Former Trump Political Appointees Struggling, “Freaking Out”
As the former guy relaxes and luxuriates at his Mar-a-Lago estate and golfs away in Florida, a number of his former political appointees are struggling to pay the rent and find gainful employment.
Many were counting on using lump-sum payments for unused vacation time to tide them over until they landed new jobs, but several told Politico that the money has yet to land in their bank accounts. Others say they’re waiting on the paperwork they need to file for unemployment benefits. Others bemoan the headwinds of being a Republican trying to work in a Democratic controlled town.
While there always are HR headaches during a government transition, some of Trump’s former political appointees say they were not warned there would be significant delays. And, possibly because Trump refused to acknowledge that Joe Biden won the election and slow-walked the transition, the problems this time around seem especially acute.
“I’m sitting here going, how do I pay my rent? How do I pay my cellphone bill?” one former Commerce appointee said in an interview.
Another former Trump Commerce official said: “I have enough money to make it a month, but when rent’s due next month, what happens then? Rent in D.C. isn’t cheap.”
Some of those former officials are waiting on fairly large sums of money. One former Homeland Security official says she’s been counting on receiving payment for more than 200 hours of unused leave, the equivalent of three months pay. Another former DHS official says his $15,000 payment, minus taxes, still hasn’t shown up.
“I don’t understand how it’s taking so long to figure out how much comp time you have and how much you’re owed and why that isn’t falling directly into my account,” one former Trump appointee said. “Jan. 20 was never a moving target.”
Another issue many are facing is extending their federal government health insurance through COBRA. Several former Trump officials said they haven’t yet received the necessary paperwork. One told Politico that he went to a doctor recently but the physician’s office couldn’t find evidence of his insurance.
“A lot of people are freaking out,” another said.