Jun 28, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Trump to put loyalist in charge of government's HR department


Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Trump intends to nominate John Gibbs to run the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), according to two sources with direct knowledge of the decision, which remains closely held.

Why it matters: OPM is the HR department for the federal government's civil service. The agency has become a focus of the White House's efforts to install and reward Trump loyalists across the government.

  • As Politico first reported, the previous head of OPM, Dale Cabaniss, "stepped down because of, what two people familiar with the matter said, was poor treatment from the [then] 29-year-old head of the Presidential Personnel Office, John McEntee, and a powerful appointee at OPM, Paul Dans."

Between the lines: Gibbs is a former conservative commentator who currently serves as a senior official at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

  • Gibbs received national media attention when CNN reported, in 2018, that he "spread a false conspiracy theory that claimed Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign chairman took part in a Satanic ritual."

White House response: Deputy press secretary Judd Deere told Axios that "the White House has no personnel announcements at this time."

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