Sat Jul 04, 2020 5:37
White House Reportedly Plans to Interview Pentagon Officials for 'Political Litmus Test'
TEHRAN (FNA)- The American magazine Foreign Policy quoted unnamed sources as saying that as of next week, White House staffers will start interviewing political appointees at the US Department of Defense.

Washington called the upcoming 30-minute interviews “an opportunity for each appointee to discuss their career and interests for 2021 and beyond”, according to a White House email, seen by the magazine.

Chief Pentagon Spokesperson Jonathan Rath Hoffman, for his part, told Foreign Policy that “these meetings were set up by DoD so that our political appointees could discuss second-term opportunities at the Department and throughout the administration”.

The sources, in turn, said that senior Pentagon officials, including Defence Secretary Mark Esper, would not take part in the interviews which will most likely be used in order to root out those DoD officials who are not perceived as “sufficiently loyal” to President Donald Trump.

“I think the assumption is correct—aligned with Trump or you’re out,” one of the sources was cited by Foreign Policy as saying.

The remarks echoed those by former Pentagon Policy Chief Eric Edelman, who told the magazine that in his “30 years in government” he was “unaware of anything quite like this”, in an apparent nod to the interviews.

Ex-Pentagon official Jim Townsend, for his part, argued that “it’s fair that you want to do an evaluation of the appointees and current roles” but that he had “never heard of anyone doing a political litmus test between one term and the next”, something that Townsend noted is “very odd”.

“What this White House personnel office is looking for is not people who are good for the job with the right expertise but complete loyalists […] regardless of whether they’re fit for the job,” he asserted.

The news of the forthcoming interviews comes after recent resignations by DoD officials who were seen as disloyal to Trump, among them Kathryn Wheelbarger, who served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs.

They also included Deputy Under Secretary of Defence (Comptroller) Elaine McCusker, who stepped down after she raised concerns about the legality of the Ukraine military aid being held up by the Trump administration, an issue that finally prompted impeachment proceedings against President Trump last year.

Ukraine-related issues also resulted in the resignation of Pentagon Policy Chief John Rood in February.

In late December 2018, then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis moved to stand down, citing in a resignation letter, that Trump needed to find a Pentagon chief whose views were more aligned with those of POTUS.





Bottom top
Spain: Protesters Call for End to Spanish Monarchy after Former King's Exit

TEHRAN (FNA)- Protesters on Sunday called for an end to the Spanish monarchy after the sudden departure of the former king Juan Carlos from the country this week amid a corruption scandal. [VIDEO]
Lebanon: Burned Out Vehicles, Damaged Buildings in Aftermath of Beirut Riot

TEHRAN (FNA)- Destroyed shops and vehicles were seen in Central Beirut on Sunday in the aftermath of a night of clashes between dozens of rioters and the police. [VIDEO]
Palestinians Stand in Solidarity with Lebanon

TEHRAN (FNA)- Palestinians in Gaza attend a vigil to stand in solidarity with Lebanon after deadly blast in capital Beirut. [PHOTOS]
Global COVID-19 cases surpass 20 million

TEHRAN (FNA)- Global cases of COVID-19 have surpassed 20 million, increasing by ten million in just 43 days. [PHOTOS]
Iran’s Judiciary to File Lawsuit against Brian Hook

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran’s Deputy Judiciary Chief for International Affairs Ali Baqeri called on the country’s prosecutor to lodge a complaint against former US special representative for Iran Brian Hook for his hostile measures and threatening the Iranian military officials with assassination.
Violent Protesters Continue Riot in Lebanon for 2nd Night

TEHRAN (FNA)- Small groups of protesters went out for a second night and clashed with the police near several government premises in Beirut.
Deputy FM Blasts Forged PGCC’s Letter to UN on Extension of Arms Embargos against Iran

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Mohsen Baharvand lashed out at certain members of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council for forging a letter to the UN Security Council on behalf of other PGCC countries on extension of arms embargos against Tehran.
Syrian Tribe Declares Popular War Against US Forces, SDF

TEHRAN (FNA)- A Syrian tribe in the Eastern province of Deir Ezzur launched a popular resistance force against US troops and their allies, accusing the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) of stealing the country’s resources.
Lawyer: Venezuela Granted Full Leave to Appeal UK Ruling Denying Access to Gold Reserves

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Venezuelan Central Bank (BCV) has been given the right to appeal all aspects of an original ruling by a UK court that denied Caracas custody of Venezuelan gold reserves that are currently being held by the Bank of England, a lawyer said on Monday.
IRGC Deputy Commander: No US Official Valuable Enough to Be General Soleimani's Direct Ransom for Revenge

TEHRAN (FNA)- Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Deputy Commander for Political Affairs Brigadier General Yadollah Javani said that no US official is valuable enough to be targeted as a direct ransom for the assassination of the martyred IRGC Quds Force Commander, Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani.
Iran-Afghanistan-Uzbekistan Transit Corridor Goes into Operation

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran put the pilot project of Iran-Afghanistan-Uzbekistan transit corridor into operation, as two trucks started on Monday transporting goods from Iran to Afghanistan and finally to Uzbekistan.
Ambassador: New US Representative for Iran Showing Trump’s Confusion

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Ambassador to Venezuela Hojjatollah Soltani said that the new US special representative for the Islamic Republic of Iran indicates President Donald Trump's bewilderment.
Looting, Rioting Breaks Out in Chicago After Police Shooting

TEHRAN (FNA)- Large scale protests and unrest broke out in Chicago, including mass looting taking place across the city.
UK to Plunge into Deepest Slump on Record with Worst GDP Drop of G7

TEHRAN (FNA)- Britain’s economy will be officially declared in recession this week for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis, as the coronavirus outbreak plunges the country into the deepest slump on record.
UK PM Insists Schools Safe Hours After Children’s Commissioner Calls for More Testing

TEHRAN (FNA)- UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson insisted schools are safe to re-open next month just hours after the Children’s Commissioner called for routine coronavirus testing for pupils and teachers.