John McEntee (political aide)

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John McEntee
McEntee in April 2019
Director of the White House Presidential Personnel Office
In office
January 8, 2020 – January 20, 2021
PresidentDonald Trump
Preceded byJordan Karem
Succeeded byCatherine M. Russell
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 33)
Fullerton, California, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
EducationUniversity of Connecticut (BA)

John David McEntee II (born May 9, 1990) is an American political advisor who served in the Trump administration. He has been a Trump loyalist during and after the Trump presidency.[1][2] He began as a body man and personal aide to the president but was dismissed by White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly in March 2018 after failing a security clearance background check, which discovered he was under investigation by the Department of Homeland Security due to debt-related issues from gambling.[3][4][5][6]

After Kelly was dismissed in December 2018, Donald Trump rehired McEntee and named him Director of the White House Presidential Personnel Office in February 2020.[7][8][9][10] After leaving the White House, McEntee founded The Right Stuff, a dating app for conservatives, which he led as CEO.[11]

Early life and education[edit]

McEntee was raised in a Roman Catholic family in Fullerton, California.[12] His father is John D. McEntee, a producer and manager who books celebrities for private and corporate functions, as well as for resorts including the MGM Resorts, Caesars Palace, and Venetian Properties.[13] He first attended St. Angela Merici Parish School in Brea, California, and then attended Servite High School in Anaheim, where he played quarterback on the varsity football team.[14]

McEntee was a redshirt his first year at the University of Connecticut, and completed his communications degree in the spring of his senior year.[15] He played college football for the Huskies, but was used sparingly in his first two seasons.[16] McEntee would be named the starting quarterback during the 2011 season, after a strong performance against Buffalo.[17] In the next game against Western Michigan, he recorded his season and career-high, after throwing for 300 yards and four touchdowns.[18] McEntee lost the starting job to transfer Chandler Whitmer in the 2012 season, and dropped down the depth chart to third-string, making just three appearances for the Huskies.[19]


In 2015, McEntee worked as a production assistant for Fox News, focusing on the channel's social media accounts.[12] 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.[citation needed]

After Donald Trump won the 2016 election, McEntee was asked to join his staff as an aide, serving as his body man.[4] McEntee accompanied Trump on all trips, most notably the President's trip to Saudi Arabia in May 2017, where "Man in red tie" (McEntee) and "#Trump's_daughter" (Ivanka Trump) were the most trending hashtags in the country.[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 his gambling debts and an inability to obtain a necessary security clearance.[22][23]

McEntee was 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 shared some of his former duties with Nick Luna, the Director of Oval Office Operations.[24] McEntee's role was Director of the White House Presidential Personnel Office,[8] reporting directly to the President. He was tasked with identifying and removing political appointees and career officials deemed insufficiently loyal to the administration, despite having no previous personnel or people management experience.[23][25][26][27] His reappointment was controversial given the circumstances of his dismissal.[28][9][10][29] On November 9, 2021, McEntee was issued a subpoena to testify by the House January 6th Committee.[30] On two occasions in 2022, he appeared before the committee in a taped deposition,[31][32] before returning in person in January 2023.[33]

McEntee also sent a series of bullet points via text message to Pence's chief of staff to incorrectly assert that Thomas Jefferson "Used His Position as VP to Win" the 1801 election, which McEntee claimed "proves that the VP has, at a minimum, a substantial discretion to address issues with the electoral process."[7]

In 2021, McEntee met with Peter Thiel to pitch him on several tech startup ideas, one of which was the idea for a conservative dating app called The Right Stuff. Thiel agreed to fund The Right Stuff and subsequently made a seed round investment of $1.5 million. The app launched on September 30, 2022.[11]

In May 2023, it was announced that McEntee was joining The Heritage Foundation's Project 2025 as a senior advisor.[34]

ABC News correspondent Jonathan Karl wrote in November 2023 that in the closing weeks of the Trump presidency McEntee worked with Douglas Macgregor to draft a brief document ordering swift withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Afghanistan and Somalia. The president signed it and it was forwarded to Kash Patel at the Pentagon without any review by the legal, military or national security apparatus, nor it being recorded by Derek Lyons, the White House staff secretary responsible for filing and transmitting official presidential orders. After acting defense secretary Christopher Miller and Joint Chiefs chairman Mark Milley went to the White House to inquire about the order, it was rescinded.[35]

In popular culture[edit]

In 2011, while he was a college football player, McEntee appeared in a viral YouTube video that featured him throwing football trickshots.[6][12] The video was later featured on CNN.[36]


