The wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is trying to purge the White House of dissenters. She's been boosting Trump for years.
- Loyalists around President Donald Trump's administration identify officials who are considered disloyal so they can be replaced with pro-Trump figures, according to a report from Axios.
- One of those close allies is reportedly Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who has long raised eyebrows for her hard-right views.
- Thomas' reported role in weeding out officials she considers to be anti-Trump raises concerns about the influence of outsiders over Trump, who notoriously values loyalty.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Virginia "Ginni" Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, is a key part of the conservative associates advising President Donald Trump's administration on how to rid departments of "disloyal" officials.
Axios first reported that a "well-connected network of conservative activists" is drawing up lists of officials they perceive to be anti-Trump, who are then flagged to be fired and replaced with Trump loyalists.
The report noted that the suggestions aid Trump's paranoia that departments across his government are filled with "snakes," a concern that has apparently only worsened since he faced an impeachment trial.
Thomas was personally involved in compiling memos to argue against the hirings of various top White House aides, National Security Council officials, according to Axios.
Also reported to have been on the chopping block was Sean Doocey, the former head of the White House personnel office before he was replaced by 29-year-old John McEntee. McEntee's hiring raised eyebrows as he previously started on Trump's small team early in his presidential campaign and returned to the administration after he was fired in 2018 amid an investigation into allegations of financial crimes.
Thomas has worked as a conservative activist for decades
Reports of Thomas helping weed out people not loyal to Trump across the administration is the latest chapter in her public image as a staunch conservative activist.
Thomas' first political role was working for Republican Rep. Hal Daub in 1981 before leaving to go to law school. She later joined the U.S. Chamber of Commerce after a stint of being involved with the cult-like group Lifespring in the late 1980s.
Thomas first met Clarence Thomas, who was then serving as chairman of the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, in 1986, and the couple was married one year later. Four years after that, then-President George H.W. Bush nominated Clarence to the Supreme Court in a surprising move that drew criticism for Thomas' staunch conservatism.
For the next 20 years, Virginia was involved in political interest projects, including investigating President Bill Clinton's administration, building George Bush's potential administration while his victory was being weighed in the Supreme Court, and later signing on as a high-profile face with various conservative conventions and media outlets.
Throughout her husband's time on the Supreme Court, Virginia's involvement in conservative circles has raised concerns about her possible influence. In 2011, she raised eyebrows when she announced Liberty Consulting, a government affairs firm that said she would use her "experience and connections" on behalf of her clients.
During the Trump administration, she's built a meme machine
Though Thomas was a vocal supporter of Sen. Ted Cruz's ultimately unsuccessful bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, she appeared to quickly pivot to backing Trump, asking shortly after his election in leaked emails reported by The Daily Beast for the best way to build "a ground up-grassroots army for pro-Trump daily action items to push back against the left's resistance."
Though she has no formal role in the administration, Thomas' vocal stance as a staunch Trump ally has landed her and her organization, Groundswell, meetings with the president as her far-right views have come to the surface in the form of an alarming social media presence.
Thomas' Facebook page currently boasts nearly 10,000 followers and is home to a constant stream of posts touting Trump's achievements alongside slamming Democrats, progressive policies, and even congressional Republicans.
Her posts - usually in the form of memes popular among baby boomers - are also often controversial. In 2018, she shared a post suggesting the Jewish financial George Soros was engaged in a "coup" against Trump, a fictitious antisemitic conspiracy theory.
Trump has been known to value loyalty above all else from his closest associates. The characteristic was previously connected to the high turnover rate seen across his administration in the first years of his presidency as nominees were reportedly weighed on loose guidelines of their dedication to serving Trump's wishes.
"I regard her as one of the three or four most influential conservative activists in the country," writer and economist Stephen Moore, who advised Trump's campaign, told The Washington Post. "She has channels into the White House that gets her stuff on the president's desk."