A favorite of Trump’s since last winter’s federal shutdown and the earlier unsuccessful effort to repeal Obamacare, Mulvaney has emerged as one of the two leading candidates to succeed John Kelly as Trump’s chief of staff, according to interviews with a dozen current and former administration officials and Republicans close to the administration.
Long rumored to be on his way out, Kelly has no clear plans to resign — but Mulvaney has been discreetly lobbying for the job, asking Republicans outside the White House to put in a good word on his behalf with the president.
One of the White House’s top attorneys plans to leave the administration by the end of the summer, according to four people familiar with his plans.
The departure of Stefan Passantino, the deputy White House counsel responsible for policing ethics for Trump officials, will leave a huge hole in the White House’s legal operation, where the 51-year-old has operated as the number two to top attorney Don McGahn.
The White House’s reaction: “Ethics, schmethics. We don’t need no ethics lawyers.”
Ximena Barreto — a Donald Trump political appointee who used social media to spread conspiracy theories about a supposed pizza shop sex ring and made other inflammatory remarks — was escorted from Health and Human Services Department headquarters Friday, according to an individual with knowledge of the situation.
Another one of Trump’s “Best People”:
Before joining HHS as a deputy communications director in December 2017, Barreto spread conspiracy theories on social media and through online videos — among them that Hillary Clinton was engaged in a child-sex ring at a Washington pizza shop, involved in the murder of Democratic National Committee aide Seth Rich and employed pedophiles in her campaign. Barreto also repeatedly insulted Islam as a “cult” and shared a post suggesting that “our forefathers would have hung” Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for treason . . .
Since none of this has actually happened yet, it falls under the heading of “put a pin in it.” However, it’s interesting to see how specific the predictions for hirings and firings are here – it sounds like Wilkie has “put up a trial balloon” with the press.
Pardon my skepticism, but this looks like more flailing around by the Trump Administration in a desperate attempt to salvage veterans’ votes before the mid-terms. To me, it amounts to an admission by Republicans that they got caught trying to gut the VA under the guise of “streamlining” it. Many veterans have wised up to the ruse and will not be so amenable to voting the Republican ticket in November.
Good analysis…and that the top heavy T loyalists will soon be ‘reassigned’ does mean Wilkie means business and can get the VA working. The idea to privatize the whole organization is definitely what the R’s donor class would like, but perhaps Wilkie has a vision to get the place working better, overhaul the inefficiencies.
After just six months on the job, first lady Melania Trump’s top policy aide has left the White House, according to multiple people familiar with the matter.
Reagan Hedlund, a 28-year-old former executive assistant at the National Security Council who recently helped the first lady launch the “Be Best” anti-bullying initiative, departed last week, leaving already-skeletal East Wing staff even smaller.
Secondary fallout from a WH departure - Marc Short
Two prominent University of Virginia historians, William I. Hitchcock and Melvyn P. Leffler, severed ties on Monday with the university’s Miller Center, a public policy and presidential-history research center, to protest the center’s hiring of Marc Short,a former Trump aide. They said Short was “complicit in the erosion of our civic discourse.” Nicole Hemmer recently explained why she, too, believes the hiring represents a betrayal of the center’s mission, and the university’s:
On a lovely, crisp morning earlier this month, I stood stock-still outside the building where I work, at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, and wrestled with my conscience.
The Miller Center, an institute for the study of presidential history and public policy, had just hired a high-level Trump official — Marc Short, formerly President Trump’s director of legislative affairs — as a senior fellow.
So that morning, we joined Harvard’s Kennedy School as one of the academic institutions providing Trump officials a soft space to land. (Its Institute of Politics gave the ousted spokesperson Sean Spicer and onetime campaign chair Corey Lewandowski coveted visiting fellowships.)
The four most recent high-level departures were Scott Smith, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Cyber Division, who left to work for the construction giant Caterpillar; Smith’s deputy Howard Marshall, who left to become director of cyber threat intelligence at the consulting firm Accenture; David Resch, executive assistant director of the bureau’s Criminal, Cyber, Response and Services Branch; and Carl Ghattas, executive assistant director of the National Security Branch, which works closely with the Cyber Division. All four worked at the bureau for more than 20 years.
The Trump admin is laying off about 40 staffers at the Office of Financial Research, according to Reuters.
The office, created as part of Dodd-Frank, is tasked with identifying financial risks and stress on global financial markets.
Another way to cut infrastructure and eliminate any watchdog operations on the financial institutions. Giving the banks more leeway to go without any consequences for wrongdoing.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration moved on Wednesday to shrink a government agency tasked with identifying looming financial risks, notifying around 40 staff members they would be laid off, according to a person familiar with the changes.
The employees at the Office of Financial Research (OFR) were formally told on Wednesday they will lose their jobs as part of a broader reorganization of the agency that was created in the wake of the 2007-2009 global financial crisis, the source said.
The overhaul forms part of a broader push by the Trump administration to reduce government bureaucracy by slashing government jobs and cutting regulations.
Staff at the OFR, an independent bureau within the U.S. Treasury that analyzes market trends to spot financial risks, were told in January that jobs would be eliminated as the administration sought to cut the OFR’s budget by 25 percent to around $76 million, the person said.
Good riddance to yet another agency official who was appointed expressly to help gut their agency – a despicable tactic that Trump has applied throughout his cabinet.
Since starting at FWS last June, Sheehan has largely been regarded as a driving force behind some of the service’s more controversial decisions. A member of the Safari Club, Sheehan was a key figure in the Trump administration’s push last fall to overturn an Obama-era ban on elephant trophy imports from a number of African nations.
“Sheehan’s departure is welcome news for America’s wildlife. In just one year in office, he inflicted incredible harm on imperiled animals by consistently putting special interests ahead of science and the environment,” Brett Hartl, government affairs director at the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement.
"His actions derailed the recovery of countless endangered species, gutted protections for billions of migratory birds and wreaked havoc on our natural heritage,” Hartl said.
Not an announcement of a new departure, but some damning statistics on the astonishing churn in this administration.
Already, 57% of Trump’s “A Team” staffers have left the White House in just its first year and a half, according to statistics maintained by Brookings Institute’s Kathryn Dunn Tenpas. That nearly equals the turnover among top staffers for the entire first terms of Barack Obama (71% turnover), George W. Bush (63%), Bill Clinton (74%) and George H.W. Bush (66%).
(Tenpas’ data may actually undersell the changes in Trump’s administration, given that she only counts one departure for each office. So, while Trump has had five communications directors since being elected President, they only count as one departure in Tenpas’ calculations.)
Focusing just on Cabinet secretaries, the numbers are equally stunning for Trump. He’s already seen seven Cabinet officials . . . leave in his first 18 months in office. Obama had zero Cabinet departures in his first year and four in his second. George W. Bush lost only four Cabinet members in the entirety of his first four years.