The White House has hired a college student to fill one of its top positions in the Presidential Personnel Office, Politico and CNN reported.
James Bacon, a 23-year-old senior at George Washington University, will reportedly help vet presidential appointees and oversee paperwork as the office’s director of operations.
Bacon, a loyalist to President Donald Trump who worked on his 2016 campaign, will transition to the White House from the Department of Transportation, where he focused on policy, according to Politico. Previously, he served as a White House liaison at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Bacon’s new role reportedly comes amid a far-reaching campaign by Trump to purge staffers who are disloyal. Bacon will work under 29-year-old John McEntee, who was recently rehired to replace Sean Doocey as head of the personnel office.
Then-chief of staff John Kelly fired McEntee, who was working as Trump’s personal assistant, in 2018 over concerns about a gambling problem and tax issues, The Wall Street Journal reported at the time.
Though Doocey had reported to acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney’s deputy, McEntee now reports directly to Trump, reported The Washington Post. Doocey was pushed out to a new role in the State Department after a coalition of prominent conservatives accused him of obstructionism and called for his firing, per Axios.
Bacon will replace Katja Bullock, a veteran of the office in her mid-70s who worked under both the Reagan and Bush administrations. Her annual salary was $145,000, according to the 2019 White House annual personnel report.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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