Categories for White House Staff

31,045. 11/26/2019

BUDGET/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/UKRAINE/WHITE HOUSE STAFF: “Two officials at the White House budget office resigned this year partly because of their concerns about President Trump’s decision to hold up congressionally approved security assistance to Ukraine, a third aide at the office told impeachment investigators, revealing dissent within a key agency about Mr. Trump’s refusal to release the money. Mark Sandy, an official at the White House Office of Management and Budget, told the House Intelligence Committee in a private interview this month that one of the officials ‘expressed some frustrations about not understanding the reason for the hold’ before resigning in September. A second co-worker, an official in the legal division of the office, also resigned after offering a ‘dissenting opinion’ about whether it was legal to hold up the aid, Mr. Sandy testified, according to a transcript of his testimony released by the committee on Tuesday [11-26-19].”

Michael D. Shear and Nicholas Fandos, “White House Budget Official Said 2 Aides Resigned Amid Ukraine Aid Freeze,” The New York Times online, November 26, 2019

30,309. 11/5/2019

IMPEACHMENT/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/TRUMP PEOPLE/WHITE HOUSE STAFF: “It’s been the latest fight within the impeachment fight. When former top Treasury official Tony Sayegh showed up in the West Wing roughly two weeks ago to discuss a role helping out with President Donald Trump’s war against impeachment, his surprise appearance kicked off yet another West Wing turf battle. Worried about their positions of power in the Trump orbit, a small but vocal group of senior administration officials started to raise concerns about Sayegh. To the president and his allies, these aides argued that bringing on a communications specialist focused on impeachment would make the president look “weak,” or show the White House seemed nervous about the Democrats’ moves even as Trump repeatedly said he did nothing wrong. Sayegh also was tagged internally as a ‘Jared guy,’ meaning an ally of the president’s son-in-law and top adviser.”

Nancy Cook, “Inside the Trump team’s fight over an impeachment communicator,” Politico, November 5, 2019 6:19 pm

30,017. 10/29/2019

TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/WHITE HOUSE STAFF: “RT @IngrahamAngle: On Inauguration Day 2017, Team Trump has zero idea how many career staff working inside the Admin—WH, State, IC, other a…”

Donald Trump, Twitter.com, October 29, 2019 7:49 am

26,176. 7/1/2019

MEDIA/NORTH KOREA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/TRUMP PEOPLE/WHITE HOUSE STAFF: “Stephanie Grisham, the new White House press secretary, returned from the Demilitarized Zone with a bruise on her arm after physically pushing North Korean officials to clear a way for American journalists to cover President Trump’s meeting with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un. In a video of the clash, Ms. Grisham can be seen — iPhone in one hand — wedging her body between a railing and a throng of men crowding a hallway. ‘Go,’ she commanded a group of journalists as she held back the North Koreans, opening a path for the journalists. Making her first mark in the job by fighting, physically, for press access, Ms. Grisham offered a stark contrast to how Sean Spicer, Mr. Trump’s first press secretary, introduced himself to the world when he assumed the same position. Dressed in an ill-fitting suit, Mr. Spicer had stood at the White House lectern and stated, falsely, that Mr. Trump’s inauguration crowd drew the ‘largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe.’”

Annie Karni, “Stephanie Grisham, Trump’s New Press Secretary, Literally Pushes for Press Access,” The New York times online, July 1, 2019

25,990. 6/25/2019

MEDIA/MELANIA/TRUMP PEOPLE/WHITE HOUSE STAFF: “Stephanie Grisham, Melania Trump’s communications director, will replace Sarah Huckabee Sanders as White House press secretary, continuing the ascent of a former campaign aide who established herself as a loyal and at times combative defender of the Trump family. Ms. Grisham will also take on the added role of communications director, a job that has been vacant since the departure of Bill Shine in March, and will keep her role in the East Wing. Mrs. Trump made the announcement Tuesday [6-25-19] on Twitter. While other names were initially floated for the job, President Trump’s choice of Ms. Grisham ensured that another loyalist would become the public face of an administration that has been defined by its pugilistic relationships with journalists. But Ms. Grisham’s appointment — to a three-in-one role that will include managing overall communications strategy, daily relations with the news media and incoming requests for the East Wing — also crystallizes how much the nature of those jobs have changed under Mr. Trump.”

