A controversial member of the Trump administration who came under scrutiny in early January over his lack of qualifications, will resign his post later this month. Taylor Weyeneth was until a week ago an unknown but powerful member of the Trump administration: deputy chief of staff in the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
According to the Trump administration, he lost a relative to a heroin overdose and was very moved, making him “uniquely qualified” for the job. But now, he’s stepping down for the lack of qualifications, the Washington Post reports.
“Mr. Weyeneth has decided to depart … at the end of the month,” the White House said in a statement obtained by the Post. He had previously been reassigned to “administrative work” after questions arose about his background.
Weyeneth, a 24-year-old former Trump campaign worker, was appointed last year to be the deputy chief of staff at the Office of National Drug Control Policy, or ONDCP, the agency tasked with coordinating federal drug-control efforts. However, as the Post originally reported, Weyeneth had nearly no previous experience after he graduated college in May 2016, aside from working for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and transition.
Concerns about his qualifications quickly arose after multiple discrepancies popped up on several of his résumés and reports surfaced that another job he held at a New York law firm in 2015 ended after Weyeneth failed to show up for work.
Weyeneth was promoted fast at the ONDCP due to a high level of staff turnover and numerous vacancies at the agency. During the recent government shutdown, the Post noted, Weyeneth was one of three employees at the agency that continued to work after he was listed as essential.
The report of his departure comes just a week after 10 Democratic senators expressed their displeasure with Weyeneth’s appointment. In a letter sent to the White House, the group accused Trump of failing to fill key roles at the ONDCP and the Drug Enforcement Agency and falling behind on promises to tackle the opioid epidemic.
“You have claimed that the opioid epidemic is a top priority for your administration, but the personnel you have staffing these key agencies – and the lack of nominees to head them – is cause for deep concern,” the group wrote, according to The Post. “This crisis knows no bounds, and we are committed to working across party lines with anyone who is serious about addressing this devastating epidemic.”
Needless to say, the appointment of Taylor Weyeneth to lead the Office of National Drug Control Policy is an emblem of the White House’s recklessness.