Senior White House aide Katie Walsh is leaving her position to work for a pro-Trump political group tasked with promoting the president’s agenda.
A White House spokesperson confirmed on Thursday: “Katie Walsh has accepted a position with an outside organization. The official added, “She has been a tremendous asset to the president and we are confident she will be so in her new role as well.”
Walsh is reportedly joining an outside political group, America First Policies, which is stocked with veterans of the campaign and has been struggling to get off the ground.
According to White House officials, her decision to depart was fueled by last Friday’s failed health care vote in the House. Days later, Walsh approached senior adviser Jared Kushner, chief of staff Reince Priebus, and chief strategist Steve Bannon about bolstering outside efforts, in which they gave her their blessing, said officials.
On Thursday, Kushner, Priebus, and Bannon allegedly briefed reporters about her move and insisted it was not a shake-up rather a rebooting of an outside effort that they believe fell flat in their first legislative showdown. “It was abundantly clear we didn’t have air cover,” Priebus said. “No one can fix this problem better than Katie Walsh.”
Bannon said of Walsh’s departure that it would be a loss for the White House but would be a win for America First Policies. “Katie’s a vital link that pulls things together and makes things happen,” he said.
Kushner called Walsh “one of the unsung heroes of the campaign” and said, “I’m very supportive of Katie and the sacrifice she’s making” by leaving.
— Mike Shields (@mshields007) March 30, 2017
Walsh’s move marks the latest in a series of high-level staffer shakeups and controversies that have plagued Trump’s fledgling administration.
H/T: The Hill
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