Walter Shaub, the former director of the Office of Government Ethics during the Obama administration, tore into President Joe Biden Friday, charging the Democratic president lied when he promised to champion ethical standards inside the White House.
What is the background?
The Washington Post reported Friday that, despite Biden’s promise to not hire his own children for jobs in his administration, children and relatives of powerful administration officials have been hired for key government positions.
The Post reported:
But that vow did not extend to his senior staff and their relatives. In the first few months of Biden’s presidency, at least five children of his top aides have secured coveted jobs in the new administration. They include two sons and a daughter of the White House counselor, the daughter of a deputy White House chief of staff and the daughter of the director of presidential personnel.
Beyond children, other relatives of top Biden aides also have secured high-level administration jobs or nominations. They include the wife of White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain and the sister of White House press secretary Jen Psaki.
The story was published days after the Post published another story about the administration’s hiring practices. That story was titled, “Lobbyist brother of top Biden adviser poses challenge to president’s ethics promises.”
What did Shaub say?
Shaub unleashed on Biden in a profanity-laced Twitter rant, calling himself a “stupid moron” who believed Biden’s promises that such activity would not happen under his watch.
“[T]his royally sucks. I’m disgusted. 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,” Shaub said. “Pathetic! The responses from people who spent 4 years complaining the other side was putting party over country are pathetic. They sound just like MAGAs. The jobs went to privileged kiddos with mommies & daddies who cozied up to POTUS. Nepotism is illegal.”
“EVEN THE F-ING HEAD OF PRESIDENTIAL PERSONNEL, WHO IS SUPPOSED TO BE KEEPING THEM HONEST, HAS A CHILD WHO’S A RECENT COLLEGE GRAD WORKING IN THE ADMINISTRATION. AND THE SPOUSE OF THE WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD. This is ridiculous. What a f***ing failure,” Shaub continued.
“Do I sound bitter? HELL, YEAH, I’M BITTER! I’m the stupid moron who fell for his false promises,” he added. “I wasn’t naive enough to think he’d be a transformative president. He told us he’d be plain vanilla. But I thought there was momentum behind his ethics promises. Boy was I stupid.”
Do I sound bitter? HELL, YEAH, I’M BITTER! I’m the stupid moron who fell for his false promises. I wasn’t naive eno… https://t.co/nyrk35QMiD
— Walter Shaub (@Walter Shaub)1624025306.0
Shaub later pointed out more specific ethical problems with the Biden administration.
“We’ve got a Raytheon board member leading DOD,” he said, referring to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. “We’ve got private equity fund people in the WH and at State. You’ve got corporate execs and big firm lawyers who represent corporations throughout. And personnel is policy.”
Despite ranting against Biden, Shaub claimed the current administration is “better than” former President Donald Trump’s, but concluded, “I’m disappointed. I’m angry. I supported this guy. I provided help to the campaign and the transition because I believed ethics was going to be a priority. Well, it isn’t even in the top 100 things the administration cares about.”
What did the WH say?
The White House rebuffed any accusations of unethical hirings.
“The president has instituted the highest ethical standards of anyone to ever hold this office,” deputy White House press secretary Andrew Bates told the Post. “And he’s proud to have staffed the most diverse administration in American history with well-qualified public servants who reflect his values.”