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Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

John McEntee, President Trump’s former body man who was fired by former chief of staff John Kelly over security clearance issues and recently returned to the West Wing, is expected to lead the Presidential Personnel Office, according to two sources with direct knowledge.

Why it matters: Trump has increasingly become furious with what he sees as a federal government full of "never-Trumpers." Administration officials tell Axios Trump feels he’s surrounded by snakes and wants to clear out all the disloyal people.

  • Trump sees McEntee as the ultimate loyalist, and he has assigned him the powerful role of picking personnel across the federal government.
  • The New York Times' Maggie Haberman first reported that McEntee was returning to the White House.

What we're hearing: Trump has been asking for names of people he should fire. Many on the outside are more than happy to oblige.

  • He was furious about former D.C. Attorney Jessie Liu, who he had nominated to serve as the Treasury Department's undersecretary for terrorism and financial crimes, after hearing from a number of people, including Rep. Louie Gohmert, that Liu was someone not to be trusted.
  • As Axios first reported, Trump is now withdrawing her nomination.

The backdrop: Prior to working for Trump, McEntee, now 29, was the starting quarterback for the Connecticut Huskies football team.

  • He is very close with Stephen Miller from their days on Air Force One and the campaign.
  • McEntee’s move to PPO comes immediately after the news that Hope Hicks, former White House communications director and a close Trump aide, will also return to the White House and will work closely with Jared Kushner.

The bottom line: With McEntee at the helm of PPO, Trump’s hardcore allies will have a freer hand than ever with personnel across the federal government.

Go deeper

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
31 mins ago - Health

Where seniors remain vulnerable to the coronavirus

Expand chart
Data: CDC and Simon Willison; Note: The last reliable figure reported for New Hampshire was 83.9% on April 6, 2021; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

More than 80% of Americans 65 and older have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, per the CDC, but millions across the country remain unvaccinated — particularly in the South.

Why it matters: Seniors who have yet to receive their shot remain highly vulnerable to the virus even as the country overall becomes safer.

Axios-Ipsos poll: Americans say J&J pause was the right call

Data: Axios/Ipsos Poll; Note: 3.3% margin of error; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Most Americans support the pause in distribution of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, and so far there's no evidence that it's leading to broader vaccine hesitancy, according to the latest installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Driving the news: In our weekly national survey, 91% of respondents were aware of the temporary pause recommended by the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease for Control and Prevention. Of those, 88% said the pause was a responsible decision.

2 hours ago - World

China's Xi swipes at U.S.: "Countries shouldn't impose rules on others"

China's President Xi Jinping during a video summit in Beijing on Friday. Photo: Li Xueren/Xinhua via Getty Images

China's President Xi Jinping on Tuesday warned against "bossing others around or meddling in others' internal affairs" and called for "more fair and equitable" global governance.

Why it matters: Xi's thinly veiled swipes at the U.S. during an online speech at an economic forum come at a time of heightened tensions between Beijing and Washington over trade, human rights and China's strategic and economic ambitions.