26 September 2023

UNITED STATES: Plan to ‘root out’ Trump critics

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United States President, Donald Trump looks to be to stepping up his campaign against Public Servants who he feels are not loyal to him with the appointment of Johnny McEntee (pictured) as Director for Presidential Personnel.

Mr McEntee (29) has been put in charge of eliminating Federal employees suspected of harbouring secret anti-Trump sentiments from the ranks.

According to reports, in his first days in office, Mr McEntee summoned Cabinet liaison workers to the White House to tell them to “root out” Trump critics.

Mr McEntee – a former close personal aide to the president and reported favourite of First Lady, Melania Trump – has also put a freeze on political appointments and told colleagues that the White House would be selecting Cabinet Deputies from now on.

Public administration experts say the concentration of such broad powers over thousands of Public Service careers is highly unusual in the history of Government in the US.

However, as Mr Trump winds up his re-election campaign, Mr McEntee’s elevation is only one among dozens of such moves taking place across the Executive Branch to install Trump loyalists and purge Trump critics.

Critics say the gist of Mr Trump’s project is to hone the Federal Government to the one purpose he believes it ought to serve: Helping him.

It is also a process that many say has been supercharged by Mr Trump’s impeachment acquittal.

Senior Fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies and former National Security Council official, Jonathan Stevenson said the failure to remove the president on impeachment, and the Senate’s malleability and acquiescence to the president’s whims, clearly have inclined him to remove any hint of dissent.

He noted that Mr McEntee was forced out in 2018 by then Chief of Staff, John Kelly, over a problem with Mr McEntee’s security clearances reportedly relating to online gambling.

Now Mr McEntee is back and Mr Kelly is long gone.

Washington, 28 February 2020

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