DEVELOPING: Trump's Deputy Chief Of Staff Is Leaving The White House
President Trump’s deputy chief of staff and long-time staffer for Reince Priebus, Katie Walsh, is leaving the White House according to Politico. She's expected to work on outside efforts to support the Trump administration, the AP noted, including helping the RNC and the independent group America First.
"Katie Walsh has accepted a position with an outside organization,” a White House official said. “She has been a tremendous asset to the president and we are confident she will be so in her new role as well.”
The move comes after a rough week for Trump, capped by the failure of his healthcare plan last Friday. As The Hill notes, Trump allies inside and outside the White House were frustrated by the level of involvement from political non-profits, such as the pro-Trump America First Policies, in touting the measure. More from Politico:
The move has the blessing of the highest ranks of the White House. “You’ve got to have somebody from the inside who has the blessing of the man himself,” said the source close to the White House.
Walsh is expected to serve as an adviser both to a pro-Trump nonprofit and the RNC. The non-profit, America First, is stocked with veterans of the campaign and has been struggling to get off the ground.
An official close to the outside group said the final decision on Walsh's move was made mid-morning on Thursday. Walsh will be running the day-to-day operations of America First and will replace Rick Gates, a former Trump campaign official who had been in that role, the official said. The outside group has been in talks with the White House for the last two months about personnel matters, the official added.
Walsh is close to Trump’s chief of staff, Reince Priebus, who has been blamed by some Trump supporters for the president’s early stumbles. She served as Priebus’ chief of staff when he led the Republican National Committee. As Politico adds, the move could also have significant implications for Priebus, who is losing one of his top lieutenants in the West Wing.
"He basically took away Reince's political secret service. She was his eyes and ears inside," said a source close to Trump quoted by Politico.
Walsh has had a rapid rise within the political ranks: she was named deputy finance director at the RNC in January 2013 before her 30th birthday, and was elevated to the top finance job just six months later. She helped lead the RNC’s mammoth fundraising operation through the 2014 midterm elections, and she became chief of staff under Priebus at the RNC in 2015. As an RNC veteran, she brought her ties to the Republican establishment with her to the White House, contrasting with insurgent Republicans like policy adviser Stephen Miller and chief strategist Steve Bannon.