Publisher's note: This post appears here courtesy of the The Daily Wire, and written by Emily Zanotti.
Amid concerns that President Donald Trump's re-election campaign is struggling to get on solid ground, senior White House aides are reportedly conducting "one-on-one" interviews with a number of appointees, trying to ensure key members of the Trump administration stay on message as the 2020 election nears.
that the White House is testing aides' "loyalty" to the president with a series of questions designed to "root out threats of leaks" and shut off other potentially subversive efforts that might further disrupt the president's re-election efforts.
"The White House's presidential personnel office is conducting one-on-one interviews with health officials and hundreds of other political appointees across federal agencies, an exercise some of the subjects have called 'loyalty tests' to root out threats of leaks and other potentially subversive acts just months before the presidential election, according to interviews with 15 current and former senior administration officials,"
Politico said Thursday.
"The interviews are being arranged with officials across a wide range of departments including Health and Human Services, Defense, Treasury, Labor and Commerce and include the top tier of Trump aides: Senate-confirmed appointees,"
the outlet continued. "Officials are expected to detail their career goals and thoughts on current policies, said more than a dozen people across the administration with knowledge of the meetings."
The interviews may serve a dual purpose: figuring out who may be a threat to a united White House message — something the Trump administration has struggled to control — and determining who would be willing to serve in a second Trump administration should the president win re-election in November.
Administrations do regularly vet appointees and the Trump administration may be particularly concerned, given the long history of anonymous leaks and other subversive efforts that have often undermined the White House's public message. Incoming White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, mentioned clearing the White House of leakers as a top priority, given how often mainstream media outlets print stories based on single, unnamed sources from "inside" the West Wing.
"You would think they would want to shore up the bench in response to the pandemic or start getting ready to fill expected gaps because people get sick or they leave,"
one former Obama administration official told Politico. "In the run-up to a transition, historically, there is lots of turnover. Those are the things the personnel office should be tending to."
Reports from Tuesday and Wednesday also indicate that the White House — and perhaps President Trump himself — are increasingly concerned about Trump's re-election chances. Late Wednesday night, news broke that the Trump 2020 campaign had dropped its longtime manager, Brad Parscale, and replaced him with a senior aide to the president, after weeks of declining poll numbers and a meager turnout to the president's official campaign kickoff rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma.