SCHEMING?

Questions Swirl Over White House Deputy Chief of Staff’s Early Retirement Exit Plan

White House Deputy Chief of Staff Zachary Fuentes reportedly planned on taking advantage of a Coast Guard early retirement program after his White House tenure and may have tried to interfere with legislation in order to receive the perk, The New York Times reports. Sources cited by the Times said Fuentes told colleagues that after Chief of Staff John Kelly left the administration, he would “hide out” in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building—an executive building next to the White House—for six months in a “nebulous role.” After six months passed and he had completed 19 years in the Coast Guard, Fuentes reportedly believed he would be eligible for the Guard’s retirement program in order to exit from the Trump administration. However, the retirement program reportedly ended in the 2018 fiscal year. Administration officials told the Times Fuentes “discussed the program” with Department of Homeland Security officials before the agency pushed to get the program reinstated. A congressional official told the newspaper lawmakers received a “written request” to have the program restored in November. A provision to reinstate it is said to have been unexpectedly pulled from a House bill on Wednesday after reporters began asking questions about it.