Trump Picks G.O.P. Veterans for White House Posts

by admin December 22, 2016 at 8:26 pm

Mr. Trump had hoped to have a woman at least share the podium duties. But after Ms. Conway declined, Mr. Trump eventually dismissed alternatives that could have signaled an even more hostile approach to the press, like the conservative radio host Laura Ingraham and Kimberly Guilfoyle, a Fox News host and commentator.

Mr. Spicer is a fierce advocate for Mr. Trump and can be combative with reporters. But he is also a familiar face in Washington, having served for years as the chief spokesman for the Republican National Committee. His ascension to one of the most visible jobs in Washington represents a victory for Reince Priebus, the chairman of the R.N.C. and the incoming chief of staff, in internal jockeying with Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law, as well as with Stephen K. Bannon, the chief White House strategist, and Vice President-elect Mike Pence.

In the meantime, the announcements on Thursday make it clear that the president-elect has turned his attention to the business of setting up a political and communications apparatus after weeks of focus on his cabinet and national security team.

Jason Miller, a Republican operative who became an early spokesman for Mr. Trump during the campaign, will become communications director at the White House. Hope Hicks, who served as the campaign spokeswoman, will become director of strategic communications, and Dan Scavino will be director of social media.

The new members of the staff will have the power to shape Mr. Trump’s presence in Washington as he makes the transition from businessman to politician. The president-elect is under pressure from his supporters to deal aggressively with the national press corps. And his political advisers will help guide him through a potentially contentious relationship with members of Congress, even ones from his own party.

In the coming days, Mr. Trump is also expected to name three deputy White House chiefs of staff to help Mr. Priebus manage the sprawling operations at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Among those being considered for the three deputy posts are Katie Walsh, who was chief of staff at the R.N.C.; Joe Hagin, who was deputy chief of staff for operations through most of George W. Bush’s administration; and Rick A. Dearborn, who was chief of staff to Senator Jeff Sessions, who has been selected by Mr. Trump to serve as attorney general.

Tending to Mr. Trump’s relationships in Washington is likely to fall in part to Bill Stepien, who is in line to be the new political director. Mr. Stepien once played that role as the longtime political adviser to Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey, but Mr. Christie fired his aide after Mr. Stepien was implicated in the so-called Bridgegate scandal involving a plot to punish a Democratic mayor by closing lanes leading to the George Washington Bridge.

Mr. Stepien has been credited by Mr. Kushner and Mr. Bannon, who brought him on board in August, with helping them secure victory in November.

It is unclear how Mr. Trump intends to use David Bossie, who left Citizens United to be the deputy campaign manager and was among Mr. Trump’s earliest informal advisers about a presidential run. Mr. Bossie frequently clashed with Mr. Priebus, and Mr. Trump was dissatisfied with him by the end of the campaign. He has sought to be a deputy chief of staff.

One loyal aide who will not be joining the president’s White House staff is Corey Lewandowski, who was recruited to be Mr. Trump’s first campaign manager at the recommendation of Mr. Bossie.

Mr. Lewandowski, who ran the early days of Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign before being fired early last summer, waged the most visible fight for a role in the White House. In the end, though, he will remain outside the gates, announcing on Twitter Wednesday that he has set up a Washington public relations and consulting business a block from the White House.

“I will always be President Trump’s biggest supporter,” Mr. Lewandowski wrote in a news release announcing the new business, Avenue Strategies. The co-founder of the firm is Barry Bennett, who managed the presidential campaign of Ben Carson; Mr. Lewandowski brought him onto the Trump campaign after Mr. Carson dropped out.

Mr. Lewandowski presided over a turbulent time in Mr. Trump’s campaign, replaced for a time by the campaign’s chairman, Paul Manafort, with whom he frequently feuded during the early part of the campaign.

Mr. Lewandowski still speaks frequently with Mr. Trump, who has an unusual dependence on him. Mr. Lewandowski remained loyal to Mr. Trump after he departed, appearing regularly on CNN on behalf of his former boss. After the election, Mr. Lewandowski was often seen going in and out of Trump Tower.

But he could not overcome resistance from Mr. Kushner and Mr. Trump’s adult children, all of whom were instrumental in his removal in June. In his news release, Mr. Lewandowski said that “after considering multiple opportunities within the administration, I informed him and his team I think I can best help him outside the formal structure of the government.”

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