Political aides monitoring loyalty at Trump Cabinet agencies: report – The Hill
The White House has planted politically appointed aides in government agencies to monitor President Trump’s Cabinet secretaries’ loyalty, according to The Washington Post.
Every Cabinet agency has an embedded appointee, with the job title of senior White House adviser, who is situated near the secretary’s office, the newspaper reported. These appointees report to the Office of Cabinet Affairs instead of the Cabinet secretary.
The appointees serve as observers and White House enforcers, the Post reports, ensuring that the agency’s leadership implements the president’s agenda.Agencies with embedded appointees include large departments like Energy and Health and Human Services, as well as smaller agencies including NASA, records shared with the Post from a ProPublica Freedom of Information Act request show.
Some of the aides are reportedly being shut out by the secretaries and their aides.
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has shut out the aide in his agency for offering unsolicited advise during his staff meetings, the Post reports.
Barry Bennett, a former Trump campaign adviser, encouraged the embed strategy, however.
“Especially when you’re starting a government and you have a changeover of parties when policies are going to be dramatically different, I think it’s something that’s smart,” Bennett told the newspaper. “Somebody needs to be there as the White House’s man on the scene. Because there’s no senior staff yet, they’re functioning as the White House’s voice and ears in these departments.”
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