The personal assistant to President Donald Trump who was escorted from the White House on security grounds was said Wednesday to be struggling with gambling addiction.
Sources close to John McEntee, a 27-year-old college football star, told NBC News about the problem he had struggled with and suggested it was related to him failing background security checks.
Both the Secret Service and the FBI are reported to be probing whether McEntee, Trump’s ‘body man’ committed serious financial crimes.
McEntee, who served as the trip director for Trump’s campaign and went on to become his ‘body man,’ was escorted out of the White House Monday afternoon. He had worked there throughout the administration.
A source familiar with his firing said the circumstances were not related to Trump.
He left without his belongings, and another official said he even left without his jacket, according to the report.
Praise: Trump marked the anniversary of his victory with this Air Force One picture which included McEntee (circled) and his also departed director of communications Hope Hicks. Still standing are Jared Kushner, Steven Miller (second right) and Dan Scavino (front)
John McEntee, a longtime personal assistant to President Trump was abruptly escorted out of the White House Monday
College star: McEntee plated quarterback for the UConn Huskies in 2011-2012 , throwing 10 touchdowns – among them a 4th quarter touchdown against Cincinnati in the 4th quarter at Nippert Field in Cincinnati, Ohio, on Saturday, December 3, 2011
Despite the apparent background issues, McEntee got an immediate soft landing. The Trump-Pence campaign announced Tuesday morning that Mcentee will ‘re-join the Trump Campaign as a Senior Advisor for campaign operations.’
The post keeps him closely tied to Trump as his campaign builds up staff in anticipation of the election.
It was a stunning turnaround for the 27-year-old aide who has often been close by President Trump, both during travel and areas throughout the White House.
McEntee’s financial disclosure form when he joined the administration showed a prior salary history of $30,000 from Fox News Corporation, where he was a production assistant, and $93,000 from the Trump campaign.
It showed he had one bank account with between $15,000 and $50,000, and another with between $100,000 and $250,000.
A look at his criminal record in his home state of California shows only minor infractions: a failure to honor a stop sign in 2005 and driving without proof of insurance in 2007.
His father, John McEntee Snr, 63, is a longtime Hollywood agent who lives in Newport Beach, California.
McEntee Jr attended the University of Connecticut where he was a star quarterback known for his trick shots, throwing 2,209 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2011-2012.
The player was known for his trick shots including blindfolded passes.
He was also capable of reproducing Trump’s signature perfectly, Politico revealed, and had used it to send notes to other White House workers which either reproached or praised them – then revealed the joke to them.
Many kept them as souvenirs, Politico said and one ex-White House worker said: ‘For context, it’s about having fun. Not trying to undermine the U.S. government.’
It also noted that he was a teetotal former altar boy.
White House staff secretary Rob Porter, another aide who was closely inside Trump’s orbit, resigned last month after DailyMail.com reported that two ex-wives had accused him of abuse.
That prompted Chief of Staff John Kelly to develop a new policy on security clearances. Porter had been found to have worked on a series of temporary clearances stretching more than a year, despite what his ex-wives told the FBI during background checks.
Kelly then reviewed dozens of staff members who had been working on temporary clearances. Trump son-in-law senior advisor Jared Kushner had his own top secret security clearance downgraded.
SKills: John McEntee put on a college trickshot display on video and was said to be able to reproduce the president’s signature perfectly
McEntee, who served as the trip director for Trump’s campaign and went on to become his ‘body man,’ was escorted out of the White House Monday afternoon
McEntee traveled with Trump, sometimes carried to his belongings, and otherwise tended to a variety of logistical needs presidents have.
During the campaign, he took part in a Time Magazine video where he gave a tour of the Trump Tower campaign office while riding a hover board.
His dismissal came a day before Trump revealed he fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.