John McEntee (political aide)

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John McEntee
John McEntee in office.jpg
Director of the White House Presidential Personnel Office
Assumed office
January 8, 2019
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byJordan Karem
Personal Aide to the President
In office
January 20, 2017 – March 13, 2018
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byJoe Paulsen
Succeeded byJordan Karem
Personal details
Born (1990-05-09) May 9, 1990 (age 30)
Fullerton, California, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
EducationUniversity of Connecticut (BA)

John David McEntee II (born May 9, 1990) is an American political advisor and former athlete who serves as the Director of the White House Presidential Personnel Office in the Trump Administration. McEntee was asked to take on the role of body man and personal aide to the President shortly after Trump was elected.[1][2][3] He was unable to obtain a security clearance and was dismissed in March 2018 amid allegations of gambling debts[4][5] and financial crimes,[6] but immediately took up a position as a senior advisor to Trump's 2020 reelection campaign. McEntee controversially returned to working in the White House, becoming the Director of the Office of Presidential Personnel[7] in February 2020.[8][9] Controversy increased when Trump assigned McEntee the task of identifying for removal political appointees and career officials who are insufficiently loyal, a task that aligns with the President's focus on acting against actual and perceived disloyalty.[10][11][12]

Prior to working in the White House Office, McEntee was the starting quarterback for the UConn Huskies football team.

Early life and education[edit]

McEntee was raised as a Catholic and attended St. Angela Merici Parish School in Brea, California. He played high school football at Servite High School in Anaheim. As a senior, he threw for 1,525 yards with seven TD passes and rushed for four touchdowns.[13]

After being redshirted his first year at the University of Connecticut, McEntee saw limited playing time in his first two full seasons of play. In 2011, he won the team's starting job and played all 12 games in 2011. As the team's quarterback, McEntee passed for over 150 yards in seven games, passed for over 200 in four games, and reached a season and career-high of 300 yards against Western Michigan University, where he also had a career high of four touchdown passes and 22 completions.[14] His 335 pass attempts was eighth in school single-season history and his 172 completions was tenth.[15]

In 2011, McEntee starred in a viral YouTube video that featured him throwing football trickshots. The video was later featured on CNN.[16] Within 48 hours of posting, the video had generated nearly 7 million views and was featured on the homepage of Yahoo.[17] After completing his communications degree in the spring, McEntee played in three games in his senior season of 2012.[15][18][19]


By 2015, McEntee had taken on a role as a production assistant for Fox News, focusing on the channel's social media accounts.[19] He successfully lobbied for a job on the Trump campaign, joining as a volunteer in July of that year, later being promoted to a full-time position as trip director.[20] McEntee was responsible for executing the campaign's rallies while traveling with the candidate and coordinating the campaign's travel for all staff.

After Trump won the 2016 election, McEntee was asked to join his staff as an aide, serving as his body man.[1] He was named as one of Newsmax's "30 Most Influential Republicans Under 30" in January 2018.[21] McEntee's service in the White House ended on March 13, 2018 when he was fired due to an "unspecified security issue" that was later revealed to be a problem with gambling debts and an inability to obtain a necessary security clearance.[5][10] McEntee was immediately hired by Trump's 2020 reelection campaign as a senior adviser for campaign operations. In January 2020, McEntee returned to the White House where he shares some of his former "body man" duties with Nick Luna, the Director of Oval Office Operations.[4] McEntee's role is as the director of the Office of Presidential Personnel,[7] reporting directly to the president. He was tasked with identifying and removing political appointees and career officials deemed insufficiently loyal to the administration.[4][10][11][12] His reappointment was controversial given the circumstances of his dismissal.[6][8][9][22]

Personal life[edit]

McEntee was raised in a Roman Catholic family in Fullerton, California.[19] His father is John D. McEntee, Sr., a producer/manager who books celebrities for private and corporate functions, as well as for resorts including the MGM Resorts, Caesars Palace, and Venetian Properties.[23] His cousin, Zac McEntee, played tennis at the University of Connecticut,[24] and is the current deputy chief of staff[25] for Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.[19]


