Con­way given top ad­viser role at White House

The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS - BY DAVID SHERFINSKI

Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump named cam­paign man­ager Kellyanne Con­way to a top ad­viser’s role at the White House and filled out his me­dia team Thurs­day, pick­ing Repub­li­can Party spokesman Sean Spicer as his press sec­re­tary.

Mr. Trump also said Ja­son Miller and Hope Hicks, who han­dled press for his cam­paign, will be his com­mu­ni­ca­tions di­rec­tor and di­rec­tor of strate­gic com­mu­ni­ca­tions, and said Dan Scavino will be his so­cial me­dia di­rec­tor.

Mr. Trump called Ms. Con­way a “tire­less and tena­cious ad­vo­cate of my agenda” and said she “has amaz­ing in­sights on how to ef­fec­tively com­mu­ni­cate our mes­sage.”

Ms. Con­way said she was of­fered the press sec­re­tary’s job, which would have made her the daily face of the White House, but turned it down, and in­stead man­aged to se­cure a more in­flu­en­tial post as coun­selor to the pres­i­dent.

She said she didn’t want to com­pare her­self to oth­ers, but likened the role she could oc­cupy to that of Va­lerie Jar­rett, who is seen as one of Pres­i­dent Obama’s more trusted and in­flu­en­tial ad­vis­ers de­spite largely avoid­ing the pub­lic lime­light.

The tran­si­tion team said Ms. Con­way’s role will en­tail work­ing with se­nior lead­er­ship “to ef­fec­tively mes­sage and ex­e­cute the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s leg­isla­tive pri­or­i­ties and ac­tions.”

Ms. Con­way joined the Trump cam­paign team in the mid­dle of this year, tak­ing over as it was strug­gling to re­gain its foot­ing. She helped Mr. Trump to stay closer to his cam­paign’s planned mes­sages, and honed his ap­proach to pol­icy, even as she made the cam­paign more ac­ces­si­ble to the press.

In Mr. Trump’s vic­tory, she also be­came the first fe­male cam­paign man­ager to suc­cess­fully guide a can­di­date into the White House.

Ms. Con­way is also a long­time poll­ster with a spe­cialty in try­ing to help male GOP can­di­dates com­mu­ni­cate ef­fec­tively to women. She cheek­ily pre­dicted Thurs­day that her gen­der ac­tu­ally might come in handy in nav­i­gat­ing what has long been seen as the boy’s club of pol­i­tics.

“I would say that I don’t play golf and I don’t have a mistress, so I have a lot of time that a lot of these other men don’t,” she said on Fox Business Net­work.

For his part, Mr. Spicer was de­ployed from the Repub­li­can Na­tional Com­mit­tee over to the Trump cam­paign in the later stages of the race, and helped smooth out some of the wrin­kles that had de­vel­oped be­tween the two oper­a­tions.

Since the elec­tion, he’s been a ma­jor voice in the Trump tran­si­tion team.

Ms. Con­way joins in­com­ing White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and top strate­gist Stephen K. Ban­non as part of an in­ner circle of ad­vis­ers who will closely guide and shape Mr. Trump and the de­ci­sions he makes while in of­fice.

Mr. Priebus and Mr. Ban­non were two of the first hires Mr. Trump an­nounced af­ter his vic­tory last month, and they have been billed as “equal part­ners.”

Mr. Priebus, who as RNC chair­man works closely with Mr. Spicer, con­sis­tently stuck by Mr. Trump af­ter the pres­i­dent-elect emerged from the of­ten chaotic GOP presidential nom­i­nat­ing process. Mr. Priebus also helped over­see the party’s much-touted ground game in the wake of an ad­mit­tedly lack­lus­ter effort on that front in 2012.

Mr. Ban­non, the for­mer Bre­it­bart News ex­ec­u­tive, was brought on to serve as the cam­paign’s CEO in Au­gust soon be­fore for­mer chair­man Paul Manafort left the cam­paign. Mr. Ban­non’s ar­rival was an­nounced at the same time Ms. Con­way was pro­moted to cam­paign man­ager.

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