'Big Short' author Michael Lewis calls Trump's approach to staffing the government 'insane'

  • Trump's lack of focus on staffing the federal government poses unforeseen risks to the United States, says "Big Short" author Michael Lewis.
  • The Trump administration "started from a position of total ignorance," the writer says on CNBC's "Power Lunch."

President Donald Trump's lack of focus on staffing the federal government poses unforeseen risks to the United States, said Michael Lewis, a best-selling author and journalist.

The Trump administration "started from a position of total ignorance," Lewis said Monday in an interview with CNBC's "Power Lunch." He added he would describe the Trump administration's job so far at filling key roles in the federal government as "managerial negligence" and "insane."

Lewis' new book on the federal government, "The Fifth Risk," will hit bookstore shelves Tuesday. It examines the transition from the Obama administration to the Trump administration, and its possible impact on key functions of the federal government.

Lewis, the bestselling author of "Moneyball" and "The Big Short," argued on Monday that the federal workforce has been "abused" and "denigrated" for decades. But it is under even more peril under Trump, he said.

Trump has long been criticized for leaving vacant spots in the federal government.

Five hundred days into Trump's presidency, the White House had yet to put forward the names of candidates for 204 of the 665 key positions that require Senate confirmation, according to the Partnership for Public Service.

According to Lewis, half of the top 700 Trump administration jobs have not been filled. Trump has accused Democrats of stonewalling him.

The White House did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment.