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White House hires 23-year-old college senior to top post in the Presidential Personnel Office

President Donald Trump, with first lady Melania Trump, gives a thumbs up as they walk to board Air Force One to depart for India, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md.  (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
President Donald Trump, with first lady Melania Trump, gives a thumbs up as they walk to board Air Force One to depart for India, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2020, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

CNN – The White House has hired a college senior to a top post in the Presidential Personnel Office amid a sweeping effort to carry out President Donald Trump's desire for a staff of loyalists, a source familiar with the hire tells CNN.

James Bacon will work for Trump's new personnel chief, John McEntee, who recently took over as director of the Presidential Personnel Office after a stint as Trump's body man. Bacon, 23, attends George Washington University, according to Politico, which first reported his hire.

The move is likely just the beginning of the Trump loyalists McEntee will continue to hire, the source said.

Earlier this month, the President instructed McEntee to focus on rooting out disloyal officials, a charge that prompted the personnel chief to tell agency officials at a recent meeting that his office will be on the lookout for staffers who are seen as disloyal.

Another official said McEntee indicated he plans to first aim his efforts at the State and Defense departments. He also told the liaisons that promotions and significant staff changes should not occur without prior approval from the Presidential Personnel Office.

One person who attended said the recent meeting was mostly introductory and a chance for the liaisons to highlight potential problems at the agencies. McEntee asked them to let him know about people they believe are working against the President's agenda.

One administration official said McEntee had indicated his office would review past processes and how they will change them.

In the wake of his impeachment acquittal, the President has been intensely focused on the question of loyalty, eager to purge his administration of officials he perceives as anti-Trump and install people who have proved their loyalty to him.

McEntee rejoined the White House after being fired in 2018 for issues related to his security clearance. Sources said at the time that the issues were related to finances.