THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT OF THE CONFIRMATION HEARING. THE RECORD MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM.
JOHNSON: Senator Enzi.
ENZI. Thank you. Luke, congratulations on your nomination. Thank you for coming by to meet with us. I’d like to take this opportunity to ask about your qualifications. You have no previous governmental or policy experience, is that correct? Do you really think that you are qualified to head the new U. S. Dept. of Loyalty?
LUKE: Excuse me, Senator, but I am four years old. It’s not like I’m a puppy still wet behind the ears. I have years of experience in being loyal, even to humans who locked me in a crate and made me stay there all day with my own waste. Have you been loyal under such conditions?
ENZI: Not yet… There is considerable speculation as to how the Department of Loyalty will operate. What do you see as your role in serving as Secretary of Loyalty? Do you plan to suggest that citizens of the United States take a loyalty test?
LUKE: Oh, no. My job will be simply to be loyal.
ENZI: To the president? Or to the United States?
LUKE: To Donald. He told me we should be on a first-name basis. Truthfully, I’m not sure we’re a good match, but I’ll be loyal anyway.
JOHNSON: Senator, your time is up. Senator Heitkamp.
HEITKAMP: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Luke, my question to you is: why is a U. S. Department of Loyalty necessary? Can’t you provide the president with your loyalty without needing to be Secretary of Loyalty?
LUKE: I need a staff to feed me, walk me, and pick up my poop. Donald should do that, but he says he won’t. These are important staffing requirements that, when met, will enable me to put my full attention on supporting Donald.
HEITKAMP: Do you owe any favors to the Russians?
LUKE: There was a borzoi, once, but we just exchanged a few pleasantries. A mutual butt-sniff. She was much too tall for me, unfortunately. No commitments, either way.
TESTER: Mr. Chairman, may I ask a question.
HEITKAMP: I don’t mind if he takes part of my time.
JOHNSON: Very well, go ahead.
TESTER: I’m not positive, but I don’t think there has ever been a nonhuman Secretary as a member of the Cabinet before.
LUKE: The lawyers researched it. Not in the United States, but there is a historical precedent in ancient Rome. It was a horse, not a dog, but still. Not human.
TESTER: So your job will be solely to be loyal.
LUKE: Yes. Donald says it’s the single qualification for all his positions, not just mine.
JOHNSON (aside to Tester): How’s that going? The Dept. of Labor is so empty you can hear an echo.
TESTER: Your mic.
JOHNSON: Oops… So, Luke, just to be clear, if President Trump tweets a complaint about your performance, you will still be loyal?
LUKE: Yes. I am unconditionally loyal.
JOHNSON: If he insults you?
LUKE: Still loyal.
JOHNSON: If he shouts and screams?
LUKE: Shouting makes me nervous.
JOHNSON: But still loyal?
LUKE: Yes… but I must emphasize that I do not like shouting. And I have teeth.