Katie Rogers and Annie Karni, “Trump Names Stephanie Grisham, Aide to First Lady, as Sarah Sanders’s Successor,” The New York Times online, June 25, 2019

25,745. 6/14/2019

FOREIGN AFFAIRS/INTELLIGENCE/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/WHITE HOUSE STAFF: “White House officials privately acknowledge that President Donald Trump has handled the questions about foreign interference in American elections poorly in the days since his interview with ABC News aired, multiple sources told CNN on Friday [6-14-19]. A source close to the White House said there was frustration inside the White House and among the President’s political advisers with press secretary Sarah Sanders’ handling of the ABC interview prior to the announcement of her departure. ‘The clips from the last few days have been tough,’ the adviser said. In an interview with ABC that aired Wednesday evening, Trump said he would accept dirt on political rivals from foreign governments. The nonchalant answer may not have been surprising, but was nonetheless a stark admission from the President given Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election and frequent warnings about foreign intervention in the 2020 contest.”

Jim Acosta and Abby Phillip, “White House officials privately say Trump handling questions about foreign interference in elections poorly,” CNN Politics, CNN.com, June 14, 2019 9:21 pm

25,737. 6/14/2019

MEDIA/TRUMP PEOPLE/WHITE HOUSE STAFF: “If Sean Spicer’s tenure as White House press secretary made him a figure of national renown and mockery, priming him for his current incarnation as a special correspondent on the syndicated TV show ‘Extra,’ the legacy of his successor, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, is more straightforward. And, perhaps, more lasting. She made the White House briefing boring again — gaffes and ratings dropped off — before effectively killing it off entirely, or at least leaving it in a politically induced coma. She falsely called a CNN reporter a groper and stripped him of his press credential. (A judge later restored it.) From a lectern with the presidential seal, she urged Americans to watch a propaganda video from the right-wing activist James O’Keefe — ‘whether it’s accurate or not’ — and fabricated an anecdote about F.B.I. agents calling her to complain about their former director James B. Comey.”

Michael M. Grynbaum, “Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Steadfast Trump Fan, Never Wavered,” The New York Times online, June 14, 2019

25,703. 6/13/2019

MEDIA/TRUMP PEOPLE/WHITE HOUSE STAFF: “Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary who fiercely defended President Trump through one of the most tumultuous periods in American politics while presiding over the end of the iconic daily news briefing, will step down at the end of the month. Mr. Trump announced her departure on Thursday [6-13-19] on Twitter, the presidential tweet having supplanted the role that a White House press secretary played in previous administrations. He later praised her for her grit, her heart and her loyalty to him and his goals…Ms. Sanders appeared emotional as she joined him unscheduled at the event, which was officially devoted to criminal justice policy, and she praised Mr. Trump and his team…Her resignation came on a typically head-spinning day in the Trump White House that would challenge any press secretary. The president was under fire for saying he would still accept derogatory information about a campaign opponent from Russia without necessarily calling the F.B.I.”

-Katie Rogers and Peter Baker, “Sarah Huckabee Sanders Leaving White House at the End of the Month,” The New York Times online, June 13, 2019

25,696. 6/13/2019

TRUMP PEOPLE/WHITE HOUSE STAFF: “After 3 1/2 years, our wonderful Sarah Huckabee Sanders will be leaving the White House at the end of the month and going home to the Great State of Arkansas….”

-Donald Trump, Twitter.com, June 13, 2019 3:10 pm

25,695. 6/13/2019

TRUMP PEOPLE/WHITE HOUSE STAFF: “….She is a very special person with extraordinary talents, who has done an incredible job! I hope she decides to run for Governor of Arkansas – she would be fantastic. Sarah, thank you for a job well done!”

