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Trump's personal aide departs out the White House
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13 Mar 2018 09:08 PM EST

-by Tyrone Townsend, Staff Writer; Image: White House (Image Source:Wikimedia) 

Disclaimer:The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions and policy of Allmediany and related companies 

President Trump's aide was removed from his position at the White House because he is under investigation by Homeland Security due to financial crimes.

John McEntee, who has served President Trump since day one of his presidential campaign, has had problems related to online gambling and mishandling of taxes.  White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said, "We don't comment on personnel issues." Mr. McEntee didn't return a call seeking comment.

On Tuesday morning, the Trump presidential campaign announced McEntee would join the 2020 campaign as a senior adviser. His exit is on the heels of a string of abrupt departures including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, economic czar Gary Cohn and White House communications director Hope Hicks, also a long-serving staffer.

McEntee was more than a personal aide to Trump; he was his right hand. McEntee ensured Trump had markers to sign autographs, delivered messages to Trump, attended the president on his travels and turned the clocks forward in the White House for daylight saving time. McEntee departed from the White House premises without collecting his personal belongings.

John Kelly, the White House chief of staff, has made it his mission to cleanse the staff members operating on interim security clearances because they could not pass F.B.I. background checks.

The security purges were prompted by the departure of staff secretary Rob Porter, who quit after accusations of domestic violence were made public. Mr. Porter has denied the allegations, which had delayed final approval of his security clearance.

Mr. Kelly told reporters earlier this month that when he joined the White House as chief of staff this summer, he realized many staffers still held interim clearances after more than seven months in the administration.  

The loss of McEntee is a crippling blow for Trump. The inner circle of close associates who been by his side is gone. Keith Schiller, the president's director of security, disappear from the White House in September. Hope Hicks, one of Trump's closest aides, has only a few days left under the White House roof.  

The president will have no close associates to hold his hand during his term in office. Kellyanne Conway, who stands by Trump, does not accompany him on travels. Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, the president's daughter and his son in law, have offices near Trump but have different roles to play.  

McEntee's departure has several Trump aides rattled about the president's mood in the coming days. A senior administration official said Trump has been stable recently, but it is hard to overstate the effect of the departure, along with Hope Hicks.

In response to news reports about McEntee's exit, Rep. Elijah Cummings, the ranking Democrat on the House oversight committee, sent a letter to chief of staff John Kelly requesting all documents related to McEntee's employment and departure.

A former quarterback with the University of Connecticut, Mr. McEntee's first brush with fame came when he released a football trick-shot video on YouTube that went viral. The nearly five-minute, 2011 video has almost 7.3 million views.

Mr. McEntee worked at Fox News in 2015 when he volunteered to work on Mr. Trump's campaign and quickly became a full-time staffer. Over the course of the chaotic campaign, Mr. McEntee became close with Mr. Trump and joined the small cadre of loyal, trusted aides around him.

Reggie Love, the former Duke basketball player who served as the personal assistant and first body man to former President Barack Obama, Mr. McEntee was one of the few people with nearly constant access to the president he served.

However, unlike many of Mr. Trump's more famous advisers, Mr. McEntee was absent from public view, making virtually no comments to the press and remaining under the radar amid the backbiting and chaos swirling around the president.

Mr. McEntee's ouster is the latest fallout from the security clearance scandal that erupted when Rob Porter, the president's staff secretary, resigned under pressure last month. Mr. Porter left after it was revealed that allegations of spousal abuse were holding up his permanent security clearance.

A review of the security clearances at the White House by Mr. Kelly found that many officials were operating with interim clearances. In a memo to the staff last month, Mr. Kelly said that he would revoke the interim clearances for people whose background investigations showed they could not receive permanent clearance.

Late last month, Mr. Kushner's security clearance was downgraded, but Mr. Kushner remains a senior adviser at the White House working on Middle East peace efforts, prison reform and other issues for Mr. Trump.

 

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