A former ethics chief in the Obama administration has accused President Joe Biden of thumbing his nose at government ethics with the prevalence of family ties among his administration’s hires.
‘I’m sorry, I know some folks don’t like hearing any criticism of him. But this royally sucks. I’m disgusted,’ tweeted Walter Shaub, who led the Office of Government Ethics from 2013 to 2017.
‘A lot of us worked hard to tee him up to restore ethics to government and believed the promises. This is a a real ‘f*** you’ to us—and government ethics,’ he added.
Shaub was responding from a new report in the Washington Post, which revealed that press secretary Jen Psaki, White House counselor Steve Ricchetti, deputy chief of staff Bruce Reed and presidential personnel office director Cathy Russell each have at least one direct family member working for the Biden administration.
A former ethics chief in the Obama administration has accused President Joe Biden of thumbing his nose at government ethics with the prevalence of family ties in hiring
Walter Shaub, who led the Office of Government Ethics from 2013 to 2017, has delivered a harsh assessment of familial ties in the Biden administration’s hiring practices
The prevalence of family ties in the new administration is infuriating to some Democrats, who had hoped that Biden would abandon the habits of Donald Trump, who notoriously hired his daughter and son-in-law as top advisors.
‘While it may not be as bad as appointing your son or daughter to a top government post as Trump did with Jared and Ivanka, it is still bad,’ Shaub told the Post. ‘Not as bad as Trump’ cannot be the new standard.’
The scrutiny on hiring practices was triggered in part by the Treasury Department’s announcement on Monday that it was hiring J.J. Ricchetti, son of Biden counselor Steve Ricchetti, leading to accusations of nepotism.
J.J. Ricchetti, a recent college graduate with no other experience listed on his department bio, will be a special assistant to the Treasury’s office of legislative affairs.
The Treasury Department announced on Monday that it was hiring J.J. Ricchetti (second from left), son of Biden counselor Steve Ricchetti (center), leading to accusations of nepotism
J.J. Ricchetti (left), a recent college graduate, will be a special assistant to the Treasury’s office of legislative affairs. His father Steve Richetti is seen right
In 2014, Sarah Donilon looks on as her mom Catherine Russell is sworn in as the U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues by then-Vice President Biden
Cathy Russell (left), the director of presidential personnel in the White House, has a daughter, Sarah Donilon (right), who graduated college in 2019 and works in the White House National Security Council
A White House official said that the administration had prioritized hiring volunteers from the campaign, such as J.J.
Russell, the director of presidential personnel in the White House, has a daughter, Sarah Donilon, who graduated college in 2019 and works in the White House National Security Council.
Reed, a deputy White House chief of staff and longtime Biden confidant, has a daughter, Julia Reed, who graduated college in 2015 and works as Biden’s day scheduler.
‘In a country that had just come through a pandemic, how can these children of political appointees be the only people who are qualified for employment?’ Shaub asked the Post.
The family ties also extend to the siblings and spouses of top political appointees.
Jen Psaki’s sister Stephanie Psaki was appointed a senior adviser at the Health and Human Services Department in March, and White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain’s wife, Monica Medina, was nominated for assistant secretary of state focused on oceans and the environment.
However, both have extensive experience in their fields.
Jen Psaki’s (left) sister Stephanie Psaki (right) was appointed a senior adviser at the Health and Human Services Department in March, however she is highly qualified
‘When little problems like this, which are so damn easy to avoid, crop up, it’s a sign of much bigger rot. Because if you can’t even do the easy things, you sure as hell can’t do the hard things,’ tweeted Shaub.
The White House insists that everyone the administration has hired meets the qualifications for their roles, and that no undue influence was exerted by family members in the hiring process.