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The Best People
February 26, 2018

President Trump "has told a host of administration officials and associates" that he wants his longtime personal pilot, John Dunkin, to head the Federal Aviation Administration, Axios reported Sunday night, noting that the FAA "has a budget in the billions" and "oversees all civil aviation in the United States." A White House official confirmed to The Washington Post that Dunkin is "in the mix" to lead the agency, run by acting chief Dan Elwell since Michael Huerta's five-year term ended last month. Elwell, a former deputy FAA administrator, is also on the short list, as is Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), a commercial airline pilot.

Dunkin has flown for Trump since 1989, according to a Smithsonian Channel documentary; that's the same year Trump bought Eastern Air Line's shuttle service and transformed it into the ill-fated Trump Shuttle airlines. A senior administration official told Axios' Jonathan Swan that while Dunkin got his job interview because of his ties to Trump, "if he gets the job it won't be because he's the president's pilot." An aviation industry insider told Swan that Trump picking Dunkin would be like "the Seinfeld episode when Cosmo Kramer used his golf caddy as a jury consultant." (It did not end well.)

A White House official told the Post that Trump is not putting his thumb on the scale, but defended Dunkin's qualifications. "John Dunkin isn't just a pilot," an administration official told Axios. "He's managed airline and corporate flight departments, certified airlines from start-up under FAA regulations, and oversaw the Trump presidential campaign's air fleet." Trump, who has proposed privatizing the FAA's air-traffic control system, told airline executives a year ago that he has "a pilot who's a real expert," adding, "My pilot, he's a smart guy, and he knows what's going on." Dunkin has shared with people that he would tell Trump if a pilot ran the FAA, flight delays would disappear, Axios says. Peter Weber

January 19, 2018

Hungary's national police issued an arrest warrant for Sebastian Gorka, a Fox News analyst and former adviser to President Trump, in September 2016, and it is still active, The Associated Press and other media organizations report. That means Gorka was wanted in Hungary for unspecified "firearm or ammunition abuse" for the entire time he worked in the Trump White House, until his departure in August 2017. The warrant, still posted on the website of Hungary's national police, was first reported by the Hungarian news site 444.

Gorka served as a national security aide to Trump, but his role was never clearly laid out and, AP says, he never got clearance to work on the National Security Council due at least in part to a January 2016 weapons charge at Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C. The unspecified weapons charge in Budapest could have been from an incident as far back as 2009, 444 noted, and Gorka points out that he moved to the U.S. from Hungary in 2008, without denying that the warrant exists.

"Don't waste your time," he told BuzzFeed News. "I don't talk to BuzzFeed, thank you." Gorka told the Washington Examiner he did "not really" have a comment because he moved to America in 2008, calling the report "more #FAKENEWS" but declining again to say if he was in Hungary after he moved to the U.S. Gorka was born in London to Hungarian parents and lived in Hungary from 1992 to 2008. Peter Weber

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