Obama Ethics Chief: Sending ‘F—You’ Message for Family-Related Hires

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Walter Shaub, who worked as the director of U.S. Office of Government Ethics under the Obama administration, stated that he is sending a “f— you” to ethics experts for hiring several relatives of senior White House officials. 

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, White House Press secretary Jen Psaki, White House Counselor Steve Richetti, national security adviser Jake Sullivan, presidential personnel office director Cathy Russell and deputy chief of staff Bruce Reed, all have at least one direct family member hired by the Biden administration. 


Shuab said he is “disgusted” by the situation and it “royally sucks”

In a Twitter thread on Friday, Shuab wrote saying that the situation “royally sucks”. He added that he is disgusted. 

The tweet of Shuab was made in reaction to an article about how several Biden officials have relatives working in the White House.

Shuab added that a lot of them worked hard to retore ethics to the government and they believed the promises that the administration made. However, the series of family-related hires is a “real f— you” to them and the government ethics. 

Then, in a statement on Friday, the White House defended the hiring practices that they made. 

Andrew Bates, Deputy White House press secretary claimed that Biden has instituted the “highest ethical standards”, compared to any other president. He also added that he is proud to hire the “most diverse” administration in U.S. history, with “well-qualified” officials that reflect his values. 

Bates also mentioned in a statement earlier this month that there is nothing wrong with hiring people with the necessary credential and qualifications who are also related to other staff members in the White House. 

“P20210513AS-0633-2” (United States government work) by The White House

However, the White House just recently added to the string of family-related hires. J.J. Ricchetti (the son of White House counselor Steve Ricchetti) was hired by the administration as a special assistant in the Office of Legislative Affairs. 

Shaub also mentioned that this recent hiring feels like the taxpayers are financing a “career-building charity” for the Ricchetti family. 


There are other Ricchetti family members that were hired by the Biden administration. Shannon Ricchetti was hired as deputy associate director and Danial Ricchetti, hired as senior adviser.

Jen Psaki touts “ethical standards” of the Biden administration

Meanwhile, on Friday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki echoed the same defense as Bates, saying that the administration has the “highest ethical standards” ever.

Psaki also defended the decision of the Biden administration to appoint her sister to a role for the Department of Health and Human Services last March. 

In a ttweet, Jen Psaki wrote that her sister is more qualified than she is to be working for the White House. 

Psaki also noted there are several ethics officials who also agreed to the fact that the Biden administration has the “highest ethical standards.”