The White House has installed at least 16 political appointees at every Cabinet agency to be President Donald Trump's eyes and ears, the Washington Post reports.
They are in place to monitor the "secretaries' loyalty," eight officials told the Post, and are embedded at departments including Energy and Health and Human Services, NASA, and others.
ProPublica, which obtained records through a Freedom of Information Act request and published the names of all of Trump's hires since he took office, reported the information first.
Listed among the names published are Breitbart contributors "and others who have embraced conspiracy theories, as well as dozens of Washington insiders who could be reasonably characterized as part of the "swamp" Trump pledged to drain," writes ProPublica. Of the 400, 36 are lobbyists, many former congressional staffers, holdovers from the Obama administration and several top officials from the George W. Bush administration.
The political appointees report to Rick Dearborn, the White House deputy chief of staff for policy. John Mashburn, a top Dearborn aide, checks in weekly with the aides during a conference call he leads.
The Post reports the aides "act as a go-between on policy matters for the agencies and the White House."
But they also monitor Cabinet leaders and their staff members to "make sure they carry out the president’s agenda and don’t stray too far from the White House’s talking points," several officials told the Post.
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