White House Staffer Hatched A Plan To Hide From Donald Trump For Six Months Until He Reached Early Retirement

Zachary Fuentes hoped to hide out in an office building just outside the White House until he could retire.

The Eisenhower office building behind the White House
Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Zachary Fuentes hoped to hide out in an office building just outside the White House until he could retire.

One White House staffer — hoping to reach early retirement before Donald Trump could fire him — reportedly hatched a plan that would make George Costanza proud.

Zachary Fuentes served as deputy chief of staff under John Kelly but was reportedly worried about what would happen to his position after Kelly leaves the administration at the end of the year. As Newsweek reported, Fuentes came up with a plan to “hide out” in the Eisenhoser Executive Building, located just outside the White House, in the hopes that he could lay low for long enough to qualify for 15 years of service in the military and take an early retirement.

But there was a hitch in his plan, the report noted. The early retirement program ended at the conclusion of the 2018 fiscal year, so Fuentes talked to the Department of Homeland Security, which pressured Congress to extend the program for another year. There was legislation in place that would extend the program, but when reporters started to ask questions about it, the extension was abruptly dropped from a bill that passed Congress earlier in the week.

Many compared Fuentes’ plan to the schemes of Seinfeld‘s George Costanza, a standout character who took great lengths into avoiding work.

Fuentes had been a longtime aide to Kelly before they went to work in the White House, but the 36-year-old reportedly became a polarizing figure in the Trump administration. He also drew Donald Trump’s wrath earlier this year after a much-criticized trip to France, in which Trump skipped a ceremony honoring fallen American troops because it was too rainy outside. Trump was widely slammed from both sides of the aisle, and Newsweek reported that he blamed Kelly and Fuentes for the decision.

John Kelly’s exit is considered one of the biggest departures of a tenure filled with turnover for Donald Trump. General Kelly was credited with bringing a measure of order to a chaotic administration, but he frequently came into conflict with Trump and reports indicated that they were no longer on speaking terms.

As CNN reported, Kelly said he is relieved to be leaving the administration.

Though he may not be able to reach his early retirement, Zachary Fuentes could still have a chance to hang on a bit longer in the White House. As the Newsweek report noted, he will stay in his position during Kelly’s transition out of the administration, and the entry of incoming chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney.