It looks like Trump has allowed a few NEVER-Trump moles to work in very important positions within the White House – the presidential personnel office.
And they’ve reportedly been using their positions to stifle some of the pro-Trump picks and aid ‘Bushies’ instead.
WASHINGTON EXAMINER – When Trump had delivered his victory speech shortly after 9 p.m., Data Trust staffer Courtney Mullen invited her colleagues to attend an “end of the world” happy hour to mark Trump’s triumph, which the party establishment had watched in horror.
Although Trump had already all but taken over the Republican party with a script-flipping populist message — opposed to illegal immigration, existing trade deals, and foreign wars — people such as Mullen and her boss, Data Trust President Johnny DeStefano, would soon work for him.
At 10:21 p.m., Mullen wrote to colleagues on the workplace chatting app Slack: “Heads up – the ‘End of the World Happy Hour’ has been added as an addition to the happy hour on Friday due to the nature of tonight’s events and the inevitable truth that Trump will be our nominee.”
Her immediate superior at the time was Ellen Bredenkoetter, who wrote a response on the Slack channel at 12.19 a.m.: “#allthedrinks.”
The Slack messages were obtained by the Washington Examiner.
Fast forward to 2017…
Since January 2017, Mullen has worked to review and approve Trump’s political appointees as a key mid-level staffer in the White House presidential personnel office, or PPO, which DeStefano led for a year before taking a promotion and additional duties at the White House.
Mullen, now 25, who has been in her role more than two years amid high turnover, earns $94,000 helping review potential candidates for suitability for about 4,000 presidential appointments, about 1,200 requiring Senate approval. Bredenkoetter, also 25, is now chief data officer at the Republican National Committee.
“They don’t like the pro-Trump crowd. They like to bring in Bushies.”
Among Trump supporters, there’s long been skepticism of the PPO, and the nearly three-year-old messages are likely to amplify concerns of anti-Trump bias within his administration.
Fear about a bias toward establishment picks emerged in 2017, when Trump selected DeStefano to lead the PPO. He had worked as an aide to former House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, before leading Data Trust. Eyebrows raised with appointees with views at odds with some of Trump’s, such as former national security adviser H.R. McMaster, former foreign policy adviser Dina Powell, and Venezuela envoy Elliott Abrams.
“They have slow-walked pro-Trump people to the point that they drop out or lose interest,” a Trump ally close to the White House told the Washington Examiner. “They don’t like the pro-Trump crowd. They like to bring in Bushies.”
“The MAGA people…”
A former White House official said DeStefano, 39, set the tone for the PPO with an “us versus them” mentality, often referring to Trump backers as “the MAGA people.”
The official said: “He’s always complaining about how ‘the MAGA people’ are coming after him. But wait, aren’t you supposed to be a MAGA person? Johnny is constantly disparaging the president. He’s always making these jokes that the president is erratic, is irrational.”
The PPO under DeStefano gained something of a frat-house reputation. At one point, a staffer was reportedly “iced,” meaning forced to chug a Smirnoff Ice. But DeStefano himself was generally well-liked, becoming a counselor to Trump and frequently traveling with the president.
Trump has been plagued by Obama-holdovers ever since he became president. While some of these may not be ‘Obama’ people, it sounds like they still have a never-Trumper agenda in the White House and I’m surprised, with the reporting, that Trump hasn’t figured this out yet.
According to the Examiner, DeStefano is actually leaving soon. But neither Bredenkoetter or Mullen responded in a meaningful way.
Now of course these are just media reports and Trump should do an investigation before firing them. But seriously, it’s way past time to take out the trash.