Donald Trump, Twitter.com, June 13, 2019 3:10 pm

25,678. 6/13/2019

MEDIA/TRUMP PEOPLE/WHITE HOUSE STAFF: “Sarah Sanders’ primary legacy as White House press secretary will be the death of the daily press briefing. In her nearly two years as Trump’s top liaison with the press, Sanders shortened the on-camera briefings and then did away with them altogether. Her most recent quarrel with the press in the briefing room was back on March 11 — and that session was only 14 minutes long. Now she is stepping down from her post, according to a tweet from President Trump on Thursday [6-13-19]. It is unknown whether she will hold another on-camera briefing before her last day or not. And it is also unclear who will take over her off-camera duties, which include issuing statements and answering questions from reporters in informal settings. But it will be a surprise if a future Trump White House press secretary brings back the daily briefing. The format served presidents and the press well for decades. But Trump and Sanders ultimately decided it was not in their personal interest to provide the same level of transparency as past administrations.”

Brian Stelter, “Sarah Sanders’ legacy: The death of the White House press briefing,” CNN Politics, CNN.com, June 13, 2019 7:46 am

24,667. 5/6/2019

MELANIA/WHITE HOUSE STAFF: “Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a leading contractor for President Trump’s inaugural committee and a former adviser to the first lady, Melania Trump, has publicly disputed accounts of her departure from the White House last year, rejecting claims from officials that she was dismissed. Ms. Winston Wolkoff specifically took issue with suggestions by White House officials that she had been forced out because of reports that she had profited excessively from her role in helping organize inaugural events. She gave her account of what happened in a statement to The New York Times more than a year after she parted ways with the White House, where she had served as an unpaid adviser to Mrs. Trump after the inauguration…It was the first time Ms. Winston Wolkoff has provided extensive public comments about the events around her split from the White House, including characterizations at the time by White House officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, that she had been forced out because of reports about lavish spending on the inauguration.”

Maggie Haberman and Ben Protess, “Inaugural Official Disputes White House Account of Her Departure,” The New York Times online, May 6, 2019

24,416. 4/29/2019

SPORTS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/WHITE HOUSE STAFF: “RT @BaylorWBB: Thank you to @realDonaldTrump and the @WhiteHouse staff for a great experience for the Lady Bears! #SicEm https://t.co/SR7no…” 

Donald Trump, Twitter.com, April 29, 2019 4:34 pm

24,162. 4/19/2019

RUSSIA INVESTIGATION/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/TRUMP PEOPLE/WHITE HOUSE STAFF: “The first years of President Donald Trump’s tenure were marked by chaotic attempts among aides to thwart his efforts to curtail the special counsel’s investigation, according to Robert Mueller’s redacted report, an exercise that relied on subterfuge and deceit that does little to dispel the sense of disarray reigning at the White House. Trump is depicted in the report as entirely consumed by the probe, which he bemoaned would be the ‘end of my presidency.’ One aide said the matter of Russian interference was his ‘Achilles heel.’ The resulting West Wing atmosphere was one marred by conflict and governed by deception. Portraits of the Trump administration as an untidy collection of warring advisers, overseen by an impetuous boss, have been frequent over the past two years. Frayed departing staffers have affirmed those accounts. But Mueller’s report provides a cinematic view of the disorder, recounted through named interviews delivered under criminal penalty of lying to the FBI. Trump is depicted as foul-mouthed and loyalty obsessed, ringed by aides who shrugged off his orders, scoffed at the ‘crazy sh**’ he was demanding, and carried resignation letters with them constantly. “

Kevin Liptak, “Undermining, but protective: How Trump’s staff’s insolence may have saved him,” CNN Politics, CNN.com, April 19, 2019 

