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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

36 mins ago - Health

Government website for free COVID tests launches early

COVID-19 rapid at-home test kits. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The website where Americans can request free, at-home rapid COVID-19 tests from the government launched Tuesday and is now accepting orders.

Driving the news: The website went live in its beta phase and is operating at a limited capacity a day before its official launch. Every home in the U.S. is eligible for up to four COVID tests, according to the website.

AT&T, Verizon extend 5G delay over airline panic

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

AT&T and Verizon said Tuesday they would delay lighting up its 5G signals near a limited number of airports after renewed opposition from the aviation industry over concerns about signal interference.

Why it matters: The CEOs of leading airlines warned of catastrophic disruption to flights if AT&T and Verizon deployed 5G as planned this week.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Ukraine crisis: Blinken to visit Kyiv, then meet Russian foreign minister

Photo: Russian Foreign Ministry/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Geneva on Friday, following a trip to Kyiv to reinforce U.S. support for Ukraine in the face of a possible Russian invasion, according to a senior U.S. official.

Why it matters: The meeting with Lavrov suggests a diplomatic resolution to the crisis may still be on the table, despite the collapse of security talks between Russia and the West last week.