(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Kris Kobach's list of demands for White House gig includes 24-hour access to government jet: report

Kobach allegedly has a long list of exorbitant demands as prerequisites for working at the White House

Matthew Rozsa
May 21, 2019 2:47PM (UTC)

Kris Kobach, the former Kansas secretary of state whom President Donald Trump is weighing as a candidate to be his new "immigration czar," allegedly has a long list of exorbitant demands as prerequisites for working at the White House.

Kobach's many demands include: a West Wing office; 24-hour access to a government jet; a guarantee that he would be the main TV spokesperson for immigration policy matters; requiring Cabinet secretaries whose jobs involve immigration issues to defer to him;  and a promise that he would eventually be made Secretary of Homeland Security, according to The New York Times.


And the list does not stop there. Kobach also reportedly demanded a staff of seven people who would report directly to him, "walk-in" privileges to the Oval Office, the title of assistant to the president, a security detail and the ability to take off weekends so he can spend time with his family.

It is worth noting that Kobach is not considered to be the frontrunner for the new gig — that distinction belongs to Kenneth T. Cucinelli, the former Virginia attorney general and gubernatorial candidate. While it remains unclear whether Cucinelli's demands are as exorbitant as Kobach's, he reportedly requested transportation to work and a security detail.

Kobach has long been a controversial figure in Republican politics. He has served as an adviser to Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who is notorious for his hard-line stance views on immigration, and he helped draft what was at its time considered to be the strictest immigration law in the country in Arizona, which critics vowed would lead to an increase in racial profiling. After moving to Kansas and serving as chairman of the state's Republican Party, Kobach moved on to be Kansas' secretary of state from 2011 to 2019. During that time, he developed a reputation as a notoriously anti-immigrant politician, as well as being an adversary of voting rights. Kobach's infamous "Interstate Crosscheck" list has been used to disenfranchise minority and other potential Democratic voting groups in states like Georgia, where critics claim disenfranchisement might have swung the gubernatorial election to the Republican candidate.


"Kobach is known as Trump’s 'fraudulent voter' hunter," journalist Greg Palast told Salon in October. "[Republican then-candidate Brian] Kemp admits he gave Kobach the state’s entire voter file and got back a 'hit list' from Kobach — but Kemp claims he never used it and 'can’t find' the Crosscheck lists. Sorry, Brian, but your deputy admitted to using the list and even turned over the Kobach list to a reporter you thought was a Republican, who would give you glowing publicity. However, the reporter actually worked for me — for the Rolling Stone investigation."

Kobach's support for voter suppression led to Trump choosing him to lead a so-called "Voter Integrity" panel, although that eventually went belly up. Kobach's crusade to implement a voting restriction law in Kansas also resulted in humiliation when a federal judge ordered him to complete six hours of legal education. His campaign for governor of Kansas in 2018 also failed, in part because many of Kobach's fellow Kansas Republicans refused to support him as a result of his far-right views.

Despite long claiming that voting among undocumented immigrants is rampant, Kobach has never once uncovered evidence to prove his claims.


Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a breaking news writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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