Path 2
John McEntee

John McEntee

John McEntee was a former Trump staffer and current Project 2025 staffer who could be making his way back to the White House in a second Trump term. McEntee left the first Trump administration in disgrace over issues with his security clearance. Since then, he’s been working with Project 2025 to push Trump to enact an extreme agenda in a second term.

John McEntee’s Former White House Employment

John McEntee Was Removed From The White House Due To Issues Involving Taxes And Gambling 

McEntee Was Fired And Escorted From The White House Over Problems Related To Online Gambling And Mishandling Of His Taxes

McEntee, Trump’s Personal Assistant, Was Fired And Escorted From The White House After Being Denied A Security Clearance Over Financial Problems In His Background. According to the Wall Street Journal, “President Donald Trump’s personal assistant, John McEntee, was fired and escorted from the White House on Monday after being denied a security clearance over financial problems in his background, according to senior administration officials and people close to the former aide.” [Wall Street Journal, 3/13/18]

  • McEntee Was Removed From The White House Grounds Without Being Allowed To Collect His Belongings. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Mr. McEntee was removed from the White House grounds on Monday afternoon without being allowed to collect his belongings, a White House official said. He left without his jacket, a second White House official said.” [Wall Street Journal, 3/13/18]

McEntee Had Issues Related To Online Gambling, Gambling Debts and Winnings, And Mishandling His Taxes

A Background Check Found McEntee Deposited Suspiciously Large Sums Of Money Into His Bank Account Which Turned Out To Be Money From Gambling Winnings. According to the Atlantic, “In March 2018, it looked for a moment like his Washington career was over. He was fired by then–Chief of Staff John Kelly after a long-delayed FBI background check revealed that he had deposited suspiciously large sums of money into his bank account. It turned out that the money was from gambling winnings.” [Atlantic, 11/9/21]

McEntee Was Reportedly Forced From His Job In Over Gambling Debts That Threatened His Security Clearance. According to the New York Times, “Johnny McEntee, the ‘body man’ who trailed Mr. Trump as a candidate and in the White House, will be elevated to oversee the Presidential Personnel Office, according to four people briefed on the move. Mr. McEntee, who was forced from his job in 2018 over gambling debts that threatened his security clearance, recently returned to his old role as a personal aide to Mr. Trump.” [New York Times, 2/13/20]

Sources Close McEntee Said Problems Related To Online Gambling And Mishandling Of His Taxes Prevented Him From Gaining The Clearance Necessary For His Role In The Trump White House. According to the Wall Street Journal, “People close to Mr. McEntee said problems related to online gambling and mishandling of his taxes prevented him from gaining the clearance necessary for the role. The Secret Service is investigating Mr. McEntee for those issues, according to a law enforcement official.” [Wall Street Journal, 3/13/18]

John McEntee On January 6

McEntee Set The Stage For The January 6 Capitol Riots By Removing Personnel That Could Stand Up To Trump And Pressuring Pence To Reject Electoral Votes

McEntee Was The Head Of The Presidential Personnel Office, Where He Actively Threatened To Oust People For Disloyalty To Trump

McEntee Was The Head Of The Presidential Personnel Office. According to the New York Post, “With the White House in disarray in Trump‘s final year in office, Johnny McEntee, 29, emerged seemingly out of nowhere to become head of the ultra-powerful Presidential Personnel Office, according to ‘The Final Act of the Trump Show’ by ABC’s chief DC correspondent, Jonathan Karl.” [New York Post, 11/9/21]

Wash. Post: McEntee Was “A Staunch Trump Loyalist” Who Warned Federal Workers Not To Cooperate With The Biden Transition And Threatened To Oust People Who Job Hunted While Trump Refused To Acknowledge Defeat. According to the Washington Post, “A staunch Trump loyalist, McEntee, 30, was welcomed back into the fold in February and installed as head of personnel for the Trump White House. Since the race was called for President-elect Joe Biden, McEntee has been distributing pink slips, warning federal workers not to cooperate with the Biden transition and threatening to oust people who show disloyalty by job hunting while Trump is still refusing to acknowledge defeat, according to six administration officials.” [Washington Post, 11/13/20]

McEntee Cleared The Room Of Anyone That Could Stand Up To Trump About The 2020 Election Results Ahead Of January 6

