Axios received a leak of nearly 100 internal vetting documents from the Trump transition, including reports on Rex Tillerson, Betsy DeVos, Gary Cohn and James Mattis. The researchers scrubbed news clippings, LinkedIn pages, and other sources of public information to compile reports on each candidate. The documents raised “red flags” on many of the candidates.
President Donald Trump and Emanuel have long been friends. Trump was once a William Morris Endeavor client, and the agency purchased the Miss Universe pageant from him in 2015. In the weeks following Trump’s victory in November 2016, there was speculation that Emanuel would be considered for a cabinet post.
Emanuel paid a visit to Trump at his New Jersey golf course on Nov. 20, 2016. At the time, a source told Variety that Emanuel was not interested in an administration job, and was simply there to share his concerns and give his point of view.
Emanuel is a prominent Democrat, with a long history of fundraising for and contributing to Democratic candidates. His brother, Rahm, served as chief of staff in the Obama White House. Ari Emanuel contributed to Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
The vetting document poses various questions for Emanuel. Among them is whether he would agree to “cease all political activity and donations in support of Democratic candidates” while working for Trump. The document also notes that Emanuel’s failure to support Trump during the campaign was “notable,” and cites his support for gun control as a potential pitfall.
“Do you have any doubt you will be able to publicly back the President during turbulent times should you join the administration?” the document asks.