WASHINGTON – Who would expect a systematic purge within the Trump administration of personnel who worked for the president’s campaign in 2016?
It sounds downright kooky, counter-intuitive, hard to believe.
Yet, reliable sources within the administration – including some former key campaign operatives who have already been told they will be let go next month – say a major, systematic scrubbing of political loyalists to Donald Trump is already in the works.
These multiple sources point to John DeStefano, assistant to the president and director of presidential personnel, a former senior adviser to former House Speaker John Boehner and his former political director. DeStefano also worked for the Republican National Committee building a 2016 voter file and political database.
“It’s the revenge of the Washington establishment, and it’s taking place inside the White House,” one source told WND. “When this is over, Trump will have few real loyalists eager to implement his policies in the agencies and departments responsible.”
WND reached out to DeStephano for comment on the accusations, but he did not return phone calls or email requests.
Things are coming to a head in mid-September when many of the temporary assignments expire, the sources say.
Trump is simply not appointing his own handpicked people to permanent jobs within the administration.
The story has actually been developing, though, over many months – as far back as May.
When Trump was sworn in Jan. 20, there were already 400 pre-screened candidates for key positions within the administration at work advising thousands of federal employees, almost all Democrats and holdovers from the Obama administration.
These 400 were told they would be “the beachhead” of the new Trump team. Yet, one member of that team told WND off the record he feels like a Marine who has been left on the beach.
“The beach is not where you want to stay,” he said. “It’s where you land in a military action. But if you stay on the beach, you die. Your first job is to get clear of the beach, to move inland and occupy. The fact that we’re still on the beach illustrates the problem.”
As political employees with temporary assignments, all those hundreds of Trump team members can actually do is offer advice. It is those with permanent positions who have actual implementation authority.
The “purge” talk suggests most of them – and others appointed later – will not be getting it.
“It’s the revenge of the Deep State,” said another temporary employee who expects the ax to fall soon. “I believe it represents deliberate sabotage of the president and his agenda.”