A major factor in every new presidency is figuring out who has direct access to the president. In the weeks leading up to Trump’s inauguration, the incoming president’s top aides hurried to figure this out in time for the big day.
Outside of Trump’s cabinet is a private coterie, a group of people that operates outside the conventional political framework and policies that dictate the rest of his administration. The group members all share a serious commitment to Trump and an aversion to the traditional way of working.
Below is an overview of Trump’s “round table,” consisting of his top five aides who have unfiltered access to him during his presidency.
Keith Schiller is a former detective with the New York Police Department who has been working as Trump’s bodyguard since 1999. He is now the deputy assistant to Trump and director of Oval Office affairs where he has continued his abnormal role of providing security parallel to the Secret Service. Schiller is currently under fire from the media for financial discrepancies and unpaid taxes.
Next is Daniel Scavino who started working for Trump as a teenage golf caddy and has worked with the Trump organization ever since. Now Scavino plays a critical role as the president’s director of social media. Not only has Scavino been responsible for trends such as the Twitter hashtag #TrumpTrain, but he also had assumed the role of stocking Trump’s plane with Starbursts before every flight, a job that is now taken care of by the Secret Service.
Hope Hicks emerged from a background as a fashion model to land a job as first daughter Ivanka Trump’s public relations aficionado for her business ventures in clothes and jewelry. For nearly two years, Hicks then served as de facto caretaker of Donald Trump’s daily life, particularly with the press. Now the new assistant to the president and director of strategic communications, Hicks plays a major role in Trump’s public life assisting with everything from drafting Tweets to delivering bad news to Trump, a job that Hicks has become particularly appreciated for by her colleagues.
George Gigicos enters the White House as one of Trump’s only aides with previous experience dealing with a president. Gigicos served as former President George W. Bush’s advance man, the person in charge of planning trips and arriving at locations prior to the president in order to make sure the appropriate arrangements have been made. When it appeared as though no one wanted to aid Trump in his campaign, Gigicos signed on and became a vital member of Trump’s campaign team. Gigicos was appointed Trump’s deputy assistant and director of advance.
Last, there is John McEntee who serves as Trump’s personal aide, being available at all hours to assist with any day-to-day needs. McEntee was most recently a production assistant at Fox News. Before that, he was a quarterback for the University of Connecticut, gaining minor fame in 2011 with a video of his “trick-shot” football throws that he uploaded to YouTube. He notably was recruited by Trump after having barraged Trump’s campaign email with his resume. After serving as an unpaid volunteer, McEntee was officially hired as Trump’s trip director.
This core team includes some of the most crucial people in Trump’s presidency as they spend most days in close contact with the president making sure his daily affairs are in order. They are so important to his operations that many of them have found apartments within a quarter-mile of the White House.
Scavino describes this team of aides as family. “We all have our lanes and one common goal, and that’s to look out for our boss and see him succeed,” Scavino told TIME Magazine in January.
by Ian Roesch, Ka ‘Ohana Co-Editor in Chief