Love him or hate him, Donald Trump and anyone around him seem to be constant targets of mainstream media, even regarding his allegedly vaping staffers. Last month, a report began circulating about employees of an obscure department called the Presidential Personnel Office (PPO) whose primary responsibilities include the vetting and recruiting of administration officials. As of January 2018, some 245 White House posts were still unfilled.
Of course, Trump himself has a lot to do with who gets appointed and when, but it is the PPO staffers who perform the background checks on the President’s potential candidates. When the PPO is not doing its job, nominations like that of White House Doc Ronny Jackson to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) can get very ugly very quickly. Apparently, the fact that PPO employees love to vape is not helping their cumulative reputation.
The PPO vaping rumor
Well before “Doc Ronny” secured his VA nom, the PPO was already being accused of some rather outlandish in-office activities. Much like the accusations engulfing Ronny Jackson that he was notoriously and quite frequently drinking on the job (allegedly), stories began circulating that PPO staffers like to drink beer, vape e-cigs, and play some sort of odd drinking game called “icing” while on-duty. According to Wikipedia, the latter involves the hiding of bottle of Smirnoff Ice. When the “iced” player discovers it, he or she must drop to one knee and chug the entire bottle.
While this sort of behavior is usually more prevalent among frat parties and college dorms, the fact that the Trumpers are icing in the office is not going unnoticed in mainstream media. Throw in a little beer and vaping, and we have a full-blown den of debauchery and duplicity, if you believe the mainstream media.
The icing rumor is also drawing further scrutiny into the backgrounds of several members of the PPO staff. For example, the entire group are apparently rather young because the icing and vaping debacle took place during a 30th birthday party for the deputy director. Meanwhile the mainstream media also uncovered the fact that another PPO staffer is a college dropout, and another has been arrested from drunk driving and writing bad checks.
When we compare these past legal infractions and illicit icing and vaping histories to the current goings-on of certain cabinet officials who are spending tens of thousands of dollars on dining room furniture (Dr. Ben Carson of HUD) and soundproof phone booths (EPA’s Scott Pruitt), is a little vaping and icing really a big deal? The drinking of alcoholic beverage on the taxpayer’s dime is somewhat concerning. But who hasn’t been to an alcohol-enhanced office party at one point or another?
The vaping, on the other hand, is truly NOT a big deal. But it makes one wonder. Would the story be all that viral if the PPO staffers were smoking cigarettes during the icing party instead of vaping? In fact, one would easily assume that a certain amount of “smoking” was also taking place during this celebratory event. Yet, most of the headlines chose to demonize vaping with barely a mention of Big Tobacco infractions whatsoever.
The vaping community was hopefully optimistic after Trump won the election. Be careful for what you wish for.