Former Biden Administration Official Has Been Stealing Luggage From Airports Since 2018

Back in the fall, a Biden administration official was charged with stealing checked bags from baggage claim. They claimed it was a misunderstanding, but then it started coming out that this happened multiple times.

The Deputy Assistant Secretary for Spent Fuel and Waste Disposition at the Department of Energy oversees nuclear materials and their trustworthiness matters. Sam Brinton’s trustworthiness was called into question, and had to step aside from their role.

This was a political problem because they’re also an activist known for being the “first openly gender-fluid person in federal government leadership.”

With all of the publicity this brought, though, the internet figured out that apparently they’ve been stealing luggage for awhile and wearing the clothes they find inside? A fashion designer had their bag stolen five years ago. They saw the story on television of the latest thefts on television, and saw photos of Brinton… wearing their custom-designed clothes that had been in the bag!

Indeed, the designer had contemporaneously posted photos of the outfits back in 2018. And Brinton can be seen wearing the outfits. That checks out.

I don’t care about their personal life, I respect their activism, but mostly I worry that this has been going on for years and they require serious security clearance to be in charge of nuclear materials and it never came up – but the internet figured it out?

(HT: @crucker)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »



  1. I’m a republican and this is old news. But more importantly, it’s really hard to vet 100000% of your people. As a former summer camp director, hiring 100+ people, every. Single. Summer. There were 2-4 ridiculously awesome counselors and 1-2 terribly counselors we had to let go. It’s the law of averages, and like George Santos, this bad apple got through.

  2. The November/December thefts are old news. This is not.

    George Santos got by *voters*. This official needed high level security clearance.

  3. In today’s culture you can slap the gender fluid label on yourself and very suddenly feel like you are immune from any consequences. It seems evident that the more outrageous he acted the better off he was and even got an elevated position in the federal government under the Biden administration. This is what happens when identity politics can shut down even the smallest morsel of common sense.

  4. LOl, I think I can make the claim that the background checks on Summer Camp Counselors is actually higher than Sam Brinton’s position of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Spent Fuel and Waste Disposition. We require FBI Fingerprints, Criminal Background (Misdemeanor or higher) and *any* accusations for child abuse currently in court. Maybe the federal government needs to change their standards? But what does this have to do with Frequent flyer miles and news from the Wing? It is so rare to have your baggage stolen in airports, and even then, they have cameras everywhere now, though (from experience) it is hard(ish) to get the airport police to cooperate and look them up.


    ps – I do appreciate the response… perhaps this is why your website is popular! 🙂

  5. Every study shows that “gender fluid” individuals suffer from far more mental health issues than other people. The risk has beein put at 4x or higher.. So before putting them in positions of authority, you really want to vet them. Instead, Progressives like to virtue signal and celebrate them. These type of failures are therefore inevitable under Progressive rule.

  6. A high level security clearance background check doesn’t mean a supernatural view into the applicant’s past is possible.

  7. Your logic is a little flawed, Chopsticks. Assuming Progressive either “rule” or “celebrate” takes some assumptions before the fact. One might as well assume that Trump’s people would be indicted because of who he is (actually several, were but it’s bad reasoning to “know” this beforehand). I agree with you about fully vetting, but that should be done for everyone equally and fairly, in as much depth as the position requires, not singling out one group or person “just because”. That way goes downhill fast as personal prejudices against any group can easily replace honest assessments.

  8. @chopsticks I am confident your statement is 100% correlated. However, being gender fluid does not prove casualty to having mental problems.

    It’s like saying that, “When more people eat ice cream, more people die from water drowning”. Which is nearly 100% correlated, so therefore we should ban ice cream!!

    However, as we all know, the reason more people eat ice cream or drown is because the weather is hot, not because they eat ice cream.

    I am not disputing the 4X finding, I am only suggesting it’s more correlation than causation. I hope this makes sense.

  9. This type of pronoun use is sad and demonstrates a certain weakness in society.

    “They claimed it was a misunderstanding…”
    “…and had to step aside from their role.”
    “…because they’re also an activist known…”
    “… apparently they’ve been stealing luggage…”

    They? their? they’re? they’ve?

    It’s one thing for them to be delusional, but that doesn’t mean you have to be.

  10. I didn’t see this story last fall, and it’s pretty interesting brings up a lot of questions here’s a few:

    1) how often does this happen

    2) what is done to prevent it – often the carousel is pretty much abandoned with 1-2 bags rotating around, with little supervision.

    2) why would an MIT-trained nuclear engineer be stealing and WEARING clothing (or stealing clothing in the 1st place) that was so unique it would be bound to be recognized (esp. in a public position). They wanted to get caught? Who knows…(not being an MIT trained nuclear engineer can’t imagine)

  11. This completely changes my points and credit card strategy.

    But, before we move on, is no one curious what shoes he’s wearing with that cute red dress?

