Trump Drug Czar Nominee Withdraws After '60 Minutes' Exposé

Tyler Durden's picture

Following a '60 Minutes' investigation that suggested he led a bid to weaken enforcement of the nation's drug policing laws, President Trump's nominee for Drug Czar, Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa.) has withdrawn his name for consideration.

As Politico reports, President Donald Trump said Monday that “we’re going to be looking into” Rep. Tom Marino, the White House’s pick to be the nation’s next drug czar, after CBS' "60 Minutes" and The Washington Post reported that the lawmaker championed a law that hobbled federal efforts to combat the abuse of opioids.

Trump pledged to reverse his nomination of Marino (R-Pa.) to lead the Office of National Drug Control Policy if “it's 1 percent negative to doing what we want to do.”


“As far as Tom Marino, so he was a very early supporter of mine, the great state of Pennsylvania. He's a great guy,” Trump said during a Rose Garden news conference Monday afternoon.


“I did see the report. We’re going to look into the report. We’re going to take it very seriously because we’re going to have a major announcement probably next week on the drug crisis and on the opioid massive problem, and I want to get that absolutely right… We're going to be looking into Tom.”

According to reporting by the Post and "60 Minutes," Marino was the top lawmaker championing the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act, legislation that the news outlets said makes it essentially impossible for the Drug Enforcement Administration to freeze suspicious narcotics shipments from drug companies.

The DEA had fought against the bill, while the pharmaceutical industry lobbied hard on its behalf.

And now it's over...

President Trump tweeted...

The Democrats will be pleased...

"Confirming Representative Marino as our nation's drug czar is like putting the wolf in charge of the hen house," Schumer said on the Senate floor.

Schumer joined Sens. Joe Manchin and Claire McCaskill in urging Trump to drop his pick for drug czar.

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Not if_ But When's picture

The 60 Minutes episode was well done.  Glad this "bought & paid for" prick withdrew.      CPL593H

Manipuflation's picture

I thought so too.  I was shocked.

OneStinkyDinky's picture

Lol this guy sure knows how to find the scum of the earth

Jack McGriff's picture

A drug "Czar"?  No wonder so many gullible fools believe there is Russian collusion. 

BennyBoy's picture


"The DEA had fought against the bill,"

Isn't that illegal?

BaBaBouy's picture

THUMP: ""Rep.Tom Marino has informed me that he is withdrawing his name from consideration as drug czar. Tom is a fine man and a great Congressman!""

WTF ... Praising Him ??????????????????????????

post turtle saver's picture

you're seeing standard "business etiquette" in action when someone gets thrown out on their ear... "we're dropping this guy like a hot rock, but he's an ok guy!" (wink wink nod nod saynomore)

Paul Kersey's picture

"Regulatory capture is a form of government failure that occurs when a regulatory agency, created to act in the public interest, instead advances the commercial or political concerns of special interest groups that dominate the industry or sector it is charged with regulating."

Omen IV's picture

Im willing to beleive that Trump didnt do his homework on this subject and the appointment was for Marino's  suppport during the election

BUT - Sessions had the responsibility for the "vetting" of this guy before nomination - Sessions voted for the Bill Marino promoted

Sessions increasingly is looking like a SCUMBAG who is there to protect the Swamp dwellers


he hasnt gone after the Clintons / Comey / FBI malfeasance / many other subjects  - why?

laser's picture

Opioid deaths down 6% in Colorado since recreational marijuana legalized.

83_vf_1100_c's picture

  When God was about to firebomb Sodom and Gomorrah, dude named Lot tried to bargain for it's survival.  God agreed if Lot could find but a very few honest, moral anf faithful residents he would set aside the destruction plans. Tis a parable that applies to D. C. The entire power structure is dirty and you just can't find a clean player. Maybe Fat Un will help us out and clean house with some moder fire and brimstone.

wisebastard's picture

im telling you....corruption to the fullest extent possible......the USA does not exist without corruption to the fullest extent possible....

j0nx's picture

"America is nothing more than Mexico in a suit" - J0nx

Paul Kersey's picture

A friend of mine worked for one of the large cable companies, in California, in the 1980s. He had to negotiate the right-of-ways, for laying new cable, with the local elected officials. Absolutely every one of them had to be paid off. His contention is that the corruption of politicians starts at the very lowest rungs of the political ladder. It's as if they are serving in an apprenticeship in corruption. Consequently, by the time these politicians advance to the highest rungs of national office, they have become very sophisticated journeymen in their corrupt practices. If an honest person ever gets elected to a high level political office, then that person will be an anomaly.

