Deputy communications director leaving White House

Deputy communications director leaving White House
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Josh Raffel, a top White House communications adviser with close ties to Ivanka TrumpIvana (Ivanka) Marie TrumpJim Carrey paints Kushner as 'self-unmade man' Modern American women succeed under Republican economic policies White House race to replace Hope Hicks has two lead contenders MORE and Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerJim Carrey paints Kushner as 'self-unmade man' The Daily Show jokes Trump’s new legal counsel is a TV Mueller investigates, Peters quits Fox, White House leaks abound MORE, will leave his post, The Hill confirmed on Tuesday.

Raffel will depart the administration sometime in the next few months in order to help with the transition to his successor, an official said.

He joined the White House last spring to run communications for the Office of American Innovation and serve as a spokesman for Trump and Kushner, Trump's husband. Both are senior White House advisers.


Raffel’s portfolio expanded to include the Israel-Palestinian conflict and tax reform. Last fall, he was quietly promoted to deputy communications director as he dealt with a growing list of policy issues and crisis responses. 

“Josh's guidance was invaluable. The White House won’t be the same without him,” Ivanka Trump said in a statement.

Raffel’s exit, which was first reported by Axios, comes as pressure is mounting over Kushner's inability to obtain a permanent security clearance, reportedly due to issues related to his FBI background check.

Kushner reportedly had his clearance downgraded on Tuesday following a system-wide review initiated by White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE.

The clearance issues, as well as Raffel’s departure, could fuel speculation about Kushner’s future in the White House.

But Raffel has been quietly telling friends and colleagues, including Kushner and Trump, over the past two months of his plans, according to a person familiar with the situation.

The person said Raffel plans to return to New York, where he has family obligations, and work in the private sector.

Before joining the White House, Raffel worked as a Hollywood publicist and also did some work for Trump’s family.

"Josh has been a trusted partner as we worked to enact the president’s economic agenda and passed historic tax reform," said National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn. "He is focused and thoughtful in our day-to-day operations and in driving a policy roll-out, and he will be missed."