The Trump administration rips yet another page from the authoritarian playbook, this time placing political officers at cabinet-level and other high profile agencies. Their purpose is enforce loyalty to the “leader” and ensure adherence to the party line.
Most members of President Trump’s Cabinet do not yet have leadership teams in place or even nominees for top deputies. But they do have an influential coterie of senior aides installed by the White House who are charged — above all — with monitoring the secretaries’ loyalty, according to eight officials in and outside the administration.
This shadow government of political appointees with the title of senior White House adviser is embedded at every Cabinet agency, with offices in or just outside the secretary’s suite. The White House has installed at least 16 of the advisers at departments including Energy and Health and Human Services and at some smaller agencies such as NASA, according to records first obtained by ProPublica through a Freedom of Information Act request.
Source: Washington Post, Lisa Rein and Juliet Eilperin
Rick Dearborn – the White House deputy chief of staff for legislative, inter-governmental affairs and implementation – appears to be the head commissar for Trump’s new political thought police. Dearborn was member of Trump’s transition team. He was part of a group of advisors tasked with recommending presidential appointments for the incoming administration. Dearborn previously worked as the Chief of Staff for Senator Jeff Sessions.