24,137. 4/19/2019

ROBERT MUELLER/RUSSIA INVESTIGATION/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/WHITE HOUSE STAFF: “A day after claiming that special counsel Robert Mueller’s report had vindicated him, President Donald Trump was in a foul mood about Mueller’s detailed findings, lashing out at the Russia investigator and fuming about aides who cooperated with him. Close White House advisers said they expect Trump’s hottest rage in the coming days will be directed at former White House counsel Don McGahn, a source of some of the report’s most embarrassing findings about the president. Trump angrily tweeted on Thursday that the report contained ‘total bullshit’ from people trying to make themselves look good and harm the president.Trump’s obvious frustration was a sign that the White House’s victory lap on the Mueller report was premature. Although Trump celebrated the fact that the report did not find a conspiracy between his 2016 campaign and the Kremlin or that he obstructed justice, Trump seemed to be blaming scapegoats for the scathing media coverage that followed the report’s release — including McGahn.”

Andrew Restuccia, Nancy Coook and Caitlin Oprysko, “Trump targets Mueller report scapegoats,” Politico, April 19, 2019 8:50 am

24,114. 4/18/2019

FBI/ROBERT MUELLER/RUSSIA INVESTIGATION/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/WHITE HOSUE STAFF: “When ousted FBI Director James Comey delivered damaging testimony to Congress in 2017, attracting nationwide attention, White House aides insisted that President Donald Trump’s mood was ‘light.’ Shortly after news broke that Donald Trump Jr. agreed to meet with Russian nationals promising dirt on Hillary Clinton, Trump reported that the vibe in the White House was ‘fantastic.’ And after Republicans lost the House in last year’s midterm elections, Trump’s advisers countered that the president was feeling ‘buoyant.’ In a subsequent cable news interview, Trump added that he was ‘extremely upbeat.’ For more than two years, the president and his team have been dutifully forking over questionable anecdotes about the president’s persistent good spirits in the face of a constant stream of stories about the dismal morale in the West Wing and Trump’s propensity for lashing out. On Thursday [4-18-19], special counsel Robert Mueller backed up the plentiful anonymous accounts of turmoil in the White House — only he got it all on the record. Across 488 pages, Mueller’s team recounted scores of interviews in which Trump’s advisers described a president obsessed over the investigations encircling him, often expressing frustration — and even despair — when things weren’t going his way.”

Andrew Restuccia, “Mueller report shatters Trump aides’ claims of harmonious White House,” Politico, April 18, 2019 6:07 pm

23,636. 4/1/2019

NATIONAL SECURITY/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/TRUMP PEOPLE/WHITE HOUSE STAFF: “A White House staff member has told House investigators that senior officials have overruled concerns raised about 25 individuals whose security clearances were initially denied over a range of disqualifying issues — such as fears about foreign influence and potential conflicts-of-interests — warning of the grave implications to national security, according to a senior Democratic lawmaker. Now House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings plans to issue a subpoena this week demanding an interview with Carl Kline, who served as the personnel security director at the White House during President Donald Trump’s first two years in office — as part of the Democrats’ investigation into the handling of the security clearance process, including for Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and the President’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, who are both also White House advisers…Cummings released a memo Monday detailing an interview with Tricia Newbold, a White House employee who has worked for 18 years in Republican and Democratic administrations and currently serves as the Adjudications Manager in the Personnel Security Office.”

Manu Raju and Lauren Fox, “Cummings: Whistleblower says White House pushed for security clearances despite ‘serious disqualifying issues’,” CNN Politics, CNN.com, April 1, 2019 9:53 pm

23,606. 4/1/2019

CONGRESS/NATIONAL SECURITY/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/WHITE HOUSE STAFF: “A whistle-blower working inside the White House has told a House committee that senior Trump administration officials granted security clearances to at least 25 individuals whose applications had been denied by career employees for ‘disqualifying issues’ that could put national security at risk, the committee’s Democratic staff said Monday [4-1-19]. The whistle-blower, Tricia Newbold, a manager in the White House’s Personnel Security Office, told the House Committee on Oversight and Reform in a private interview last month that the 25 applicants included two current senior White House officials, in addition to contractors and other employees working for the office of the president, the staff said in a memo it released publicly. The memo does not identify any of the 25 people. But one of the senior White House officials appears to be Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser. NBC News reported in January that Carl Kline, who until recently served as the head of the personnel security division and was Ms. Newbold’s boss, had overruled a decision by career security officials concerned about granting Mr. Kushner a clearance.”

