White House Deputy Chief of Staff Katie Walsh is leaving the Trump administration to work for a pro-Trump group known as America First Policies, senior administration officials said.
Walsh's departure from the West Wing comes less than a week after a major legislative failure for the Trump administration to pass the American Healthcare bill in the House of Representatives.
White House officials were dismayed that outside group America First Policies did not buy TV ads. The non-profit has been tasked with conducting research into public policies, promoting Trump's favored causes and helping with Trump agenda. The group was rather silent amid Trump's healthcare reform fight and failed to gather support for the bill.
White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said "It was abundantly clear we didn't have air cover. No one can fix this problem better than Katie Walsh."
Trump's Chief strategist Steve Bannon and senior adviser Jared Kushner said in a press briefing said that Walsh's departure is less of a administration shake-up and more of an effort to reboot outside groups.
"Katie's a vital link that pulls things together and makes things happen," Bannon was quoted by Politico as saying.
Kushner said that Walsh is one of the unsung heroes of the campaign, adding "I'm very supportive of Katie and the sacrifice she's making" by leaving the administration.
Among the contenders to replace Walsh are Rick Dearborn, the deputy chief of staff for intergovernmental affairs; Marc Short, director of legislative affairs; Sean Cairncross, senior adviser to the chief of staff; and Joe Hagin, deputy chief of staff for operations, a white House official said on the condition of anonymity, reports Bloomberg.
According to reports, Walsh along with Kellyanne Conway became an important player in the inner circle of the administration in recent months.
A key ally to White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, she was one of the number of staffers from RNC, Priebus brought along with him to the White House, including Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Walsh had previously worked on a number of political rallies, including John McCain's campaign in 2008.
Another top White House official assured that this move does not say anything about the status of Priebus within the administration. "Reince is not next," the official was quoted as saying by Politico.
America First Policies is led by Brad Parscale, digital and data director for Trump campaign. The organisation has reportedly been off to a slow start from the time it was founded and has concentrated on raising funds and putting together a leadership team.