  1. ^ Josh Dawsey; Juliet Eilperin; John Hudson; Lisa Rein (November 13, 2023). "Behind the Curtain: Trump allies pre-screen loyalists for unprecedented power grab". Axios. A staunch Trump loyalist
  2. ^ Baker, Peter (February 22, 2020). "Trump's Efforts to Remove the Disloyal Heightens Unease Across His Administration". The New York Times.
  3. ^ Collins, Kaitlan; Diamond, Jeremy; Zeleny, Jeff (March 13, 2018). "Longtime Trump aide fired over financial crime investigation | CNN Politics". CNN. Archived from the original on February 18, 2019. Retrieved November 9, 2021.
  4. ^ a b Wisckol, Martin (January 5, 2017). "Former Servite, UConn QB and YouTube star John McEntee picked as aide to Trump". Orange County Register. Archived from the original on November 11, 2020. Retrieved January 13, 2018.
  5. ^ Wisckol, Martin (January 23, 2017). "Trump Appointments as of 1/19". University of Washington. Archived from the original on November 6, 2021. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
  6. ^ a b Dayton, Kels (January 4, 2017). "Former UConn quarterback Johnny 'Trick Shot' McEntee hired to Trump security team". WTNH. Archived from the original on August 27, 2017. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
  7. ^ a b Karl, Jonathan D. (November 9, 2021). "The Man Who Made January 6 Possible". The Atlantic. Archived from the original on November 9, 2021. Retrieved November 9, 2021.
  8. ^ a b Tenpas, Kathryn Dunn (October 7, 2020). "Tracking turnover in the Trump administration". Brookings Institution. Archived from the original on June 15, 2018. Retrieved October 9, 2020.
  9. ^ a b Treene, Alayna (February 13, 2020). "Ex-Trump aide John McEntee to lead White House office of personnel". Archived from the original on October 16, 2021. Retrieved February 13, 2020.
  10. ^ a b Conradis, Brandon (February 13, 2020). "Trump's former personal assistant to oversee White House personnel office". The Hill. Archived from the original on December 24, 2020. Retrieved February 13, 2020.
  11. ^ a b "Non-woke dating site, backed by Peter Thiel, launching soon". Fox Business. August 31, 2022. Archived from the original on October 3, 2022. Retrieved September 29, 2022.
  12. ^ a b c Cook, Nancy; Strauss, Ben (December 1, 2017). "The Trick-Shot QB Who Played His Way Into Trump's Inner Circle". Politico. Archived from the original on October 5, 2021. Retrieved October 9, 2020.
  13. ^ "Entertainment producer donates big act to church fest". Orange County Register. May 25, 2012. Archived from the original on April 11, 2021. Retrieved January 13, 2018 – via
  14. ^ "John McEntee's High School Timeline". Archived from the original on July 15, 2020. Retrieved January 13, 2018.
  16. ^ "#18 JOHNNY MCENTEE". UConn Huskies. Retrieved May 31, 2023.
  17. ^ Malafronte, Chip (September 25, 2011). "Johnny McEntee should emerge as starting QB at UConn in coming weeks". The Middletown Press. Retrieved May 31, 2023.
  18. ^ "Alex Carder throws for 479 yards as Western Michigan knocks off UConn". ESPN. October 1, 2011. Retrieved May 31, 2023 – via Associated Press.
  19. ^ "Johnny McEntee College Sats, School, Draft, Gamelog, Splits". Retrieved May 31, 2023.
  20. ^ "Rising Stars 2017: Administration Staffers". Roll Call. April 20, 2017. Archived from the original on August 28, 2019. Retrieved January 13, 2018.
  21. ^ "Man in red tie and 'Ivanka bint' Trump are Saudi Arabia's most trending topics". Arab News. May 20, 2017. Archived from the original on November 28, 2020. Retrieved June 21, 2021.
  22. ^ 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. Archived from the original on October 11, 2021. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  23. ^ a b 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. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved February 13, 2020.
  24. ^ Haberman, Maggie (December 14, 2019). "Ex-Trump Aide Is Expected to Return to White House". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on October 9, 2020. Retrieved October 8, 2020.
  25. ^ Olorunnipa, Toluse; Parker, Ashley; Dawsey, Josh (February 22, 2020). "Trump embarks on expansive search for disloyalty as administration-wide purge escalates". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on February 23, 2020. Retrieved October 9, 2020.
  26. ^ Diamond, Jeremy; Acosta, Jim; Collins, Kaitlan; Holmes, Kristen (February 21, 2020). "President's new personnel head tells agencies to look out for disloyal staffers". CNN. Archived from the original on February 23, 2020. Retrieved October 9, 2020.
  27. ^ Dawsey, Josh; Eilperin, Juliet; Hudson, John; Rein, Lisa. "In Trump's final days, a 30-year-old aide purges officials seen as insufficiently loyal". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on November 28, 2020. Retrieved January 25, 2021.
  28. ^ Relman, Eliza. "Trump just put a 29-year-old fired over allegations of financial crimes in charge of all personnel decisions". Business Insider. Archived from the original on December 10, 2020. Retrieved February 13, 2020.
  29. ^ Baker, Peter (February 22, 2020). "Trump's Efforts to Remove the Disloyal Heightens Unease Across His Administration". The New York Times. Archived from the original on February 22, 2020. Retrieved October 9, 2020.
  30. ^ Managan, Dan (November 9, 2021). "Trump press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, Stephen Miller and other ex-White House officials subpoenaed in Jan. 6 House probe". CNBC. Archived from the original on November 10, 2021. Retrieved November 9, 2021.
  31. ^ Chowdhury, Maureen; Hammond, Elise; Vogt, Adrienne; Wagner, Meg (June 23, 2022). "Jan. 6 committee holds fifth hearing". CNN. Retrieved May 31, 2023.
  32. ^ Cohen, Zachary; Grayer, Annie; Herb, Jeremy; Sneed, Tierney; Cole, Devan; Sands, Geneva; Polantz, Katelyn; Rabinowitz, Hannah (December 23, 2023). "January 6 committee releases final report, says Trump should be barred from office". CNN. Retrieved May 31, 2023.
  33. ^ Reid, Paula; Rabinowitz, Hannah; Gannon, Casey; Holmes, Kristen (January 20, 2023). "Former Trump aide John McEntee appears before grand jury on Trump-related investigations". CNN. Retrieved May 31, 2023.
  34. ^ Samuels, Brett (May 2, 2023). "Ex-Trump aide John McEntee joins Heritage operation as senior adviser". The Hill. Retrieved May 31, 2023.
  35. ^ Karl, Jonathan (November 10, 2023). ""You're Telling Me That Thing Is Forged?": The Inside Story of How Trump's "Body Guy" Tried and Failed to Order a Massive Military Withdrawal". Vanity Fair.
  36. ^ Johnny McEntee's football trick shots, CNN, February 10, 2011, archived from the original on November 28, 2020, retrieved January 13, 2018 – via YouTube