Ever since assuming power, the Trump administration has been afflicted with accusations of nepotism and for good reason. After all, he put his daughter and son-in-law in top White House positions. He hired his bankruptcy lawyer as the ambassador to Israel. In fact, Trump tapped several of his old friends and business associates for a number of key cabinet positions last year.
Now, President Donald Trump is reportedly pushing his longtime personal pilot to head the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
John Dunkin, the president’s personal pilot, who flew him around during the presidential campaign, has made it to the shortlist for the job of heading the FAA, which regulates all aspects of civil aviation.
Dunkin hasn’t been officially given the position but Trump has talked to administration officials and associates about his preference for his personal pilot, according to Axios.
Furthermore, officials are already validating president’s recommendation by pointing out Dunkin deserves the job based on his qualifications, experience and the fact that he performed exceedingly well on his interview.
“He’s on the list because he's the president’s pilot, but if he gets the job it won't be because he's the president's pilot,” a senior White House official told Axios.
“John Dunkin isn’t just a pilot. He’s managed airline and corporate flight departments, certified airlines from start-up under FAA regulations, and oversaw the Trump presidential campaign’s air fleet, which included managing all aviation transportation for travel to 203 cities in 43 states over the course of 21 months.” the official added.
According to a CNN’s report earlier this month, Trump was heard boasting about his pilot in a conversation with top airline executives.
"My pilot, he's a smart guy, and he knows what's going on," Trump reportedly said.
He didn’t specify who he was talking about but the widespread assumption is that the president was referring to Dunkin.
Although, during the meeting, Trump didn’t nominate anyone to head FAA, he mentioned that air traffic control system would work better if a pilot were to lead FAA.
Such a demand from the president’s side could also have its roots in the Trump administration’s efforts to isolate air traffic control from federal government and privatize it.
Competing with Trump’s alleged choice to head FAA are two other candidates: GOP Rep. Sam Graves of Missouri and the current FAA Administrator Dan Elwell.
Thumbnail, Banner Credits: Getty/Reuters