Mulvaney says White House will find 'productive' work for staffer who allegedly pushed for early retirement plan

Incoming White House acting chief of staff Mick MulvaneyMick MulvaneyFDA chief says he was 'disgusted' by Capitol riots, considered resigning Biden consumer bureau pick could take over agency on Inauguration Day The Hill's Morning Report - An inauguration like no other MORE on Sunday said the White House will find "productive" work for Zachary Fuentes, the deputy of outgoing White House chief of staff John Kelly.

Several White House staffers this week told The New York Times that Fuentes had devised a plan to remain on the White House payroll for six months after Kelly's departure while laying low to cash in on an early retirement program. 


"The deputy chief of staff ... Zach Fuentes has told people he wants to stick around for six months, apparently is reported in the New York Times, and wait so he can get a big retirement package from the Coast Guard," ABC's Jon Karl asked Mulvaney. "Is that the kind of thing you would allow, somebody to stick around for six months without a real job?"

"Donald TrumpDonald TrumpLil Wayne gets 11th hour Trump pardon Trump grants clemency to more than 100 people, including Bannon Trump expected to pardon Bannon: reports MORE doesn’t let people sit around and do nothing for six months," Mulvaney said on "This Week." "Zach’s a good man."

Mulvaney added that he will find something "productive" for Fuentes to do.

The White House told the Times that Fuentes is planning to remain on as a senior adviser to aid in the transition to Mulvaney as acting chief of staff.

Fuentes reportedly was seeking to benefit from an an early retirement program through the Coast Guard, in which he is an active duty officer. 

He discussed the retirement program with officials at the Department of Homeland Security, which then began pressing Congress in November to reinstate it after it ended at the end of fiscal 2018, the Times reported.

A provision to reinstate it was removed Wednesday from a House bill after questions from reporters. 

The Coast Guard program allows the agency to grant early retirement with partial benefits to limited numbers of officers and enlisted service members with fewer than the standard 20 years of service. Fuentes will have served 19 years this coming July.

The program has only been used a few times, according to the Times.