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Is There Anything Donald Trump Loves More Than Nepotism?

Kayleigh McEnany speaks from the White House podium.

We all know how much Donald Trump loves nepotism, seeing as he’s given senior advisor cabinet positions to his eldest daughter and her husband, whose qualifications include jewelry sales and slumlording, respectively. Before that, he hired his children to run his conglomerate, which was founded by his father and grandmother. Donald Trump’s entire life is built on nepotism to the extent that he clearly doesn’t just value it in his own family, but works to surround himself with other self-serving families.

A recent article from The Washington Post breaks down just how many of Trump’s press staffers are related to their fellow staffers or others in Trump’s orbit.

His current press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, is married to professional baseball player Sean Gilmartin, whose brother Chad worked with McEnany on Trump’s reelection campaign.

Before her, Sarah Huckabee Sanders held that post. She is, of course, the daughter to Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas and an unwavering Trump toady.

Rudy Giuliani’s son, Andrew Giuliani, works for the White House public liaison office. He makes $95,000 a year to coordinate sports teams’ visits to the White House. His qualifications include (and are pretty much limited to) a stint playing professional golf and an internship at an investment company.

Giovanna Coia, who left Trump’s press staff last month, is Kellyanne Conway’s cousin. She also recently married Mike Pence’s nephew John, who is a senior advisor on Trump’s reelection campaign.

Laura Schlapp is a “newly hired public affairs specialist at the Pentagon” as well as the niece of Matt Schlapp, the chairman of the American Conservative Union, and Mercedes Schlapp, who recently left her position as the White House director of strategic communications to become a senior advisor on Trump’s reelection campaign.

And of course, there’s Stephen Miller, Trump’s #1 racism boy, who recently married Katie Miller, Mike Pence’s press secretary.

While Trump’s hiring practices might not be illegal, they do “raise a larger question about merit,” as Jordan Libowitz, a spokesperson for the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, put it.

“If these people were hired based on their familial relations and not on their ability to do the jobs, that is going to leave the taxpayer represented by a government not qualified to best carry out its work,” Libowitz told the Post. “There’s no better example of this than Jared Kushner, who seems to be doing half of the jobs in the White House and none of them well.”

(via Washington Post, image: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.