“It is a corrupt way of treating people who have risked their reputation and career paths to join the administration and have worked tirelessly to get the president past the finish line,” said one official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “Not to publicly antagonize the White House.
The Office of Personnel is headed by Johnny McCanty, a 30-year-old former Trump board member who has sought to replace political appointees seen as unreliable allies of the president with loyal Trump followers, no doubt.
McInty, who had traveled a lot with Trump before the White House hit the coronavirus outbreak, has clashed with some of the agency’s top officials over his efforts to install loyalists across the executive branch. In some cases, the new recruits had not even finished their university studies by the time they arrived.
In response to a request for comment, a senior White House official said it was “standard practice to review staff moving into a possible second term,” but stressed that “there are no final plans in place.” McEntee did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
But Office of Personnel veterans say asking for temporary resignation letters before the election – rather than, say, in January before inauguration day – would be extremely unusual.
“No republican department has ever done this before,” said a former official who worked in the Personnel Office in former Republican administrations. A former senior White House PMO official in Obama also said that the office did not request letters of resignation from all political appointees in 2012, and criticized the potential move as “unbelievable.”
The two current senior administration officials said that the pending order issued by the Personnel Office regarding these resignations was not yet widely known within the department – and it was not clear that the president knew or approved of the Office of Personnel’s plans. Trump card He said In August it was considered “everyone expelled”.
If Trump loses, it is unclear whether any of the resignation letters will be accepted or whether appointees will be allowed to leave the administration on their own terms. But administration officials are anticipating a crazy scramble to find post-Trump jobs, raising the possibility of an already empty federal government emptying out in its final months.
Officials familiar with the PMO’s plans said they would instill fear and uncertainty in political appointees, and complained that the potential system would complicate their ability to find new jobs. They said it was easier to find a new job from a safe place.
If Democrats take over, Trump appointees who had solid jobs and reputations before the current administration will be better able to arrange their next assignments than those who owe their current jobs only to Trump.
One official said that even if Trump wins re-election, “this could cause some concern because people have lives and they have to prepare for any kind of circumstances.” This person added, “So if you have to cut it off before it is ready, it will cause some havoc in their lives.”
Other signs of friction between McEntee and other management power centers have appeared in recent weeks.
In mid-September, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows Advertise Internally, many of the agencies’ White House liaisons will be replaced. The memo led to speculation among some officials that Meadows should send it because McKinty was unable to complete it on his own, possibly because the officials below him were receiving opposition from agencies and needing high-level support.
Ben Carson, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, has also publicly embarrassed the powerful chief of staff by letting journalists see his news. Notes In a letter two weeks ago. The notes revealed that Carson was “not happy” with the way the PPO was handling its administration.
“I’m very loyal to you and after I win, I hope to stay in your administration,” read the written notes, which sounded like talking points in a conversation Carson was going to have with Trump. “I am not happy with the way the PPO handles my agency.”
The Public Relations Office (PPO) interviewed nearly all political appointees earlier in the summer, which were widely seen as loyalty tests. During the interviews, the recruits were also asked if they plan to remain in a possible second term and what job they want if that is the case.
Officials said that once such a request for a resignation letter becomes widely known within the administration, it is sure to hurt morale. They said the Office of Personnel move would backfire on the White House and lead disaffected officials to leak harmful information about the president or his top aides.
“It appears that the pre-election loyalty test is not the smartest way to advance positive business attitudes,” said a senior administration official.
“Human beings are fickle,” the person added. They work hard to re-elect the president and at the same time, they are told that they are not loyal enough. It’s kind of a damn mind. “