They say everyone in Washington has a secret, and that’s definitely true of 27-year-old President Trump aide Johnny McEntee. It turns out McEntee, who appeared in the Trump team’s “thumbs up” photo on Air Force One – celebrating the one year anniversary of his election – has a previous life as an internet famous viral trick shot YouTube star from his time playing quarterback at the University of Connecticut from 2008-2012.
A politico profile of McEntee detailed his unexpected rise through the Trump organization from viral QB, to campaign volunteer, to trusted aide within the President’s inner circle. Per the story:
“A former low-level Fox News staffer and campaign official, now makes $115,000 a year as Trump’s personal aide and body man. How he rose to this level of prominence is in some respects the quintessential tale of success within Trump’s organization, where loyalty and looks often matter more than résumé. Athletically handsome and a sharp dresser—one former campaign official called him “so pretty”—McEntee arrived at Trump’s doorstep in August 2015 with no more qualifications than his determination to make the boss happy.
McEntee also loves to troll the press on Air Force One, which could explain his meteoric rise with the President:
For months, he has played a practical joke on unwitting staffers by handing them a note, “signed” by Trump, whose signature McEntee has perfected. The note usually gives the staffer a hard time about something, or an “atta-boy” for all of the work they are doing. Only later does McEntee reveal that he wrote it, as other staffers usually start laughing. Many hang on to the notes as keepsakes. “For context, it’s about having fun,” one former White House staffer hastened to explain. “Not trying to undermine the U.S. government.”
If you want to have a career long career in Washington, this is the type of internet video you want to have lurking around, ask Texas rep Joe Barton. Here’s one of Johnny “Nuclear” Football’s viral trick shot vids that got over 7 million views back in 2011: