Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, has been working with Fox regular Tom Fitton to purge the Trump administration of anyone deemed insufficiently loyal and to install flunkies such as former Sheriff David Clarke and Dan Bongino in high positions.
A report from Axios’ Jonathan Swan today has the disturbing news about this group of conservative activists, called Groundswell:
Thomas has spent a significant amount of time and energy urging Trump administration officials to change the personnel inside his government. This came to a head early last year.
Conservative activists who attend Groundswell meetings funneled names to Thomas, and she compiled those recommendations and passed them along to the president, according to a source close to her.
She handed a memo of names directly to the president in early 2019. (The New York Times reported on her group's meeting with Trump at the time.)
According to Swan, some of the names Thomas has pushed to Trump are former Fox regular Clarke, for a senior Homeland Security position, and still-regular guest Dan Bongino for either Homeland Security or counterterrorism adviser. The top (and likely only) qualifications for each seem to be loyalty to Trump.
Clarke, you may recall, is the Trump-worshiping former sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin. He resigned in disgrace in 2017, a few months after announcing on a local radio show he’d be taking a senior position at Homeland Security. This paragraph from The New York Times probably reveals why the appointment never happened:
Sheriff Clarke’s announcement that he would take the Homeland Security job came just weeks after a grand jury recommended criminal charges against several staff members at a jail run by Sheriff Clarke in connection with the death of an inmate. Then, just days after Mr. Clarke’s appearance on the radio show, CNN reported that Mr. Clarke had failed to properly attribute sources at least 47 times in his 2013 master’s thesis on national security.
At least four people died in Clarke’s jail, including a baby and a man who was allegedly denied water.
Last year, even Fox News decided Clarke was too crazy and incendiary and banned him from its airwaves.
But Mrs. Clarence Thomas thinks he’s just the guy for a senior job at Homeland Security.
Bongino is not much better. He’s an Infowars kind of guy who was reportedly banned from the Fox News @ Night show over behavior deemed “unglued.” A former Secret Service agent, he has been accused of exaggerating his importance and his proximity to President Barack Obama.
Other Groundswell members should be familiar to NewsHounds readers. According to a 2013 Mother Jones article, they include: Allen West, the former GOP House member; Frank Gaffney, the president of the [anti-Muslim] Center for Security Policy; Jerry Boykin of the Family Research Council; Tom Fitton, the president of Judicial Watch; and Gayle Trotter, a fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum.
But Trump loyalty may turn out to be more tenuous than anticipated. Also reported to be a member back then? John Bolton.
Today, Swan discussed his reporting on CNN’s New Day show. You can watch his chilling comments below, via Crooks and Liars.
(H/T reader Eric Jefferson)