In an Orwellian-sounding step, The White House has planted politically appointed aides in government agencies to monitor President Trump’s Cabinet secretaries’ loyalty (according to The Washington Post).
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.”
The network of political appointees reports to Rick Dearborn, left, the White House deputy chief of staff for policy, according to administration officials.
As The Hill details, every Cabinet agency has an embedded appointee, with the job title 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 observer 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 the 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.
Sounds very Orwellian even in the face of constant leaks – maybe better to full drain that swamp first?