- President Donald Trump has been known to value “loyalty” from those he appoints to positions of power, and it has become a nightmare for White House staff to keep nominees in place.
- The administration is said to make decisions on nominees before properly vetting them, and will nix candidates if they can’t prove their loyalty.
- Aides have said the administration uses Google or checks a candidate’s social media for any posts that could be viewed as critical of the president,
- Several nominees were reportedly hedged because of previous comments made on social media.
President Donald Trump has been known to value “loyalty” from those he appoints to positions of power, and it has become a nightmare for White House staff to keep nominees in place.
The White House has become something of a revolving door as of late, with over 20 officials having been fired or having resigned since the start of Trump’s presidency.
Members of Trump’s administration are said to make decisions on nominees before properly vetting them, and will nix a candidate if they don’t demonstrate their loyalty to the Commander-In-Chief.
According to The Washington Post, aides have said the administration has a simple process of using Google or checking a candidate’s social media for any posts that could be viewed as critical of the president.
Sources told the Post that some aides would even hand-deliver negative articles about internal rivals in order to convince the president block their nomination.
Candidates who have previously criticised Trump are taken out of the running
Nominees who are found to have criticised the president, even remotely, are reportedly often axed as potential hires.
According to the Post, hundreds of national security official candidates were dropped after it was discovered that they had spoken out against the president at some point.
Ann Marie Hauser, a Republican senior staffer, was reportedly all but set to join the State Department until officials are said to have scoured her public profiles, and ultimately found that she had retweeted a 2016 post from a Republican who called for Trump to drop out of the race following the unearthing of the infamous Access Hollywood tape.
Hauser was reportedly pulled from the running shortly after.
Even Trump’s own Vice President has faced hurdles in bringing in new staff once their histories have been discovered on social media or even a basic Google search.
Jerry Hendrix, a retired Navy captain, was a top pick for national security adviser but had his candidacy rescinded after a past anti-Trump tweet surfaced, sources told the Post.
Jon Lerner, the deputy to US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, was also favoured for the position, but later dropped his bid after the president learned he had previously worked for the Club for Growth, an anti-tax group that spent $US1 million on attacking Trump during the 2016 primaries.
Trump has often hired officials without fully vetting them
Lawyers involved in the vetting process told the Post that the president often nominates officials before fully vetting them.
Sources say some were announced after a only a basic public records search, while others were announced without being vetted at all.
Ronny Jackson, the president’s physician, was thrust into the running to be the head of the Department of Veterans Affairs without even a preliminary interview with Trump or his team, aides told the Post.
Trump announced Jackson’s nomination on Twitter, despite backlash from cabinet members. Ronny withdrew his name from consideration for the job shortly after a number of allegations of workplace misconduct emerged against him.
Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reportedly impressed President Trump with his business aptitude so much so that Trump made moves to hire him without even a basic discussion on their vastly different views on foreign policy.
Trump later abruptly fired Tillerson, citing their policy disagreements.
“One thing we are looking for in open-source and in interviews is, is this person mission-aligned? Are they loyal to the president, to the president’s policies?” an official told the Post.
“If we find something on social media that indicates otherwise, that will play a role.”
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