The White House is on the defense after news emerged that the Trump administration is conducting “loyalty tests” across government agencies. The White House says these one-on-one interviews with political appointees are necessary to determine who would be willing to serve should President Donald Trump be re-elected this November.
“If we’re going to extend this amount of capital on you, and push for you, they should ask more questions. I’m glad they’re doing it finally,” one White House official, a Trump loyalist, said. “The fact that PPO is finally considering whether people are aligned with the president — it’s long overdue.”
The interviews “an exercise in ferreting out people who are perceived as not Trump enough,” said one individual with knowledge of the meetings.
Said another senior administration official, “If they’re spending time trying to hunt down leakers, that’s time they’re taking away from advancing an agenda. And that’s irresponsible.”
According to another source, the interviewers have asked certain questions, such as about the interviewee’s thoughts on the U.S.-China relationship, as litmus tests of support for the administration.
“It just seems like you could be a rocket scientist, but all they care about is whether you are MAGA,” said the official. “It is fair to do something to prepare to fill jobs in a second term, but right now, it is hard to know what the metrics are with this personnel office for being successful. There is no set criteria for what makes a good political appointee.”