Committee Seeks Documents on Terminated Trump Aide Now Overseeing White House Personnel Process
Washington, D.C. (Feb. 25, 2020)—Today, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, the Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, sent a letter to White House Counsel Pat Cipollone seeking documents regarding recent reports that John McEntee—President Trump’s former personal assistant who was reportedly fired for troubling conduct—has been rehired to lead the office that vets individuals for employment in the Executive Branch and the White House.
“Reports of Mr. McEntee’s return to the White House raise significant concerns about whether he is now suitable for such a sensitive position after he was escorted out of the White House and reportedly was unable to maintain a security clearance,” Maloney wrote.
On March 13, 2018, McEntee was terminated as news reports revealed that he “struggled with a gambling addiction” and had been fired because he was “under investigation by the Department of Homeland Security for serious financial crimes.”
According to press reports, McEntee has now returned to the White House to head the Office of Presidential Personnel. In this role, McEntee oversees the recruiting, selection, and vetting of political appointees at the highest levels and has access to the sensitive personal information of applicants.
President Trump reportedly empowered McEntee to “purge the ‘bad people’ and ‘Deep State’” from the Executive Branch. McEntee reportedly “told staff that those identified as anti-Trump will no longer get promotions by shifting them around agencies.”
These statements from McEntee are consistent with actions by President Trump to fire or demote individuals like Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire.
“Reports that Mr. McEntee is singling out political appointees that are not sufficiently loyal to President Trump for adverse personnel actions suggest that he may be using this role to advance the President’s political agenda rather than ensure the safety, integrity, and effectiveness of the Executive Branch,” Maloney wrote.
On March 13, 2018, then-Ranking Member Elijah E. Cummings requested documents related to McEntee’s security clearance. On January 23, 2019, after Cummings became Chairman, he requested documents relating to the White House’s security clearance system—including documents specifically related to McEntee. To date, the White House has not provided documents responsive to these requests.
Maloney requested documents and a briefing by March 10, 2020.
Click here to read today’s letter.