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Internal government email obtained by Axios

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told administration officials Monday to expect senior aides to be replaced at many government agencies, according to an internal email obtained by Axios.

Behind the scenes: Meadows asked the director of the White House Presidential Personnel Office John McEntee "to look at replacing the White House Liaisons (WHLs) at many of your agencies," according to the email. "John will be working with outgoing liaisons to explore other opportunities."

  • "Please welcome incoming liaisons as they begin their new roles," Meadows wrote. "I ask that you encourage your teams to equip the WHLs with everything they need to support your agency and the President's agenda."
  • "It is important that WHLs have direct access to principals and senior staff regarding all political hiring decisions."

Why it matters: As Meadows reminded the recipients of his email, these liaisons are the senior-level staff responsible for managing political appointees within each agency.

The White House declined to comment.

Between the lines: Liaisons are the White House's eyes and ears inside the agencies — and in the Trump administration they're charged with enforcing loyalty to the president and his agenda.

  • McEntee, the president's 30-year-old former body man who now runs hiring for the government, has become a controversial figure within the agencies.
  • Since taking over the role, McEntee has been systematically purging or reassigning agency officials deemed insufficiently loyal to Trump.
  • As we have previously reported, McEntee, in a highly unusual campaign, has been making significant staffing changes inside top federal agencies "without the consent — and, in at least one case, without even the knowledge — of the agency head."
  • This has not endeared him to some agency heads and career officials, but Trump expressed delight at McEntee's efforts, according to sources familiar with the president's private comments.

What we're hearing: Some of McEntee's moves have backfired — with media outlets printing articles about young, unqualified picks and others with a public history of incendiary or homophobic statements.

  • It's noteworthy that this latest staffing direction comes from Meadows, not McEntee.

Go deeper

Biden promises retaliation for cyberattack on government agencies

Joe Biden speaking in Atlanta on Dec. 15. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President-elect Biden on Thursday said that a suspected Russian cyberattack on multiple government agencies and U.S. companies "is a matter of great concern" and promised to impose "substantial costs" to those responsible for the attack.

Driving the news: Biden's statement came just hours after the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency alerted that evidence suggested that additional malware was used in what it described as “a grave risk to the Federal Government and state, local, tribal, and territorial governments as well as critical infrastructure entities and other private sector organizations.”

GOP-led Arizona board calls for end to election audit

Ballots are counted at the Maricopa County Election Department after the presidential election in Phoenix, Arizona, on Nov. 5. Photo: Olivier Touron/AFP via Getty Images

The Republican-dominated Maricopa County Board of Supervisors on Monday urged the Arizona state Senate's GOP-led audit of its 2020 presidential election results to be called off in a letter Monday.

Why it matters: The letter underscores divisions in the GOP between loyalists of former President Trump and those denouncing baseless election claims, which saw Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) ousted last Wednesday as the third-highest ranking House Republican after speaking out on the matter.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
48 mins ago - Energy & Environment

IEA analysis charts "narrow" pathway to Paris climate goal

Photovoltaic solar panels at the power plant in La Colle des Mees, Alpes de Haute Provence, southeastern France. Photo: Gerard Julien/AFP via Getty Images

The pathway for transforming global energy systems to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 is "narrow but still achievable" and demands unprecedented acceleration away from fossil fuels, an International Energy Agency report published Tuesday concludes.

Why it matters: It provides detailed analysis and estimates of what's needed for a good shot at limiting temperature rise to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels — the Paris Agreement benchmark for avoiding some of the most damaging effects of climate change.

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