President Trump may soon have strong new aides to help fight back against Democrats and their impeachment inquiry against him.
Amid criticism that the White House was not doing enough to bolster the president’s response to House Democrats and the impending battle to come as the impeachment proceedings move forward, administration officials revealed that two new hires are expected to come onboard to assist with the communications strategy.
(Video: YouTube/Fox News)
Pam Bondi, the former attorney general of Florida, and Tony Sayegh, a former top Treasury aide, are expected to join the White House as special government employees in temporary roles handling special projects and impeachment messaging, according to a senior government official, The New York Times reported.
Bondi told “Fox & Friends” co-host Steve Doocy on Thursday that, though nothing is official, she and Sayegh could be getting the positions.
“Maybe,” she said. “We’ll see … Most likely, yes.”
Trump has long favored Bondi, who has been staunchly loyal to the president, and reportedly speaks to her regularly. She is seen as a good choice to represent Trump in media appearances and her legal background is also a factor in her favor.
Sayegh was considered for the role of White House press secretary at one time, and left the administration less than six months ago to work as a managing director at Teneo in New York. Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner has wanted to add Sayegh to the communications team, sources told The Times.
Sayegh and Bondi, serving as special government employees, would be limited to a 130-day maximum term in their White House roles.
Trump has emphatically defended himself against accusations by Democrats that there was a quid pro quo in his phone call with Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine. Democrats contend that Trump withheld military aid as he pressed Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
The president has suggested he might read the transcript of the call out loud in a “fireside chat” with America in order to make a direct appeal, as he continues to make his case personally on Twitter, at political rallies and in talks with reporters outside of the White House.
Bondi referred to the president as “his best spokesperson,” noting on Fox News that he already has a great team in place.
Trump dismissed the need for setting up a war room to deal with the impeachment proceedings, telling the Washington Examiner last week, “It’s a con job, a sham.”
Trump suggests a live ‘fireside chat’ with the American people to go over Ukraine call transcript https://t.co/UVrDedHtPm
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) November 1, 2019
“I already have good people,” he said, noting that there was no need to set up a special operation that would legitimize the impeachment effort.
“Clinton was different. He was guilty,” he said of former President Bill Clinton. “This is a simpler case than his.”
Trump has reportedly not signed off on the new hires or any other plans for a communications person to deal with the impeachment process.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said there was “nothing to announce at this time,” according to Politico.
“They are trying to figure out how to set up a war room, without it being a war room and without it devolving into a civil war inside the White House,” a Republican close to the administration told the news outlet. “There are different conceptions of what a war room would look like, and the president has not deputized anyone to do it. Many of the people on the inside think they need one, even if they are bickering among themselves.”
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