April 2, 2022

An article in The Daily Beast shows that at least some in Trump World are doing their best to distance themselves from Ginni Thomas:

Years before she became one of then-President Donald Trump’s most prominent coup supporters, Ginni Thomas was already notorious in his West Wing for, among other things, ruining staffers’ afternoons by working Trump into fits of vengeful rage.

“We all knew that within minutes after Ginni left her meeting with the president, he would start yelling about firing people for being disloyal,” said a former senior Trump administration official. “When Ginni Thomas showed up, you knew your day was wrecked.”

Ever since she became a welcome guest at Trump’s residences, Thomas—an influential and longtime conservative activist, and wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas—had perfected a proven formula of enthralling and manipulating the president’s emotions and mood. On multiple occasions throughout the Trump era, Thomas would show up in the White House, sometimes for a private meeting or a luncheon with the president. She often came armed with written memos of who she and her allies believed Trump should hire for plum jobs—and who she thought Trump should promptly purge—that she distributed to Trump and other high-ranking government officials.

The fire lists were particularly problematic, as they were frequently based on pure conjecture, rumor, or score-settling, where even steadfastly MAGA aides were targeted for being part of the “Deep State” or some other supposedly anti-Trump coalition, according to people who saw them during the Trump administration. The hire lists were so often filled with infamous bigots and conspiracy theorists, woefully under-qualified names, and obvious close friends of Thomas that several senior Trump aides would laugh at them—that is, until Trump would force his staff to put certain names through the official vetting process, three sources familiar with the matter said.

Author Asawin Suebsaeng goes on to report that Trump personnel officials “regularly annotated the margins of Thomas’ hire lists,” often with explanations such as a failed background check or an offensive social media account. At least one annotation said that candidate was "a suspected foreign-intelligence asset, or spy.”

But while those efforts may have thwarted some of Thomas’ efforts, the bigger picture shows how successfully she has embedded herself into what has become mainstream Republican politics. It has been known since at least January, 2019 that she used her White House access to try to influence hiring. Steve Bannon, Sebastian Gorka and Stephen Miller, each of whom held high-level jobs in the Trump White House, were some of her close cohorts. We also know that she continued to have access to top White House personnel after the election, thanks to newly-revealed texts showing her trying to pressure Chief-of-Staff Mark Meadows about overturning the results.

And the reason all this matters so much is because her “best friend” and “my job would be impossible without her” husband is a sitting Supreme Court justice.

The point was driven home by Chris Hayes and Suebsaeng on Friday night’s All In show. “It’s impossible to ignore the fact that Ginni Thomas has power in Washington, in some non-measurable degree" because of her marriage to a Supreme Court justice, Hayes said. Even if Trump isn't president, her belief system is “still just a step away from power.” Maybe closer, when you consider how likely it is that hubby Supreme Court justice shares at least some of her views.

Although Ginni Thomas publicly supported Sen. Ted Cruz and opposed Trump’s nomination in 2016, she proved herself a master at worming her way into Trump’s good graces.

SUEBSAENG: This is someone who had multiple private audiences and lunches with then-President Trump throughout the years of the Trump administration and this is someone who Donald Trump really enjoyed whenever she would come in, armed with her fire and hire lists, because she would spend a good amount of their time flattering him vociferously and also, not just sharing with him her personnel recommendations, if we were to call them that, but also gossiping with him relentlessly about who allegedly was and wasn't a Never Trumper or Deep Stater or cultural Marxist within his midst at the upper echelons of the Trump administration and Trump White House.

Donald Trump, according to people we spoke to, some of whom on the record who were very there for this, told us that Trump could not get enough of it, and this is, of course, while Donald Trump was the most powerful person on the face of the planet. And Ginni Thomas, as you brought up earlier, has been someone who, even if some of what she said sounded rather extreme or fringe, has been someone who has gravitated to, basicallym the center of the center when it comes to power centers of the Republican party. Long before Donald Trump came along and became president, she was promoting Muslim-Ban-type policies, long before Trumpism and MAGAwas even a thing. So when this came to what she would urge Trump to purge or hire in her time hanging out in the West Wing, she would hand Trump these lists of people to employ, or people to hopefully dismiss immediately. And it didn't matter that these hire lists that she handed Trump were oten times chock full of extremists and bigots.

Suebsang also pointed out that while Trump already had extremists working in his White House, “what Ginni Thomas and her allies were trying to do, and were sometimes successful, sometimes they were blocked by people who are working the Trump White House, but what they tried to do was make it even more extreme.”

The point is, there’s no sign she is holding back any of her activism and so long as her “best friend” remains a Supreme Court justice, especially if he remains unwilling to recuse himself from cases and issues she’s connected to, her access and likely influence will remain a staple of the GOP. More importantly, it's hard to imagine she doesn't try to influence Clarence Thomas, too.

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