Donald Trump's domestic enemies list continues to grow.
It was only a matter of time before he got to the so-called "Never-Trumpers"--government employees who refuse to pledge to him their fealty.
And it is former Trump "body man" Johnny McEntee who's been assigned to carry out the order to "Purge the 'Bad People' and 'Deep State'."
"McEntee called in White House liaisons from cabinet agencies for an introductory meeting Thursday [Feb. 20], in which he asked them to identify political appointees across the U.S. government who are believed to be anti-Trump...Those identified as anti-Trump will no longer get promotions by shifting them around agencies."
(It's important to note that McEntee was escorted off the White House premises last year for investigations into financial crimes.)
Trump's objective is clear: The list will never stop expanding so long as those who persist in disagreeing with him--as authoritarians are wont to do.
Consider the tweet Trump sent in November about Jennifer Williams, a State Department employee detailed to Vice President Mike Pence's staff:
"Tell Jennifer Williams, whoever that is, to read BOTH transcripts of the presidential calls, & see the just released ststement [sic] from Ukraine. Then she should meet with the other Never Trumpers, who I don't know & mostly never even heard of, & work out a better presidential attack!"
What did she do to draw such ire?
Then there's top US diplomat in Ukraine, Bill Taylor, and State Department official, George Kent, both of whom testified in the House Oversight Committee's impeachment inquiry.
Trump also hurled the "NEVER TRUMPERS!" epithet at them, as he did toward National Security Council Ukraine expert Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, escorted from the White House one week after Trump was acquitted in his Senate impeachment trial.
Insinuating Vindman's "Never-Trumper" allegiance, Trump stated:
"Why didn't the lieutenant colonel say that he wrote a letter to the White House with certain little comments about the phone call?"
When asked about evidence for the implication, Trump responded, "We'll be showing that to you real soon, OK?"
That was in November. We're still waiting.
"The pattern here is clear: The President of the United States is alleging (and alleging and alleging) that members of his administration are actually covertly opposed to him. Because they are critical of the way (or a way) in which he has conducted himself in office. He offers no proof for these wild claims because, primarily, none exists.
"The goal is simple. Muddy the waters with false accusations that are impossible to fully disprove. Rely on your loyal base to back you up no matter what the facts say. The damage to hard-earned personal reputations you do along the way? That's not your concern."
Retired Navy admiral and former U.S. Special Operations commander, William H. McRaven, published an op-ed in The Washington Post this week, warning:
"Over the course of the past three years, I have watched good men and women, friends of mine, come and go in the Trump administrationall trying to do somethingall trying to do their best. Jim Mattis, John Kelly, H.R. McMaster, Sue Gordon, Dan Coats and, now, Joe Maguire, who until this week was the acting director of national intelligence.
"As Americans, we should be frighteneddeeply afraid for the future of the nation. When good men and women can't speak the truth, when facts are inconvenient, when integrity and character no longer matter, when presidential ego and self-preservation are more important than national securitythen there is nothing left to stop the triumph of evil."
To date, the Trump administration has targeted:
- Immigrants (even those here legally)
- Immigrants requiring public assistance
- African Americans and Africans
- Asylum seekers
- Migrant children
- Sanctuary states and cities
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients
- Climate scientists
- Students with college debt
- The homeless (and municipalities that possess homelessness)
- Women's reproductive rights
- Public education
- The media
- Transgender military personnel
- Transgender students
- Government employees
The list grows.
Will you be added to it next?