Nicholas Fandos and Maggie Haberman, “White House Whistle-Blower Tells Congress of Irregularities in Security Clearances,” The New York Times online, April 1, 2019

23,513. 3/27/2019

ETHICS/TRUMP PEOPLE/WHITE HOUSE STAFF: “Seven former senior Trump aides, including the White House’s top ethics official, may have violated federal law by failing to disclose their future employment on financial reports, according to records obtained by POLITICO. One of those aides, John McEntee, President Donald Trump’s former personal aide who left in March 2018, reportedly after a problem with his security clearance, also appears to have been paid by the Trump campaign while still working at the White House, also a possible violation of the law, the records show. High-level staffers are required to disclose their future employment — if they have a job lined up — to identify potential conflicts of interest between their White House positions and new employers. It’s the latest in what good government advocates say is a pattern of ethical lapses in the Trump administration. Several government watchdog groups have criticized the Trump administration repeatedly for allowing high-ranking staffers to spend exorbitant amounts of money on travel, promoting Trump businesses and failing to file legally required financial reports.”

Anita Kumar, “Departing Trump aides failed to disclose next job as law requires,” Politico, March 27, 2019 3:00 pm

23,399. 3/20/2019

DEMS/FBI/HOUSE OF REPS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/WHITE HOUSE STAFF: “Hope Hicks, the former White House communications director and long-time confidante of President Donald Trump, plans to turn over documents to the House Judiciary Committee as part of its investigation into potential obstruction of justice. Rep. Jerry Nadler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, sent Hicks a detailed letter earlier this month, asking for documents on a wide-range of topics, including over former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s false statements to the FBI, the firing of then-FBI Director James Comey, Trump’s involvement in a hush-money scheme to silence stories about his alleged affairs and the drafting of a misleading 2017 statement to the media about Donald Trump Jr.’s 2016 meeting in Trump Tower with Russians. The request included documents from “any personal or work diary, journal or other book containing notes, a record or a description of daily events” about Trump, the Trump campaign, the Trump Organization and the executive office of the President. Hicks and other current administration officials have agreed to provide documents to the committee, according to Nadler’s spokesman Daniel Schwarz. Hicks’ attorney declined to comment.”

Manu Raju, Jeremy Herb and Kara Scannell, “Former Trump confidante Hope Hicks to cooperate with House Democratic probe into Trump,” CNN Politics, CNN.com, March 20, 2019 8:24 pm

23,188. 3/8/2019

MEDIA/TRUMP PEOPLE/WHITE HOUSE STAFF: “Bill Shine is the fifth person to learn that it’s not easy to serve as communications director to a president who doesn’t think he needs one. Trump on Friday [3-8-19] accepted the resignation of Shine, a former Fox News executive who had spent just nine months on the job, severing his most visible link to the conservative network — but likely not changing his relationship with the Trump-friendly outlet. Shine will join the president’s reelection campaign as a ‘senior adviser’ — a role that will allow him to spend ‘more time with my family,’ he said in a statement Friday, suggesting he will take on something less than a senior leadership role in the campaign. His sudden departure came as a surprise to several White House aides as well as to a number of officials working on the president’s campaign, several of whom learned he would join the team on Thursday [3-7-19]. The Trump campaign has spent the past month building out a communications team and it was not immediately clear what Shine’s portfolio as an adviser to the campaign would comprise, according to two people close to the campaign.”

