The White House is currently interviewing some of President Donald Trump’s aides in a search of a replacement for Federal Trade Commission Chair Joe Simons, who Trump has pressured on social media companies, Politico reports.
The head of the White House personnel office, John McEntee, has informally interviewed at least one person as part of the search, one unidentified source told Politico. Two other sources confirmed that one of the candidates interviewed was Gail Slater, a Fox Corp. executive with FTC experience.
Politico reported last week that Trump met with Simons personally in the Oval Office, where he pushed the FTC chief to crackdown on social media companies over allegations that conservatives are censored on their platforms. Simons, whose agency is legally independent from the Trump administration, previously told senators that he had no intention of carrying out Trump’s May executive order targeting social media companies because it was not under the FTC’s jurisdiction.
Sources told Politico that Simons has asked his staff to stay with the agency until at least the end of 2020, but the FTC announced earlier this week that his former chief of staff, Tara Isa Koslov, would assume another position within the agency that could keep her on staff even if Simons leaves.
The White House and the FTC both declined to comment to Politico, while requests for comment to McEntee were not immediately answered.
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