- Several children and relatives of President Joe Biden’s top aides have secured jobs in the administration.
- At least five children of Biden senior staffers work in the White House, The Washington Post reported.
- Senior counsel Steve Ricchetti has three children working for Biden, the paper said.
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Several children and relatives of President Joe Biden’s top aides have secured jobs in the White House, according to The Washington Post.
At least five children of Biden’s senior staff are now working in the administration, the paper reported.
Experts on ethics and diversity have expressed concern that this is a continuation of the sort of nepotism seen in former President Donald Trump’s White House, they told the Post.
“While it may not be as bad as appointing your son or daughter to a top government post as Trump did with Jared and Ivanka, it is still bad,” said Walter Shaub, who served as director of the Office of Government Ethics from 2013-2017. ”‘Not as bad as Trump’ cannot be the new standard.”
On Monday, the son of a trusted Biden counselor was hired to a junior-level position. J.J Richetti, a 2020 college graduate and the son of Steve Ricchetti, was hired as a special assistant in the Office of Legislative Affairs, the Post reported.
Richhetti’s two other children also have jobs in the administration.
Daniel Ricchetti, the eldest child of the veteran White House staffer, is a senior adviser in the office of the undersecretary of state for arms control and international security. Shannon Ricchetti, the eldest daughter, works as the deputy associate director of the office of the White House social secretary.
The daughter of deputy White House chief of staff Bruce Reed, Julia Reed, works as Biden’s day scheduler, according to the Post.
And the director of the White House’s presidential personnel office, Cathy Russell, also has a child employed in the administration. Sarah Donilon, Russell’s daughter, works with the White House National Security Council, the Post reported. Russell’s brother-in-law, Mike Donilon, is a senior adviser to Biden, the paper added.
The sister of White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, was appointed a senior adviser at the Health and Human Services Department in March, the Post said.
The wife of Biden’s longtime ally and White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain also works for the Biden administration, the paper reported.
The White House insists that everyone has been hired based on their qualifications. There is no evidence that any of Biden’s aides have played a role in securing the jobs for their children or other relatives, reported the Post.
“The president has instituted the highest ethical standards of anyone to ever hold this office,” deputy White House press secretary Andrew Bates told the Post. “And he’s proud to have staffed the most diverse administration in American history with well-qualified public servants who reflect his values.”
But ethics and diversity experts are skeptical. “In a country that had just come through a pandemic, how can these children of political appointees be the only people who are qualified for employment?” Shaub told the paper.
“All political appointees should be hired similar to the way the rest of the world is hired, where it is posted, competitive and transparent,” Mark Hanis, the co-founder of Inclusive America, told the Post. “Unfortunately, with a lot of these political positions, it is relational. It’s more about who you know.”