Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, is headed to the White House, where she’ll serve as counsellor after he is sworn in as president, according to his transition team.
Conway was Trump’s third campaign manager, and is widely credited with helping guide him to victory. She is also a frequent guest on television news programs.
In a statement early Thursday, Trump praised Conway as a “tireless and tenacious advocate” of his agenda.
For her part, Conway said she was “humbled and honoured to play a role in helping transform the movement he has led into a real agenda of action and results.”
Conway had said previously she planned to move her family to Washington to serve Trump, either inside or outside the administration.
The transition team said Conway “will work with senior leadership” in the White House “to effectively message and execute the administration’s legislative priorities and actions.”
In tapping Conway for the senior White House role, Trump is creating another power centre in the West Wing. He has already named outgoing Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus as his chief of staff and conservative media executive Steve Bannon as a senior adviser. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, will also be an influential adviser, though his exact role is still to be determined.
Internal rivalries have long been a hallmark of Trump’s businesses and campaign, as well as his transition team. Conway and Priebus have been at odds over some major decisions, including who should serve as Trump’s secretary of state. He ultimately chose Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson.
Conway irritated some Trump aides with her outspoken opposition to the prospect of the president-elect picking Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican nominee, to head the State Department. She panned the idea in public, though she said she had also made her feelings known to Trump privately.
Conway, a longtime Republican pollster, considered not joining the White House staff and turned down offers to serve in a communications role. She also expressed a desire to help Trump set up an outside political organization to promote his agenda.
Transition officials said announcements on other White House positions could come by the end of the week.