Trump's 24-Year-Old Pick For Senior Drug Policy Job Steps Down Amid Controversy Over Lack Of Qualifications

A 24-year-old former Trump campaigner who was given a senior post in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy will step down at the end of the month, the Washington Post reported. 

Taylor Weyeneth's only professional experience before assuming the position of Deputy Chief of Staff for the ONDCP was working on the Trump 2016 presidential election campaign. 

Before that, he had been in college at New York's St John's University, where he graduated in May 2016. 

"Mr Weyeneth has decided to depart ONDCP at the end of the month," the White House told The Post.

The ONDCP has been in charge of combating the opioid epidemic in the U.S., with its office overseeing the government's billion-dollar anti-drug campaigns. 

Drug overdoses are the leading cause of death for Americans under 50, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and President Donald Trump had vowed to address the crisis.

But the drug office has seen high turnover in staff in the year since Trump took office and the White House attributed Weyeneth's rise to the top of the ONDCP as being a result of staff departures, according to The Post.

“ONDCP leadership recognizes that we have lost a few talented staff members and that the organization would benefit from an infusion of new expert staff,” said a January 3 memo from acting director Richard Baum. “The functions of the Chief of Staff will be picked up by me and the Deputy Chief of Staff.”

Nonpartisan oversight group American Oversight posted a document it has identified as one of Weyeneth's résumés, outlining a string of previous jobs, mostly administrative posts. 

The Post had previously detailed inconsistencies and outright inaccuracies on three résumés Weyeneth had submitted to the government. 

On all three, the 24-year-old had claimed to have a master's degree from Fordham University, but a university spokesman said he had not completed his course work. 

Read more: Trump administration promotes 24-year-old to help lead fight against opioid epidemic

He had also changed the dates of a number of jobs listed on his résumé, including one position at a New York law firm, of which a partner alleged that Weyeneth had been "discharged" from the company because of his poor attendance.

The appointment of Weyeneth to a senior drug policy position sparked backlash from watchdogs and members of the public, with many pointing out that the college graduate was "unqualified" for the job. 

A member of the Trump administration's opioid commission also recently admonished the undertaking of being a "sham" by Republican-led Congress.

"The thing's a charade," former Democratic Representative Patrick Kennedy told CNN. 

Read more: Trump opioid commission's work is a 'sham,' member says

"You can't expect to stem the tide of a public health crisis that is claiming over 64,000 lives per year without putting your money where your mouth is."

The commission, which made 56 recommendations, including setting up drug courts nationwide to direct drug abusers to treatment rather than the prison system, officially ended its work on December 1.

A White House official had told The Post Weyeneth had been hired in March demonstrating "his passion and commitment on the issue of opioids and drug addiction." 

The 24-year-old was said to have become passionate about the issue after a relative's death from a heroin overdose several years ago.

The White House did not immedaitely respond to a request for comment.