Posted by February 24, 2020|
President Trump and his allies over the last year and a half have assembled a list of anti-Trump officials who need to be ousted. It’s about time.
President Trump has been on a serious warpath to oust ‘disloyal’ people since his impeachment and acquittal. The President is looking to replace the “bad people” with Trump loyalists. According to Axios reporter Jonathan Swan, a network of pro-Trump conservatives are quietly developing “Never-Trump/pro-Trump lists,” and some have even sent Trump memos to help him make his decisions.
The ousting of corrupt US Attorney Jessie Liu was just the beginning. President Trump reportedly reviewed a memo of all of her misdeeds before making the final decision to withdraw the nomination of Liu to the Treasury Department. According to Axios, the Liu memo was just the first of many that President Trump is reviewing compiled from a conservative activist network headed by Ginni Thomas and GOP Senate staffer Barbara Leeden dubbed “Groundswell.”
Members of Groundswell meet every Wednesday at the DC office of conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch and these members are funneling names of “bad people” to Thomas to be passed on to the President.
- A well-connected network of conservative activists with close ties to Trump and top administration officials is quietly helping develop these “Never Trump”/pro-Trump lists, and some sent memos to Trump to shape his views, per sources with direct knowledge.
- Members of this network include Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and Republican Senate staffer Barbara Ledeen.
The big picture: Since Trump’s Senate acquittal, aides say the president has crossed a psychological line regarding what he calls the “Deep State.” He feels his government — from Justice to State to Defense to Homeland Security — is filled with “snakes.” He wants them fired and replaced ASAP.
The Groundswell memo: The presidential personnel office reviewed Thomas’ memo and determined that some names she passed along for jobs were not appropriate candidates. Trump may revisit some given his current mood.
Potential hires she offered to Trump, per sources with direct knowledge:
- Sheriff David Clarke for a senior Homeland Security role.
- Fox News regular and former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino for a Homeland Security or counterterrorism adviser role.
- Devin Nunes aide Derek Harvey for the National Security Council (where he served before McMaster pushed him out).
- Radio talk show host Chris Plante for press secretary.
- Federalist contributor Ben Weingarten for the National Security Council.
- The State Department memo: In one extraordinary incident last year, President Trump passed along another action memo to his then-head of presidential personnel, Sean Doocey (since pushed to State and replaced with former body man John McEntee). People familiar with the January 2019 memo say it came from conservatives associated with Groundswell. Though nobody I’ve spoken to has claimed credit for it.
- According to sources briefed on the incident, the memo was, in large part, an attack against Doocey. The memo accused him and a colleague in the State Department of obstructionism and named several State Department officials who needed to be fired.
- This list named former deputy secretary John Sullivan, deputy undersecretary for management Bill Todd, and undersecretary for political affairs David Hale, who later testified in the impeachment hearings. (Todd and Hale are career foreign service officers, serving in positions typically reserved for career officials.) Sullivan is now the U.S. Ambassador to Russia.
Read the full Axios report here.