even tried to please Chinese authorities by encouraging Trump in private to deport Chinese dissident Guo Wengui.
Again, this is the man Trump tapped to chair the RNC finance committee. We didn’t need the sexual misconduct allegations to know the president has nominated a low-quality person.
This has echoes of the Roy Moore fiasco. Remember that?
The president took a lot of heat after the failed Republican Alabama Senate candidate was accused of sexually harassing and even assaulting multiple women in the late 1970s, including some who were minors at the time of the reported misconduct. Critics naturally mocked Trump’s judgment in backing Moore.
But here’s the thing: Like Wynn, anyone could’ve told you that sidling up to Moore was a bad idea even before the sexual assault allegations surfaced. Moore was an obviously terrible candidate from the start, and it was clear from the very beginning that he was unfit to serve in the U.S. Senate. He was a known fan of the "birther" conspiracy theory, which alleges that former President Barack Obama was born in Kenya and that his U.S. birth certificate is a likely forgery. Moore was suspended twice as Alabama's chief justice for refusing to uphold federal court rulings. Moore also voiced admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin after he was told they both believe gay rights issues have made the U.S. basically "the focus of evil in the modern world," the same phrase that Ronald Reagan once used to describe the Soviet Union. Moore also said he believed homosexual behavior ought to be banned again and, most distressingly, endorsed religious tests for elected office even though they are explicitly forbidden by the Constitution.
This was the man Trump endorsed in Alabama. Like Wynn, we didn’t need allegations of sexual abuse to know the president had backed a bad product.