An investigation into Fox host Pete Hegseth,
reportedly in the running as Donald Trump’s next VA secretary, reveals that the two have so much in common - and not in a good way. (see note at the end)
APM Reports' deep dive into Hegseth's history found a man whose squeaky-clean image of American values is anything but. It’s true that he served in the military with distinction. But just about everything else about Hegseth has a distinct stench:
Hegseth’s ‘Family Values’ Hypocrisy
As APM notes, Hegseth holds himself up as a champion of “traditional values.” In 2012, he positioned himself as a champion of the family unit, despite his family-destroying actions:
I’ve been divorced and conceived a child out-of- wedlock with my second and “ultimate” wife. … We married, had that child, and have now had a second child. No policies or tax incentives changed my by-de nition [sic] high-risk behavior. It was my family and the culture of values and priorities they instilled that enabled me to move past circumstances that plague so many adults and children. Had I been raised in a family where faith, delity, and fatherhood were not valued, my choices could have led to family breakdown.
Well, as it turns out that second wife was not his “ultimate” after all. Nor was that first out-of-wedlock child an anomaly. From APM Reports:
In September, Hegseth’s second wife, Samantha, filed for divorce in Minnesota. The divorce filing is dated one month after Hegseth and a Fox News producer who worked on his show named Jennifer Rauchet had a child, according to a person with firsthand knowledge of the relationship.
According to Mediaite, Hegseth and Rauchet began living together before either of their divorces was final. Rauchet was reportedly transferred by Fox from her position as executive producer of Fox & Friends (where Hegseth is a cohost) to Watters World. It must have been a welcoming environment for her.
Host Jesse Watters’ own marriage recently broke up over his extramarital affair with a producer on The Five (which he also cohosts).
Hegseth’s Work History Is What's Really Troubling In A VA Secretary Candidate
Hypocrisy aside, none of Hegseth’s personal failings directly bear on his ability to run the Veterans Administration. But AM Reports noted that Hegseth has no experience running a large organization. Furthermore, the management experience he does have leaves plenty to be concerned about:
As executive director of Concerned Veterans for America, Hegseth was atop the organization when his brother, Philip, was hired for a media relations position. The relationship was noted in the organization’s tax records in 2016 and 2017 because federal law requires the organization to disclose any family members of officers. The organization paid Philip Hegseth $108,000 over that time period, records show.
It was Philip Hegseth’s first job after graduating from the University of St. Thomas in May 2015, according to his LinkedIn profile. Philip Hegseth did not return calls to discuss his employment at Concerned Veterans for America.
In 2012, Hegseth formed MN PAC, an organization aimed at supporting “conservative candidates in contested races.” But an analysis of the organization’s spending — less than $15,000 — shows it spent less than half on behalf of candidates. A third of the PAC’s funds was spent on two Christmas parties and reimbursements to Hegseth.
In short, Hegseth’s history of nepotism, putting unqualified personnel in high positions, questionable use of other people's money and serving as a bad-husband poster child make him the perfect soulmate for Trump.
But the good news for the rest of us is that he reportedly has no chance of Senate confirmation.
(Hegseth image via screen grab)
Originally published at Newshounds.us
Update: (Karoli) Apparently Trump's lying doctor is his nominee. Too bad, Pete, but stay thirsty and keep sucking up to Trump on the air. I hear there's an opening for a communications director.