A writer for The New Yorker argues in a recent article that a watchdog group vetting Joe Biden’s nominees is doing so with occasional “racial overtones,” and laments the nonprofit’s “obstructionism” of what critics call the president’s “radical” agenda.
The piece, published Saturday and written by Jane Mayer, is titled “The Slime Machine Targeting Dozens of Biden Nominees.” It criticizes the American Accountability Foundation (AAF) — a tax-exempt government oversight and research group — for seeking to “prevent the approval of all Biden Administration nominees.”
AAF has played an outsized role since Biden took office, researching and digging into the pasts of his nominees. The group’s work has contributed to preventing the appointments of Sarah Bloom Raskin to the Federal Reserve Board, David Chipman to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), David Weil to the Department of Labor, and others.
In her piece, Mayer claimed AAF is “run by conservative white men” who are “particularly focused on blocking women and people of color.”
“As of last month, more than a third of the twenty-nine candidates it had publicly attacked were people of color, and nearly sixty per cent were women,” she wrote, failing to mention that many of Biden’s nominees have been minorities and women.
Mayer also spends a portion of her article on AAF Executive Director and Co-Founder Tom Jones’ apparent contention that the organization is “merely catching up with the sleazy tactics” of progressive groups who targeted conservative nominees. She mentions how the Left opposed Supreme Court nominations for Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh — claiming they were “credibly and directly confronted by female victims,” even though allegations of sexual impropriety did not hold up.
“Jane Mayer is a stenographer for [Sens.] Sherrod Brown, Sheldon Whitehouse, and Democrat leadership in the Senate — and they know that AAF has repeatedly shown that their nominees are out of step with American values and unfit to serve in senior positions in the U.S. government,” Jones told The Daily Wire.
“While the New Yorker is rarely worth reading, this article is proof positive of AAF’s effectiveness,” he said.
Mayer claimed that AAF’s “attacks” on Lisa Cook, a Biden nominee to the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors who is a black woman, “carried racial overtones.” Allegations have surfaced, like that Cook “embellished” her resume and engaged in “academic fraud.”
Jones called Mayer’s comments “ridiculous.”
“AAF is opposing Lisa Cook not because she is black but because she is a sub-par academic who did not deserve a promotion at Michigan State and doesn’t deserve one to the Fed. Black, white, Jew, or gentile, if you’re as unqualified as Lisa Cook, AAF will highlight that for policymakers,” Jones said.
Mayer interviewed Chipman for her article — who said AAF makes claims “adjacent” to facts. “The racial things they used were hugely ugly,” the gun lobbyist told The New Yorker, adding that “the facts don’t matter to [AAF] — they’re just used as weapons.”
Chipman told The Daily Wire that the “resistance” to successfully getting an ATF director appointed “is stronger than typical red vs. blue politics,” noting how former President Donald Trump withdrew his pick of Charles Canterbury. He did not say whether he considered himself more qualified than Biden’s new nominee, Obama-era lawyer Steve Dettelbach.
It was AAF that provided The Daily Wire with exclusive court documents in January showing Chipman sought $44,000 in relocation expenses for a home at which he was not living. Prior to this, AAF dug up comments from Chipman on automatic weapons and spoke to sources about an allegation that he lost his weapon as an ATF employee.
The group also spoke to a former ATF agent who said Chipman “made deeply problematic comments questioning the abilities of African American agents to succeed on their own merits,” according to AAF.
The White House told The Daily Wire that it is confident in its new ATF nominee, but did not say whether it determined him to be more qualified than Chipman.
“If we want to crack down on gun crime and keep our neighborhoods safe, ATF needs a confirmed Director, and Steve Dettelbach has received praise from across the political spectrum as someone who can roll up his sleeves and get the job done,” White House spokesperson Michael J. Gwin said.
The spokesperson further claimed that Biden’s new nominee is supported “across the political spectrum,” citing President George W. Bush administration personnel backing as evidence of conservative approval.
Mayer declined a request for comment.