another one bites the dust
October 6, 2018

Office of Personnel Management chief Jeff Pon resigned Friday after about eight months on the job, an announcement little noticed amid the furor over Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

A White House statement on Pon's departure did not say why he is leaving. For now, his duties will be assumed by Margaret Weichert, deputy director for management at the White House Office of Management and Budget. Weichert will also keep her current role.

"The broader objectives of the president's management agenda are focusing on driving and really modernizing how we think about governing and our workforce in the 21st century," Weichert said of her new responsibilities. "The president wants me to continue the work that we are doing around the president's management agenda."

Pon is the latest in a long list of administration officials to quit. Resignations and firings have accumulated at a record-setting rate in the Trump White House. Bonnie Kristian

June 27, 2018

Everett Eissenstat, one of the Trump administration's top economic advisers, is leaving his post in July.

Eissenstat was once a top aide to Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and chief Republican trade counsel for the Senate Finance Committee. Since becoming a senior White House official last year, Eissenstat has represented Trump at several international meetings, including the G7 summit this month in Canada, which ended with Trump leaving early after refusing to sign a joint statement from all the countries.

"Everett was a consummate professional and a valued member of the White House staff," White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said in a statement. "We will miss his deep expertise, commitment to duty, and skillful management of the National Economic and National Security Council's international team." People with knowledge of the matter told Politico that Eissenstat has spent the last few weeks looking for a new job, but does not have anything secured yet. Catherine Garcia

April 8, 2018

Michael Anton announced Sunday that he is leaving his position as National Security Council spokesman to work at Hillsdale College's Kirby Center as a writer and lecturer.

"I will be forever grateful to President Trump for the opportunity to serve my country and implement his agenda," he said. One of the more outspoken conservative intellectuals who defended Trump during his campaign, Anton was brought aboard by former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Flynn's replacement, H.R. McMaster, left the White House on Friday, and Trump's third national security adviser, John Bolton, starts Monday.

Trump has "nothing but good things to say" about Anton, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told Politico, and she called him one of the "smartest and most talented individuals I've ever worked with." Anton did not give a departure date, but he's expected to leave within the next few weeks. Catherine Garcia

February 10, 2018

A second White House staffer on Friday followed Rob Porter in resigning his position over domestic abuse allegations. Former speechwriter David Sorensen left his role after his ex-wife, Jessica Corbett, told The Washington Post he "ran a car over her foot, put out a cigarette on her hand, threw her into a wall, and grasped her menacingly by her hair while they were alone on their boat in remote waters off Maine's coast, an incident she said left her fearing for her life."

Corbett said she shared these accusations with the FBI months ago when Sorensen was subject to a background check. The FBI declined to comment to the Post.

Sorensen has denied all allegations. "I have never committed violence of any kind against any woman in my entire life," he said in a statement to CNN. "In fact, I was the victim of repeated physical violence during our marriage, not her." Corbett said the most she did was slap Sorensen repeatedly "after he called her a vulgar term." Bonnie Kristian

February 6, 2018

The Virginia state Senate unanimously passed a bill legalizing medical marijuana on Monday, three days after its companion bill was passed, also unanimously, in the Virginia House of Delegates. The legislation will now go to the desk of Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D), who is expected to sign it because he supports legalizing medical marijuana, as well as decriminalizing recreational possession of the drug.

The Virginia legislation will permit doctors in the state to prescribe cannabidiol oil or THC-A oil for any "diagnosed condition or disease." Previous legislation permitted use for "intractable epilepsy" only. Supporters hope the bill may also help address the opioid crisis in Virginia, as legal medical marijuana correlates with significantly fewer opioid overdose-related deaths.

"I finally decided that I needed to advocate for the physicians being the decision makers," said state Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant (R-12), a doctor who sponsored the Senate version. "We physicians are the ones that follow the literature and know which treatments are best for different conditions. The literature on medical cannabis is going to be evolving rapidly now, and because of this, it is not a decision that should be in the hands of the legislature. Instead, it should be with physicians." Bonnie Kristian

January 25, 2018

Rep. Pat Meehan (R-Pa.) announced Thursday he will not seek re-election, a week after The New York Times reported he used taxpayer dollars to settle a sexual harassment case involving a former aide.

Meehan, 62 and married with three sons, said the allegations have become a "major distraction" but he needs to "own it because it is my own conduct that fueled the matter." Speaking to The Philadelphia Inquirer earlier this week, Meehan denied any wrongdoing, but admitted he had strong feelings of affection for the woman, who is decades younger than him, and said he thought she was his "soul mate." He also said he settled the case on the advice of House attorneys.

Meehan was removed from the House Ethics Committee over the weekend, and an investigation into the claim was launched; Meehan said if he is found guilty by the committee, he will repay the taxpayer funds. Catherine Garcia

November 20, 2017

Like Trump University, Trump Airlines, Trump magazine, Trump Steaks, and Trump Vodka, The Donald J. Trump Foundation will soon cease to exist — except this time, the shutdown is planned.

In its 2015 tax filing, the charitable foundation admitted to violating rules against "self-dealing," which prohibits nonprofit leaders from directing charity money to themselves, their families, or their businesses, NBC News reports. In October 2016, the New York attorney general demanded the foundation cease asking for contributions, and in December, President Trump said he would start winding down operations to avoid conflicts of interest.

A spokesperson for the foundation confirmed it is closing down, and said it "looks forward to distributing its remaining assets at the earliest possible time to aid numerous worthy charitable organizations." The foundation can't close down just yet, though. "As the foundation is still under investigation by this office, it cannot legally dissolve until that investigation is complete," Amy Spitalnick, a spokeswoman for the New York attorney general's office, told NBC News. The foundation's 2016 IRS filing, filed this month, states it had assets of close to $970,000. Catherine Garcia

January 16, 2017

Not wanting to tick off The Boss, a Bruce Springsteen cover band says it won't play the Garden State Presidential Inaugural Gala on Thursday.

Since 1980, the B-Street Band has played 200 shows a year, and in 2013, after performing during President Obama's inauguration, signed a contract to play four years later. They obviously didn't know who would be president at the time, but once Donald Trump was elected, "the complexity of the situation became real immense and intense," Will Forte, keyboardist, manager, agent, and publicist for the band, told Rolling Stone. The group received "thousands of emails from both sides" when it was announced they would be playing the gala, Forte said, and they had to "get out of the storm."

Springsteen is a vocal critic of Trump, and after Forte started seeing headlines declaring that the band was personally hired by the president-elect, he knew it was time to call it quits. "We felt that we had to make it known that we didn't want to seem disrespectful, in any way, shape, or form, to Bruce and his music and his band," he told Rolling Stone. "I don't want to upset them. We owe everything to him, and our gratitude and respect to the band is imperative above all else." Forte said he doesn't think there will "ever be a cover band of our size in the history of music that has gotten the attention of something this big," and "whatever the consequences are for breaking a contract, I'm willing to take because this is much more important." Catherine Garcia

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