Politico reports that the administration is going full-paranoid in an effort to root out potential leakers.


THE TRUMP TEST — In the middle of a pandemic and an economic crisis, the White House has an urgent question for its colleagues across the administration: Are you loyal enough to President Donald Trump?

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 election, according to interviews with 15 current and former senior administration officials, write Dan Diamond, Daniel Lippmanand Nancy Cook.

White House officials have said that the interviews are a necessary exercise to determine who would be willing to serve in a second term if President Donald Trump is reelected. But officials summoned for the interviews say the exercise is distracting from numerous policy priorities, like working to fight the pandemic, revitalizing the economy or overhauling regulations, and instead reflect the White House’s conviction that a “deep state” is working to undermine the president.

It’s “an exercise in ferreting out people who are perceived as not Trump enough,” said one person briefed on the meetings.

The re-interviewing exercise is being led by Johnny McEntee, a 30-year-old Trump aide dating back to the 2016 campaign who wasinstalled earlier this year as chief of the White House personnel office, responsible for filling thousands of jobs across the federal agencies.

McEntee, a former body man for Trump, did not respond to a request for comment. A White House official who defended the process said it’s part of the personnel office’s preparations for a second term, including gauging the officials’ post-election plans.