Monday 23 April 2018

Man tasked with finding positive news about Trump leaves job

White House says it was a 'mutual decision'

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

Emily Shugerman

The man tasked with finding and distributing good news about Donald Trump has left his job at the White House.

Andy Hemming, the White House director of rapid response, reportedly worked 17-hour days finding positive news about the administration and sending it to reporters, television personalities, and other influencers. The White House said his departure this week was a “mutual decision”.

The 31-year-old was profiled by Politico shortly before he left. Mr Hemming, the article revealed, was a career political operative who had worked for prominent Republicans like Mitt Romney and former Texas Governor Rick Perry. He joined the Trump team after going to work for the Republican National Convention during last year’s election.

But Mr Hemming, it seemed, had an impossible job: promoting the news in an administration that reviles it. Mr Trump has repeatedly referred to the mainstream media as “fake news,” and encouraged his supporters not to believe it.

"These are truly dishonest people," Mr Trump said at a rally on Tuesday. "They're bad people. I really think they don't like our country."

The White House press team's relationship with reporters has been strained as well. Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders frequently spars with reporters, and press briefings – like a recent, memorable one with senior White House advisor Steve Miller – have occasionally devolved into shouting matches.

Former Press Secretary Sean Spicer and Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci have both stepped down from their roles in recent weeks.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told Politico that Mr Hemming’s departure was a “[m]utual decision that he could best help promote the president’s agenda on the outside.”

“Andy is smart and very talented and we wish him all the best,” she added.

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