Ikiru's picture

Absolutely agree. Chicago seems to be Triple A ball for corruption training. Bribery, fraud, and corrupt police are the norm. Lived there for over a decade, so I had plenty of time to see it. A friend/neighbor was trying to build a spec home next door, and he kept getting denied, until another contractor informed him that he had to provide an envelope of cash to the inspector or nothing would get approved. Once he did that, all was good. Another neighbor called the cops because of an abandoned SUV left in the alley, obviously stolen with doors open and still running--joy ride. The cops came, jacked the radio and such, thru it in the trunk of the cop car and drove off leaving the SUV there. Another time, a drunk passed out in the alley so neighbor called cops again. This time they came, took the guys wallet and then left him there.

dasein211's picture

In govt the wolves are always guarding the henhouse.

Manipuflation's picture

I actually watched part of that 60 minutes.  I was trying to sleep but couldn't.  It was damning.  It is about time that 60 minutes did something worth a shit.

Jonas Parker's picture

I watched it too. Now let's get the little prick out of congress!

gregga777's picture

"Confirming Representative Marino as our nation's drug czar is like putting the wolf in charge of the hen house," Schumer said on the Senate floor.

Well, Chucky Schumerstein oughta know. He certainly knows all that there is to know about putting the Khazarian wolves in charge of America's hen houses.

Lordflin's picture

Never thought I would be writing this, but legalize all drugs...

0hedgehog's picture

Only the individual should be in control of what he/she ingests, and in fact, that is already the case. Just as gun control would/does not control guns, the drug war has not controlled drugs. The only thing the drug war has accomplished is the solidification of the crime web that sells them and I will let you decide who that web is in reality.

BennyBoy's picture


Your favorite big banks would collapse without all the money laundering they do.

Lordflin's picture

Just goes to show you that there is a silver lining to everything...

Yars Revenge's picture

Legalization is the answer to the opioid crisis.

gregga777's picture

Jail for the pharmaceutical CONporate executives is the answer to the opioid crisis.

Omen IV's picture



As the 60 minutes expose indicated the drug companies HIRED OVER 40 - DEA - employees -  many of which were lawyers including the General Counsel of the DEA either directly or thru private law firms - this is aout the revolving door while the game is in motion - they neuter the agency by taking out the people who are on the case and know the extent of the proofs

at every level and subject the revolving door has to be ended for anyone for 10 years post termination from government  for any reason including retirement or another job

Lucretius's picture

Agreed. That is the part that I took away from the article, Pharma is neutering the DEA by hiring away those with the intel on them. The gov can't/won't compete with the almighty dollar vs morality. All Fkn whores!

gregga777's picture

Just to be clear, they are all "bought and paid for" pricks in the United States CONgress.

UmbilicalMosqueSweeper's picture

Fucking criminals that need a good gang-hang! When do the trials for war crimes, organized crime, subversion, and TREASON start?

roadhazard's picture

Trump knows how to pick'm.

post turtle saver's picture

you say Trump knows "how to pick'm" but consider the pool of candidates he has to work with first...

I'd submit it doesn't matter who does the picking, when you only have shit to pick from you're gonna get shit

swmnguy's picture

Proposing this Marino guy was one of the most astonishingly brazen, cynical, and corrupt things I've ever seen in government.  And that is saying a lot, as we all know.  Usually there's at least one extenuating circumstance, one way of justifying a proposed action.  This was simply, openly and in-your-face putting the fox in charge of the henhouse.  Maybe naming Bernie Madoff Chairman of the Federal Reserve might have been a bigger "fuck you" to the American people, but maybe not.

I can hardly wait to see how Trump tops this middle-finger salute to America.  Won't have to wait long, I'm sure. 

Herodotus's picture

Perhaps this was Trump's way of getting rid of a corrupt politician.  Appoint one of the most corrupt to a high office, then just sit back and let the media do the work of destroying them. 

post turtle saver's picture

"hey, let's bring this cockroach into the light and make it look like we're being magnanimous while we do it... he won't last 5 seconds in the light of day"

"oh, yeah, I guess we need to look into this guy... oh, he's withdrawing, so sad, well so long and he's a nice guy and all" lol

you guys really don't get how business politics work, do you? this is where Trump comes from, it's middle school back stabbing on steroids with lots of money in play - think of it that way and it all starts to make sense

swmnguy's picture

That would be the "27d chess" explanation.  I prefer Occam's Razor, myself.  Everybody in the Trump White House is either career military, or career corporate.  One of the corporate hacks suggested a guy who had praised Trump, so Trump decided that was his guy.  It seems Trump doesn't look any farther than whether or not somebody flatters him, so he nominated Marino.