McEntee Backed Trump’s Drive To Overturn The 2020 Election And Helped Set The Stage For The January 6 Assault On The Capitol By Getting Rid Of Those Who Might Have Been Willing To Confront Or Control Trump’s Tendencies. According to the Atlantic, “McEntee and his enforcers made the disastrous last weeks of the Trump presidency possible. They backed the president’s manic drive to overturn the election, and helped set the stage for the January 6 assault on the Capitol. Thanks to them, in the end, the elusive ‘adults in the room’—those who might have been willing to confront the president or try to control his most destructive tendencies—were silenced or gone. But McEntee was there—bossing around Cabinet secretaries, decapitating the civilian leadership at the Pentagon, and forcing officials high and low to state their allegiance to Trump.” [Atlantic, 11/9/21]

  • The Atlantic Called McEntee “The One Person Willing To Do Anything Trump Wanted.” According to the Atlantic, “The office was run by Johnny McEntee. Just 29 when he got the job, he’d come up as Trump’s body guy—the kid who carried the candidate’s bags. One of Trump’s most high-profile Cabinet secretaries described him to me as ‘a fucking idiot.’ But in 2020, his power was undeniable. Trump knew he was the one person willing to do anything Trump wanted. As another senior official told me, ‘He became the deputy president.’” [Atlantic, 11/9/21]
  • McEntee Told Trump His Political Problems Were Caused By People Who Were Insufficiently Loyal. According to the Atlantic, “McEntee told the president exactly what he wanted to hear: that his political problems were caused by people who pretended to support him but were really against him, the secret Never Trumpers right there in his administration. It was time to root out the ‘deep state.’ McEntee began scouring federal agencies for people who didn’t support all things Trump. Beginning in June 2020—in the middle of both the pandemic and the presidential campaign—the personnel office informed virtually every senior official across the federal government, regardless of how long they had worked in the administration, that they would need to sit down for a job interview.” [Atlantic, 11/9/21]

McEntee Was Behind The Effort To Pressure Pence To Reject Electoral Votes And Declare Trump The Winner Of The 2020 Election

McEntee Drafted His Own Constitutional Analysis, Separate From The White House Counsel, And Sent It To Pence

McEntee Drafted His Own Constitutional Analysis To Pence That Contradicted White House Counsel Cipollone When Cipollone Told Trump That Pence Did Not Have The Power To Overturn The Election According to the Atlantic, “Once he had cleaned up the Pentagon, McEntee turned his attention to the election, and the president’s efforts to overturn the results. He began providing legal advice. When White House Counsel Cipollone told Trump that Pence did not have the power to overturn the election, McEntee drafted his own constitutional analysis, with an assist from his own rogue legal advisers, directly contradicting Cipollone and every other serious expert in the country.” [Atlantic, 11/9/21]

McEntee’s Memo To Pence Was Historically Inaccurate 

McEntee Sent A Memo Via Text Message To Pence’s Chief Of Staff That Claimed Jefferson Used His Position As VP To Win After He Accepted Ballots That May Have Been “Defective.” According to the Atlantic, “McEntee sent the memo via text message on January 1 to Pence’s chief of staff.  Here it is, in its entirety: Jefferson Used His Position as VP to Win. The Constitution sets precise requirements for the form in which the states are to submit their electoral votes. In 1801, the ballots of all states were in perfect conformity except Georgia’s. Georgia’s submission dramatically failed to conform to the requirements. VP Jefferson presided over the counting of the ballots even as he was one of the candidates. Had the defective ballots been rejected, Jefferson would have most likely lost the election. Senate tellers told Jefferson in a loud voice that there was a problem with the Georgia ballots. Rather than investigating, Jefferson ignored the problems and announced himself the winner. This proves that the VP has, at a minimum, a substantial discretion to address issues with the electoral process.” [Atlantic, 11/9/21]

  • The Atlantic Said McEntee Misrepresented History, Jefferson Did Not Discard Electoral Votes As Trump Wanted Pence To Do, He Accepted Electoral Votes From A State That Nobody Had Questioned He Had Won. According to the Atlantic, “McEntee was no constitutional scholar and no historian. His bullet-point description was, not surprisingly, deeply flawed. Jefferson didn’t discard electoral votes, as Trump wanted Pence to do. He accepted electoral votes from a state that nobody had questioned he had won. […] Trump may have embraced his body guy’s theory, but Pence didn’t.” [Atlantic, 11/9/21]

John McEntee On Project 2025

McEntee Was Part Of Project 2025

McEntee Joined Project 2025 As A Senior Advisor

May 2023: John McEntee Joined Project 2025 As A Senior Advisor. According to Project 2025, “John McEntee, former director of the White House Presidential Personnel Office in the Trump administration, is joining the 2025 Presidential Transition Project (Project 2025) as a senior advisor. The Heritage Foundation announced McEntee’s new role Tuesday as it unveiled the Presidential Personnel Database, a coalition effort to staff the next conservative presidential administration.” [Project 2025, 5/2/23]

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