White House to add two aides to lead impeachment messaging


The White House is expected to add a pair of aides tasked with leading its impeachment communications team as the House prepares to go public with its inquiry into President Trump.

Two officials confirmed to The Hill that former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and former Treasury spokesman Tony Sayegh will join the White House communications staff “to work on proactive impeachment messaging and other special projects as they arise.”{mosads}

Their roles will be temporary and they will be designated as special government employees, according to a senior administration official.

The announcement comes the same day House Democrats unveiled the schedule for their first public hearings in the impeachment inquiry into Trump, with hearings scheduled for next Wednesday and Friday.

The White House has at times struggled to coalesce around a unified messaging strategy on impeachment, something that has been a point of concern for Republican allies in Congress. The mercurial Trump has largely steered the defense strategy thus far with his own brash public statements, insistence he did nothing wrong and refusal to cooperate with investigations.

Sayegh previously worked as a Republican strategist before joining the Trump administration. He served as a spokesman for Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and led messaging efforts for the White House’s tax cut push.

Bondi served as Florida’s attorney general from 2011 to 2019, and Trump’s foundation made a much-scrutinized donation in support of her reelection campaign in 2013. She has remained an outspoken supporter of the president since.

The president last month dismissed the need for a full-fledged team to defend him against impeachment, telling reporters, “I’m the team.” But Wednesday’s staffing announcement indicates the White House is taking the process more seriously as it moves into a public phase.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said earlier Wednesday that lawmakers initially plan to call in three witnesses next week to build their case publicly that Trump abused his office by pressuring a foreign power to investigate his domestic political opponents.

Schiff said that William Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine, and George Kent, a top State Department official, will testify next Wednesday. Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch is then expected to testify next Friday.

House Democrats have in recent days released transcripts of closed-door testimony from Taylor, Yovanovitch, former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker, Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland and former top State Department aide Michael McKinley.

Each of the transcripts have portrayed the president’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, as serving as a second channel to pursue the president’s interests in Ukraine and shown officials raising various concerns about the desire for Ukrainian officials to publicly commit to investigating the 2016 election. 

Sondland in updated testimony said that he presumed aid for Ukraine was contingent on the country publicly announcing investigations that Trump wanted.

White House aides have remained adamant that the president did nothing wrong and insisted there was no explicit quid pro quo. But both press secretary Stephanie Grisham and White House counselor Kellyanne Conway have in recent weeks acknowledged that they expect the House to move forward with impeachment.

Tags Adam Schiff Donald Trump Kellyanne Conway Kurt Volker Pam Bondi Rudy Giuliani Stephanie Grisham Steven Mnuchin Tony Sayegh

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video