Donald Trump’s right-hand man may not have any actual political experience, but at least he is capable of hitting receivers blindfolded and throwing a football into a basketball net from a long distance.
On Friday, Politico published a profile of Johnny McEntee, the former UConn walk-on quarterback and trick-pass maestro who has become the president’s body man (think Charlie from “The West Wing” or Gary from “Veep”). The piece portrays McEntee as a jovial dude who pretty much stumbled into a massively important job with few qualifications.
At age 27, John McEntee, a former University of Connecticut quarterback and star of a viral YouTube trick-throw video, 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 is full of fun gags, such as impersonating the signature of the President of the United States. How fun!
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.”
McEntee’s trick-pass abilities never really translated to the gridiron. In 15 career games for the Huskies, he completed 50.6 percent of his passes for 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.