Trump ‘crushed’ by planned departure of one of his closest confidants

Bloomberg reports: President Donald Trump’s allies are worried that the most damaging of the many recent departures from his White House may be that of Keith Schiller, a little-known former bodyguard who’s one of the president’s closest confidants outside his family.

Schiller is leaving the White House soon to return to the private security business, according to three people familiar with his plans, for a job that will pay far more than his $165,000 government salary. His title, director of Oval Office operations, hardly begins to describe his importance to Trump, who is “crushed” by his planned departure, according to one person close to the president.

Multiple people interviewed described Schiller as an emotional anchor for the president in a White House often marked by turmoil. Schiller has worked for Trump for nearly two decades, and within the West Wing he serves as the president’s protector, gate-keeper and wing man, according to people close to Schiller and Trump. Most of the people requested anonymity to candidly discuss relationships between the president and his aides.

“He’s a confidant and friend,” said Stuart Jolly, a former national field director for Trump’s presidential campaign. Trump “trusts Keith, and Keith trusts him. Trust is a really big deal at that level.”

Schiller has also acted as Trump’s hatchet-man. It was Schiller who told James Comey that the president had decided to fire him as FBI director. Two weeks ago, after Trump was angered by preparations for a rally in Phoenix, Schiller delivered the message to another longtime aide, George Gigicos, that Trump no longer wanted him to organize such events, according to three people familiar with the matter. [Continue reading…]

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