May 26, 2021 - Politics & Policy

White House tells Trump complainers: get over it

Animated photo illustration of the "deal with it" meme with pixelated sunglasses falling down onto President Joe Biden's face.

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty Images

The White House has a simple message for Trump appointees venting to the media about losing their jobs since President Biden took office: get over it.

Why it matters: The White House has been methodically clearing house, a practice former President Trump followed when he was elected — most prominently at the State Department. The aim is to install staff more in sync with an administration starkly different than its predecessor.

What they're saying: “Elections have consequences," said White House spokesperson Mike Gwin.

  • "President Biden won with a commanding victory in November, and now he has the right and obligation to make sure the positions he fills reflect the priorities he campaigned on."

Between the lines: Trump appointees have not been going quietly.

  • “I got completely screwed,” one appointee, Vanessa Ambrosini, told Politico in February.
  • Ambrosini lost her parental leave, along with other benefits, after Biden was sworn in on Jan. 20.

Most recently, the White House axed members of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, which oversees the architecture of federal buildings in D.C.

  • "I was shocked and dismayed to learn that three of my fellow commissioners, along with myself, have been asked to resign or be terminated by the president," commission chair Justin Shubow said in a statement.
  • "Any such removal would set a terrible precedent."

National Security Agency general counsel Michael Ellis, who Trump installed immediately after the presidential race was called for President Biden, also vented in his resignation letter.

  • Ellis complained he had been put “on administrative leave for nearly three months without any explanation or updates.”

Such turnover is par for the course; when Trump took office, he axed a number of Obama appointees.

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