The Trump administration has hired a 23-year-old college senior as a top official in the White House’s personnel office, according to Politico.
George Washington University student James Bacon will be director of operations in the Presidential Personnel Office, working under John McEntee, the office’s director (and President Donald Trump‘s former body man), Politico reports.
Bacon worked briefly in the Department of Transportation after another stint as a White House liaison with Department of Housing and Urban Development, where he was an assistant to Housing Secretary Ben Carson.
He will now be one of McEntee’s “right-hand men,” according to Politico, which notes that Bacon also worked on Trump’s 2016 campaign and carried some responsibilities on the Trump transition team after the election.
The White House did not respond to PEOPLE’s questions about Bacon and declined to comment on the Politico report.
SCOOP — The White House has hired a college senior to be one of the top officials in its powerful Presidential Personnel Office, three administration officials familiar with the matter told me. His name is James Bacon, 23, and is a GW senior. https://t.co/XlDOlIXkgA— Daniel Lippman (@dlippman) February 26, 2020
The hire, as reported, comes as Trump and his administration have replaced a number of administration staffers — weeks after Trump was acquitted of his impeachment charges in the Senate. (The White House saw historic turnover in previous years, though the more recent exits are largely seen as a purge by a dissatisfied Trump.)
Emboldened by the not-guilty verdict, Trump, 73, has also ramped up his criticism of law enforcement and judicial officials with whom he disagrees.
He publicly slammed federal prosecutors’ sentencing recommendation of his friend Roger Stone, which led to four attorneys stepping down from the case as the Justice Department reversed itself and reduced its requested sentence.
Earlier this week, Trump called on some liberal Supreme Court Justices to “recuse” themselves from “Trump-related” cases.
Axios reported that, last week, McEntee held a meeting calling on White House liaisons to identify those in their departments whom they believe are “anti-Trump” and aren’t devoted to the president or his government.
“After three years of allowing others to control who would be around him and have power, he’s trying to take back some of the power and have a say in the staffing in the White House and administration,” a person close to the White House told Politico. “A lot of the people in there weren’t actual allies of Trump, and didn’t actually support his agenda but had significant roles in his administration.”