Conway to lead White House opioid effort

Conway to lead White House opioid effort
© Greg Nash

Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsSessions: DOJ concerned about suppression of free speech on college campuses Faith communities are mobilizing against Trump’s family separation policy Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe lands book deal MORE on Wednesday praised Kellyanne Conway’s efforts to help address the opioid epidemic for the White House.

“She is exceedingly talented, she understands messaging,” Sessions said at an event announcing the Justice Department’s next steps on the opioid crisis.

“We’ve got to change the perception in this country.”

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Conway has served as the White House’s point person on the opioid epidemic, a czar of sorts who has traveled with former Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom PriceThomas (Tom) Edmunds PriceWhite House officials discussing potential replacements for FEMA chief: report Overnight Health Care: CBO finds bill delaying parts of ObamaCare costs B | Drug CEO defends 400 percent price hike | HHS declares health emergency ahead of hurricane HHS should look into Azar's close ties to the drug industry MORE to communities hit hardest by the crisis.

Sessions said Wednesday that Conway will “coordinate and lead the effort from the White House.”

Sessions underlined the idea that having Conway in charge of the opioid crisis shows its importance to President Trump, saying the senior White House adviser, “has total access to the president.”

“I think her appointment represents a very significant commitment from the president himself and his White House team,” Sessions said.

Sessions mentioned Conway as he was announcing how  the Trump administration will move to combat the opioid crisis, including announcing $12 million in grants. Trump declared the opioid crisis a national public health emergency last month.

Conway is currently being investigated by the White House Special Counsel for allegedly violating the Hatch Act by speaking out against Alabama Senate candidate Doug Jones while in her capacity as a White House official.

This story was updated at 10:50 a.m. Thursday.