Gabby Orr and Eliana Johnson, “Why Trump soured on Fox News veteran Bill Shine,” Politico, March 8, 2019 5:03 pm

22,568. 2/11/2019

MEDIA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/WHITE HOUSE STAFF: “A former White House aide is suing President Donald Trump and arguing the government is trying to illegally penalize him after he wrote a book that portrayed an unflattering picture of life in the West Wing. Cliff Sims filed a lawsuit Monday in federal court in Washington. Trump’s campaign accused Sims last month of violating a nondisclosure agreement by publishing his book, ‘Team of Vipers.’ Trump has dismissed Sims as a ‘low level staffer.’ He said the book was ‘based on made up stories and fiction.’ Sims’ lawsuit charges the government is using a private surrogate to ‘serve as an illegitimate cutout’ and impose liability through the nondisclosure agreement. Sims argues he learned the information only through his time as a federal employee.”

Associated Press, “Former White House Aide Who Wrote Expose Sues Trump,” The New York Times online, February 11, 2019

22,522. 2/8/2019

TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/WHITE HOUSE STAFF: “The White House is aggressively investigating several leaks of President Donald Trump’s private schedules, a source of repeated embarrassment to the White House and the president himself. West Wing officials managing the hunt have enlisted the help of the White House IT office, and believe they are making progress in narrowing the search for potential suspects. One Trump official said the culprit is likely a career government employee who works in the White House, not a person appointed by Trump himself, but did not offer specific evidence. The search has been approved by the office of acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, and Trump himself — who has been infuriated by leaks from within his White House — is aware of the mole hunt and supports the effort, according to one of the officials. Axios on Sunday published Trump’s private schedules for the past three months that showed how he spent 60 percent of his time in unscheduled ‘executive time.’ Aides say he uses those time blocks to watch TV, call people, read newspapers and do other work. Based on a week’s worth of these same private schedules, POLITICO had also reported in October Trump’s extensive amount of free time that’s unprecedented for presidents, including nine hours of ‘executive time’ in one day.”

Eliana Johnson and Daniel Lippman, ” White House hunts for ‘executive time’ schedule leaker,” Politico, February 8, 2019 7:17 pm

22,247. 1/29/2019

MEDIA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/WHITE HOUSE STAFF: “President Donald Trump did a little book promoting Tuesday [1-29-19], attacking a former aide for writing the latest tell-all tome about the fractious Trump administration…Published Tuesday, Sims – a communications aide with both the Trump campaign and the White House – writes about the back-stabbing among the president and his aides in a book with a self-descriptive title: ‘Team of Vipers: My 500 Extraordinary Days in the Trump White House.’ In a book that is more critical of aides than of Trump, Sims writes: ‘This is the story of a ragtag band of political outsiders who stormed the White House, and of staffers who couldn’t seem to decide whether serving their country meant serving their President or undermining him.’ Perhaps promoting the book further, current Trump campaign chief operating officer Michael Glassner said it may sue Sims, claiming he violated a non-disclosure agreement.”

David Jackson, “Donald Trump: Aide-turned-author Cliff Sims violated non-disclosure agreement,” USA Today, January 29, 2019 10:12 am

22,088. 1/22/2019

MEDIA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/WHITE HOUSE STAFF: “White House press briefings during the Trump administration have gone from must-see TV to practically cancelled after just two seasons. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, has not taken questions from the podium since Dec. 18, and she appeared just once in September, November and December. On Tuesday [1-22-19], President Trump said on Twitter that he told Ms. Sanders ‘not to bother’ with briefings anymore because ‘the press covers her so rudely & inaccurately.’ Hogan Gidley, a White House spokesman, said in an interview on Fox News on Tuesday, shortly before Mr. Trump’s tweet, that the briefings have not officially stopped, but that Ms. Sanders did not need to be at the podium every day because Mr. Trump regularly answers questions from reporters, for example, on his way to Marine One.”

Karen Yourish and Jasmine C. Lee, “The Demise of the White House Press Briefing Under Trump,” The New York Times online, January 22, 2019