Who's America's Next Top HR Guy? A Pizzagate Conspiracy Believer Man!
In yet another entry in the Trump Annals of
Exelence Excellence, CNN reminds us that John Gibbs, Donald Trump's nominee to direct the Office of Personnel Management, is a loonypants conspiracy monger who repeatedly claimed in 2016 that Hillary Clinton's campaign manager, John Podesta, took part in Satanic rituals. Like, beyond even the usual blood oaths to the Father of Lies that are required to register as a Democrat in most states. Podesta, the tweets suggested, was a Satanist because emails from WikiLeaks said he'd dabbled in "spirit cooking." It was part of the the bullshit Pizzagate conspiracy theory, and it was bullshit.
Then again, CNN had previously reported on the same tweets back in March 2018, but that didn't keep Gibbs from continuing to work in the Department of Housing and Urban Development, where he's actually been promoted a few times. Honestly, if tweeting bullshit conspiracies accusing the 2016 Democratic nominee of having literal connections to demon worship disqualified Trump loyalists from government service, there'd probably be even more vacancies in top government jobs than there already are.
As CNN's Andrew Kaczynski notes, Gibbs, if confirmed, would head what's pretty much the federal government's human resources department. OPM manages the federal workforce. Even if Gibbs's amusing tweets claiming that Podesta was, like most Democrats, a literal Satan-worshiping child murderer (instead of a fan of avant garde art) didn't disqualify him from running the government's HR department, you might think twice about hiring him anyway. Like for instance, because Gibbs also tweeted in support of a rigthtwing Twitter star who was banned for anti-Semitism. Or because Gibbs made hilarious jokes mocking trans people, and saying Democrats were the party of "Islam, gender-bending, anti-police, 'u racist!'"
Not really the qualities we'd look for in an HR manager, but then Wonkette is an ugly vile little snark mob that's ruled by political correctness.
Despite that unflattering 2018 report on Gibbs, he did OK at HUD, which is the federal department where the administration dumps the least qualified hacks out of all the unqualified hacks who support Donald Trump. As Kaczynski notes,
Gibbs is a former conservative commentator and software engineer who initially joined HUD as the director for the Strong Cities, Strong Communities initiative. In August of 2017, he transitioned to the role of senior adviser, working in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development, and is now an acting assistant secretary.
Along the way, he hasn't managed to do anything criminal, which in Trumpworld makes you a rising star, since it saves big money on legal fees and the minimal paperwork needed for a pardon.
Gibbs set his Twitter account to "private" in 2017, but some of his weirdness can be seen at the Internet Archive, where we screenshat a few of his deep thoughts about all the satanism (image edited to place related tweets together):
That last one may need a little explanation; Kaczynski notes that the declaration that Black voters can't support demon worshipers came from radio host Wayne Dupree, a distributor of Sandy Hook denial conspiracies. So you know, Gibbs was agreeing with a credible source there.
Asked for comment on Gibbs's weirdass conspiracy tweets, White House spokesperson Judd Deer reared up on his hind legs and shook his antlers defiantly at Kaczynski for making besmirch statements about ancient history. In an email, Deere wrote,
Instead of highlighting Mr. Gibbs' work to increase economic development programs for low-income people or his successful deployment for more than $9 billion in CARES Act funds to respond to COVID-19, the media would rather dwell on some nonsense from 2016.
We like the part where he didn't deny that Gibbs had posted the bizarre tweets. We can certainly sympathize, since 2016 does feel like another lifetime ago. Just the mention of "spirit cooking" makes us feel old. Heh, remember how the Oscars were all mixed up that year? We can't even remember whether Best Picture went to La La Land, Moonlight, or Sausage Party.
Then there are the funny jokes about trans people and Islam, which again don't seem all that out of keeping with the usual bigoted Republican norm.
Strangely, aides to Democratic senators seem to think that sort of thing is maybe not what you'd want to see for the person running federal hiring. An aide to Sen. Gary Peters (D-Michigan), the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, said the tweets "raise serious concerns" that Peters would bring up in Gibbs's confirmation hearing, and an aide to another Democrat on the committee, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, said Hassan also had "serious concerns about Mr. Gibbs's nomination." In other words, no Republicans care at all and Gibbs is likely to be confirmed, because a little slanderous conspiracy mongering, transphobia, and religious bigotry is kind of par for the course with Republicans, who are far more worried about terrorist cells in Seattle and the assault on Bean Freedom.
We wish Mr. Gibbs well in his likely new post, and mourn for our once great nation.
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