  1. ^ a b Wisckol, Martin (January 5, 2017). "Former Servite, UConn QB and YouTube star John McEntee picked as aide to Trump". Orange County Register. Retrieved January 13, 2018. Cite has empty unknown parameter: |1= (help)
  2. ^ Wisckol, Martin (January 23, 2017). "Trump Appointments as of 1/19". University of Washington. Retrieved February 8, 2017. Cite has empty unknown parameter: |1= (help)
  3. ^ Dayton, Kels (January 4, 2017). "Former UConn quarterback Johnny "Trick Shot" McEntee hired to Trump security team". SportzEdge, WTNH. Archived from the original on 2017-08-27. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c Haberman, Maggie (2019-12-14). "Ex-Trump Aide Is Expected to Return to White House". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-10-08.
  5. ^ a b Bender, Michael C.; Ballhaus, Rebecca (March 13, 2018). "Trump's Personal Assistant Is Fired: John McEntee was escorted out of White House for unspecified security issue". The Wall Street Journal.
  6. ^ a b Relman, Eliza. "Trump just put a 29-year-old fired over allegations of financial crimes in charge of all personnel decisions". Business Insider. Retrieved February 13, 2020.
  7. ^ a b Tenpas, Kathryn Dunn (2020-10-07). "Tracking turnover in the Trump administration". Brookings Institute. Retrieved 2020-10-09.
  8. ^ a b Treene, Alayna. "Ex-Trump aide John McEntee to lead White House office of personnel". Retrieved February 13, 2020.
  9. ^ a b Conradis, Brandon (2020-02-13). "Trump's former personal assistant to oversee White House personnel office". The Hill. Retrieved February 13, 2020.
  10. ^ a b c Shear, Michael D.; Haberman, Maggie (February 13, 2020). "Trump Places Loyalists in Key Jobs Inside the White House While Raging Against Enemies Outside". The New York Times. Retrieved February 13, 2020.
  11. ^ a b Olorunnipa, Toluse; Parker, Ashley; Dawsey, Josh (2020-02-22). "Trump embarks on expansive search for disloyalty as administration-wide purge escalates". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2020-10-09.
  12. ^ a b Diamond, Jeremy; Acosta, Jim; Collins, Kaitlan; Holmes, Kristen (2020-02-21). "President's new personnel head tells agencies to look out for disloyal staffers". CNN. Retrieved 2020-10-09.
  13. ^ "John McEntee's High School Timeline". Retrieved January 13, 2018.
  14. ^ "Huskies Lose Battle Facing Western Michigan, 38-31". October 1, 2011. Retrieved January 13, 2018.
  15. ^ a b "Johnny McEntee". UConn Huskies. Archived from the original on May 22, 2013. Retrieved March 30, 2020.
  16. ^ Johnny McEntee's football trick shots, CNN, February 10, 2011, retrieved January 13, 2018
  17. ^ HardcoreHuskies (2011-02-08), Johnny Mac Trick Shot Quarterback, retrieved January 13, 2018
  18. ^ "Connecticut Commencement | Buy Photos | AP Images | DetailView".
  19. ^ a b c d Cook, Nancy; Strauss, Ben (2017-12-01). "The Trick-Shot QB Who Played His Way Into Trump's Inner Circle". POLITICO Magazine. Retrieved 2020-10-09.
  20. ^ "Rising Stars 2017: Administration Staffers". Roll Call. April 20, 2017. Retrieved January 13, 2018.
  21. ^ Krausz, Jen (2018-01-30). "Newsmax's 30 Most Influential Republicans Under 30". Newsmax. Retrieved April 23, 2019.
  22. ^ Baker, Peter (February 22, 2020). "Trump's Efforts to Remove the Disloyal Heightens Unease Across His Administration". The New York Times. Retrieved 2020-10-09.
  23. ^ "Entertainment producer donates big act to church fest". Orange County Register. May 25, 2012. Retrieved January 13, 2018.
  24. ^ "Zac McEntee Bio :: University Of Connecticut Official Athletic Site University Of Connecticut Official Athletic Site - Men's Tennis". Retrieved January 13, 2018.
  25. ^ Sherman, Jake; Palmer, Anna; Lippman, Daniel. "POLITICO Playbook: KJU says U.S. negotiating style doesn't suit them, and where Trump is going to mark tax day". POLITICO. Retrieved April 23, 2019.