Rob Porter isn’t the only Trump staffer forced out because of past actions


Typically, political appointees brought in with each presidential administration undergo a series of checks to ensure they’re fit for the position. This vetting includes background checks, applications for security clearances and ethics reviews — in hopes that any red flags in their backgrounds won’t come as a surprise to the administration or become embarrassing politically.

Here’s a look at some other notable Trump administration staff members who stepped down or withdrew their names from consideration because of issues in their résumés or past actions.

Flynn was fired from his role at the White House for lying to Vice President Mike Pence and the FBI about his communications with Russia, Trump said. Since his departure from the White House, Flynn has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, House Democrats alleged that he failed to disclose foreign trips on security clearance forms and the Wall Street Journal reported that he was being investigated for an alleged role in a plan to forcibly remove a Muslim cleric from the US and return him to Turkey for $15 million.

Andrew Puzder, labor secretary nominee

BEDMINSTER TOWNSHIP, NJ - NOVEMBER 19: (L to R) Andrew Puzder, chief executive of CKE Restaurants, exits after his meeting with president-elect Donald Trump at Trump International Golf Club, November 19, 2016 in Bedminster Township, New Jersey. Trump and his transition team are in the process of filling cabinet and other high level positions for the new administration. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Puzder, the former CEO of CKE Restaurants, was in line to be Trump’s labor secretary but withdrew after a 1990 interview resurfaced in which Puzder’s ex-wife accused him of domestic abuse, an allegation he’s denied. In addition, Puzder admitted to hiring an undocumented immigrant to be his housekeeper.

Mark Green, secretary of the Army nominee

Green withdrew his nomination following scrutiny over resurfaced comments, including a lecture arguing against the theory of evolution and writing in a 2013 Facebook post that then-President Barack Obama “supports transvestites in uniform.” Green called the revelations “false and misleading.”

Tom Marino, nominee for director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 23:  Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA) (L) speaks during a news conference about the budget continuing resolution passed by the House near midnight with Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) (C) and Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA) September 23, 2011 in Washington, DC.
Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pennsylvania, withdrew his name for consideration to become the administration’s drug czar after a a joint CBS “60 Minutes” and Washington Post report revealed that he took nearly $100,000 from the pharmaceutical lobby while sponsoring a bill that made it easier for drug companies to distribute opioids and thwart the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Sam Clovis, nominee for chief scientist at the US Department of Agriculture

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump listens as Sam Clovis speaks at a press conference at the Grand River Center on August 25, 2015 in Dubuque, Iowa. Clovis recently quit his position as Iowa campaign chairman for Rick Perry.
Trump had picked Clovis for the position despite him not having a background in science. That lack of experience, alongside a history of racially charged and anti-gay comments, made his nomination particularly controversial. He withdrew from consideration last November.

Daniel Alan Craig, nominee for deputy administrator at the Federal Emergency Management Agency

Craig told CNN he withdrew from consideration because “FEMA doesn’t need the sidetrack right now” — after NBC News reported that an inspector general report had “found he had falsified government travel and timekeeping records when he served in the Bush administration in 2005.”

He called the allegations “factually untrue.”

The Rev. Jamie Johnson, director of the Center for Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships at the Department of Homeland Security

Jamie Johnson, Director DHS Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnership
Johnson resigned last November after a CNN KFile report revealed inflammatory past comments he had made about black people and Islam. Prior to his resignation, Johnson apologized for his comments, telling CNN: “I regret the manner in which those thoughts were expressed in the past, but can say unequivocally that they do not represent my views personally or professionally.”

Carl Higbie, chief of external affairs, Corporation for National and Community Service

Higbie, the public face of the agency that runs the AmeriCorps volunteer program, resigned in January after a CNN KFile report about racist, sexist, anti-Muslim and anti-LGBT comments he made on the radio. Higbie apologized for his comments soon after his resignation.

Kathleen Hartnett White, nominee to become a member of the Council on Environmental Quality

Kathleen Hartnett White arrives at Trump Tower, November 28, 2016 in New York City.
CNN’s KFile reported that Hartnett White, who would have overseen environmental and energy policies across the government, had described the belief in “global warming” as a “kind of paganism” for “secular elites” during a September 2016 interview on “The Right Perspective,” an online conservative radio show.

Monica Crowley, appointed to be the senior director of strategic communications for the National Security Council

Crowley bowed out of joining the NSC staff after CNN’s KFile uncovered multiple instances of plagiarism in her 2012 book, her columns for the Washington Times and her 2000 Ph.D. dissertation for Columbia University. Crowley referred to the report as “a political hit job.”

CNN’s Evan Perez, Jeff Zeleny, Manu Raju, Kaitlan Collins, Kevin Liptak, Dan Merica and Veronica Stracqualursi contributed to this report.

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