Who knows, maybe Trump is willing to play incredibly complicated games for no real purpose, elevating an obscure corrupt politician when he could just ignore him.  The expenditure of political capital seems gratuitous for such small purpose.

If Trump appeared to have any policy or philosophy, it would be a different matter.  He seems to be completely reflexive, however.  He appears unable to understand how his words and actions appear to others, and he seems unwilling to find out if it might expose him to any negative reactions.  For instance, from watching nothing but "Fox and Friends," he seems to think he can do anything at all if he can equivocate it to Obama.  That works in the media, apparently.  It got him elected to the White House.  However, once in the White House, people do like to see the President do something; not just denigrate previous occupants.  As I recall, every time Obama mentioned the financial collapse of 2008 which swept him into office, people reacted very negatively to his "blaming Bush."  That didn't just apply to Obama.  Now it applies to Trump as well.  Just as it did to GWBush, when he mentioned Clinton, and on and on.

If the Presidency really were just a scripted TV gameshow popularity contest, Trump might be doing very well at it.  That seems to be what it takes to get elected.  But actual governance is different, as we see from the reactions to nearly every scripted, made-for-TV miscalculation Trump makes.

RumpleShitzkin's picture

I find a president that does very little, aside from shitposting to twitter and stirring up shit refreshing and amusing.
He hasn’t exactly found the plug for the swamp, but...he’s sure been effective st getting the gators to the surface.

Baby steps.

swmnguy's picture

If I take the very longest view, and remember my anarchist values, then I agree with you.

Looking beyond the details, to the broad outlines, what we're seeing is what happens in the terminal decline phase of every Empire.  Of course, each Empire is different, as is the global context.  America's Empire is unique in that while it certainly includes military power, it's mostly based on a global financial system.  America's decline as an Empire is intertwined with the long-foreseen collapse of the global financial system, based on its inherent internal contradictions.

We on ZH have detailed the inherent internal contradictions ad nauseum over the years, so no point rehashing that now.  It's enough to know the system doesn't work, has collapsed, and only continues by propping it up with bailouts and by eliminating the rule of law.

So the collapse of America's Empire isn't going to be a simple matter of bringing home all the troops, and dealing with the consequences of the return of the 80%+ of US Dollars that exist only to be used overseas between third-parties as the global reserve currency.  It's also going to involve the obsolescence of the entire financial system, globally.

Perhaps unrealistically, I was hoping we would have politicians try to manage that decline and seek to alleviate the consequences to the people of the USA.  That was naive, probably.  Instead, we're going to have a bunch of vandals push over the structure, hoping to enrich themselves in the collapse.  That's when all the truly enormous fortunes are made, historically.

In the long run, it's what has to happen and therefore is probably for the best.  In the short and mid-term, however, torching the fundamental structure of the US is going to be incredibly painful and indeed deadly for a lot of us.  That's upsetting.

RumpleShitzkin's picture

I can think of one step more brazen.

Move the drug czar position under the CIA org chart.

swmnguy's picture

Yeah, that would be more brazen.  Probably more efficient, too.

Shibumi2's picture

Sometimes shit works out.

Should be like this more often

Fuck pharma

cossack55's picture

Now if 60 Minutes can just do a followup about the DARK Act.  CONgressman Rokita (R-In) would look great in stripes.

Herodotus's picture

Americans need to stop requesting pills for pain.  Learning to endure pain builds character.  It makes you strong.

0hedgehog's picture

You obviously have never experienced extreme pain?

laser's picture

The US = 5% of world population. The uses 90% of pain medications.

RumpleShitzkin's picture

It’s painful being an American.
Where the fuck have you been?

Have you seen who we are slaves to?

petroglyph's picture

Do you have a link for quoting that stat? Seems a little high. Where does the rest of the AFG opium go that doesn't land here? The Uk, Europe, and Mena seem to do their share of H, along with Turkey.

Endgame Napoleon's picture

American politicians need to address the underlying economic issues. The Princeton study on this topic by a Nobel Prize-winning economist suggests that the hopeless economic situation for most in this country is to blame for the opioid epidemic. Mostly middle-aged citizens have been affected. More child-tax-credit welfare and more tax breaks for the wealthy who employ offshored workers, welfare-boosted moms and welfare-aided illegal immigrants will not do anything to change the situation. It will not create the kind of decent employment offerings that result in a decent future for most Americans. Most Americans in economically depressed areas do not abuse drugs, however, despite the hype on this issue. Even though this problem should be addressed, it is only one consequence of four decades of stagnating wages and hopelessness, with wealth accumulating at the top.

Philo Beddoe's picture

The Princeton study on this topic by a Nobel Prize-winning economist....

Lots of people are gonna stop reading after this. If you have the best point in the fucking should not need that shit as support.