  12. OK, not points and miles, but dang entertaining. How many other young people who LOVE to push selfies on social media are going to be haunted by stupid things they did years ago.

    I see a whole industry on AI bots that search social media for stolen material.

  13. This is what happens when hirings are based on some kind of victim labels, rather than merits.
    Plain and simple, are we learning yet?

  14. My generation would call this man mentally ill. And he was in a government position of some importance ?? Years ago this guy would never have been hired. And if he had been, the guy who hired him would have also been let go.

    Common sense has taken a vacation in the USA. Hopefully, it will return soon.

  15. I think James is seriously triggered, and has probably gone outside by now- “You kids- get off of my lawn!”… I hope for his sake it’s not too hot out there…

  16. @ chopsticks

    “So before putting them in positions of authority, you really want to vet them.”

    Based upon your posts herein (and as a company CEO) I wouldn’t employ you, given your intolerant, misguided, and discriminatory attitudes.

  17. @ Lee

    “This completely changes my points and credit card strategy.”

    Such core concerns were let behind a long time ago in favor of wantonly misleading headlines and dubious topics that inflame the readership.

    Back to Mahler 2…

    (Aufersteh’n, ja aufersteh’n wirst du
    mein Herz, in einem Nu!
    Was du geschlagen
    zu Gott wird es dich tragen!)

  18. As a former English teacher, I reject the assertion of using grammatically inaccurate pronouns, for exactly the reasons highlighted by this article. It’s confusing and makes no sense. If you have one d*ck, no matter how you feel inside you are a he not a they. But reading about and seeing this guy’s pic, sounds like that be the least of they’s problems.

  19. @GUWonder

    Sorry, but according to Brinton’s own resume, he did not work for the government while Trump was President. (

    Brinton was with the department of energy from June 2022 – Dec 2022
    Before that, he worked for Deep Isolation, a California-based private company from August 2017 to June 2022.

  20. I’ll hazard a guess that he suffers from kleptolagnia and autogynephilia as well as loves being the center of attention and a troll. Huge narcissist. Will continue to escalate to keep up the thrill factor. Take away his social media platforms and he’d become very depressed. The “activism” is a cover for some seriously deviant behavior. “Celebrate my madness, you bigots!” The last thing he wants to do is live a quiet life.

  21. Gary doesn’t care about their ‘personal life.’ He just cares that they steal…in their personal life! What a bogus, imaginary distinction.

  22. Gary, you’re such a disingenuous [redacted -gl], click-baiting, [redacted -gl], [redacted -gl] [redacted -gl], you [redacted -gl].

  23. Gary your description of this outrageous affair reveals more about your own biases and strangeness than the affair itself – you keep calling this klepto former US nuclear official “they”, “their”, etc: For example: “I don’t care about THEIR personal life, I respect THEIR activism, but mostly I worry that this has been going on for years and THEY require serious security clearance…: Really? You can’t bring yourself to call the offender “he” or “him”? It’s pathetic that you resort to such BS obfuscation of the truth.

  24. Is there any evidence this person stole luggage or is this just a bunch of internet vigilantes making wild assumptions and potentially slanderous accusations as usual. I’ll keep my feelings on the man’s appearance private, it’s not my place to judge him.

    Thousands of pieces of lost luggage end up in auctions and warehouses, are subsequently broken up, resold, donated multiples of times and are probably hanging in every single thrift store in the USA. If this person searches every hipster hangout for gender non-confirming throwaways at 50c a piece and another equally inclined hipster thinks he is wearing one of her ‘exclusive’ designs that’s been somehow misappropriated. That’s the kind of internet nonsense and drama I have little time for.

  25. You know Gary, you should only use “they” if the gender is unknown. Otherwise use “He” or “She”. You do this often in your writing, even when you’re not dealing with wackjobs like this guy.

    And it doesn’t matter what he identifies as either. He’s a guy (barely), use “he” to describe him. It’s confusing, awkward, and ugly writing to keep referring to him as “they”. Is there more than one of him?

  26. I’m only a once a year flyer. In the airport we are cautioned endlessly to keep an eye on our bags. Now we have to worry we won’t see them at baggage claim?! Well I hope if mine is they enjoy a 70 yr old’s clothes!! What a world!!

  27. Back in the ’50s and ’60s this ‘person’ would have been committed to a mental health facility and never let out again. Then the ‘movement’ to re-introduce people like him back into society began (mostly because the politicians of the day wanted the mental hospital budget money for their own ‘political’ purposes) and the mental hospitals were shut down and closed. Ala Dixon in Illinois and Newberry in Michigan. Now these idiots roam freely throughout society and you can’t commit these deviants anymore…

Comments are closed.