The White House Released Its Staff Salaries – And The Biggest Earners May Come As A Surprise

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Some 420 people work for the current White House administration, and generally they’re paid pretty handsomely. However, excluding the president and vice-president, these 40 people are among the highest-paid employees of the White House right now, according to official data from June 2019. Spoiler alert: the top three all share the same first name.

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40. Leslie A. Ford

In February 2019 the White House announced, “Leslie will serve as special assistant to the President for Domestic Policy. Ms. Ford previously served as associate director in the Domestic Policy Council.” She currently does the work surrounding Medicaid and gets paid a salary of $106,000 per year.

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39. Cassidy Dumbauld

Cassidy Dumbauld is the special assistant to the President and director of the Office of the Senior Advisor. The latter title means that she works for Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Now, she makes $106,000 a year. Furthermore, she’s in a relationship with fellow Trump staffer Nick Luna, which led to a fair amount of comment in the media.

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38. Hayley D’Antuono

Hayley D’Antuono used to work for Republican Congressman John Ratcliffe as his office manager. In 2017 he posted a goodbye message to her on Facebook, saying, “She’s starting tomorrow working for First Lady Melania Trump who I know will be very lucky to have her.” Currently, she’s the special assistant to the President and director of Operations for the Office of the First Lady, making $106,000 a year.

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37. Kevin Garvey

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Not an awful lot is known about Kevin Garvey – when you Google him, you’ll get Justin Theroux’s police chief character from the popular HBO TV show The Leftovers. But the real-world Kevin Garvey’s job title is deputy associate counsel to the President, and he earns $110,000 a year for this.

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36. Stewart Barber Young

Stewart Barber Young – who happens to be the older sister of Fox News correspondent Ellison Barber – works for Ivanka Trump as the head of the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative. She’s also special assistant to the President. Her full job title, though, is special assistant to the President and director of International Initiatives and Outreach, and her salary is $120,000.

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35. Theodore Wold

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Theodore Wold was employed as special assistant to the President for Domestic Policy in 2018, and now he earns $120,000 a year. He works under Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, and handles systems that have to do with immigration and the promotion of the president’s planned border wall.

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34. Alexander Willette

Alexander Reginald Willette made political history when he became the youngest member of legislative leadership in the United States. That was back in 2010, and a decade on from there he is the special assistant to the President and deputy director of Political Affairs for Outreach. He gets $120,000 a year.

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33. Susan Varga

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Back in the 1990s Susan Varga worked for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, the multimedia empire owned by Martha Stewart. Now she works for another former television personality as special assistant to the President. She’s also chief of staff to the Director of the National Economic Council, and her salary is $120,000.

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32. Alec Sugarman

Alec Sugarman, known as “AJ” is the son of Entertainment Tonight presenter Mary Hart and television producer Burt Sugarman. The line between show business and politics has always been a thin one however. Now the younger Sugarman is special assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs, and makes $120,000 per year.

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31. Alexandra Stone

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On September 6, 2018 the White House made the announcement, “Alexandra E. Stone will serve as special assistant to the President and director of the White House Management Office. Ms. Stone previously served as deputy director of Finance and Travel Lead.” In her new position, she earns $120,000 per annum.

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30. Gregory L. Smith

Gregory L. Smith is the special assistant to the President and deputy director of Political Affairs for Policy and Personnel. According to the website Propublica, he’s lobbied for Native Americans, as well as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and the Bristol Bay Area Health Corp. He earns $120,000.

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29. James Sherk

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James Sherk earns $120,000 a year as special assistant to the President for Domestic Policy. In 2019 the website Politico revealed a 2017 memo by him that, according to the site, “encouraged President Donald Trump to eliminate all job protections for federal workers and a requirement that federal contractors provide paid sick leave for employees.” Sherk refused to comment on the article.

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28. James Sapp

James Sapp appears to live a rather private life. You see, he has no Twitter account – that being said, seeing the tweets of his boss would probably be enough to put him off the platform. It is known, though, that he’s the special assistant to the President and associate director of Presidential Personnel, making $120,000 per year.

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27. Theodore Royer

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Like any president, Donald Trump has help writing his speeches. And one of the current speechwriters is Theodore Royer, whose full job title is special assistant to the President and speechwriter. At first his salary was reported as $115,000, but now it’s gone up to $120,000.

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26. David Planning

In May 2019 Politico broke the news, “David Planning is leaving the House Financial Services Committee, where he was director of coalitions and member services, for the White House leg affairs team. He’ll be special assistant to the President for legislative affairs.” In his new role Planning makes $120,000 per year.

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25. Caroline Moore

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Prior to joining the Trump White House, Caroline Moore worked as an economic researcher and as director of Alumni Relations at The Federalist Society. It’s safe to assume she was paid well, but now she makes $120,000 per annum as special assistant to the President and director of the Office of the Chief of Staff.

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24. Molly Michael

Molly A. Michael works as one of the Oval Office Operations staff, a group of people who manage Trump’s schedule and engagements. There are only two people who do this at the moment, herself and Nicholas Luna. As special assistant to the President and his executive assistant, she earns $120,000 a year.

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23. Theo Merkel

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Once the primary healthcare staffer for Senator Pat Toomey, Theo Merkel replaced Donald Trump’s White House special assistant Brian Blase in June 2019. Then in January 2020 he wrote an article for CNN titled “Trump’s efforts to make medical prices transparent are good for America.” But since he’s making $120,000 he probably has less to worry about in that area than most.

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22. Meghan McCann

In 2017 Meghan McCann’s job title appeared to be “West Wing Receptionist,” and her salary was $56,000, lower than a lot of federal agency employees. Now though, things seem to have changed. She’s become special assistant to the President and associate director of Presidential Personnel, making a cool $120,000 per year.

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21. Jane Lucas

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Jane Lucas has a law degree from Georgetown University and used to work as the legislative correspondent, legislative assistant and Health Policy counsel for the office of Senator John Thune. Then she was made special assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs, and was given a salary of $120,000 per annum.

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20. Matt Lira

Back in 2014 digital economy expert Matt Lira was the deputy executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC). But years later he became special assistant to the President for Innovation Policy and Initiatives, commanding a salary of $120,000. He also has a Twitter account, which of course retweets the White House one.

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19. Alex Latcham

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Drake University alumni Alex Latcham worked on the election teams of Mitt Romney and Michelle Bachmann in 2012, before becoming Trump’s special assistant and the deputy director of Political Affairs for Outreach. In 2017 his pay was reportedly $89,000, higher than the average salary for government employees, and now it’s even higher at $120,000.

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18. Rebekah Jurata

On the official White House report, Rebekah Jurata is listed as making $120,000 per year in her capacity as special assistant to the President for Economic Policy. However, she might actually be making more than that now. You see, in October 2019 she joined the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, and will be paid $500,000 per year for it.

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17. Thomas Joannou

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Thomas Joannou wanted to be a baseball star before he got a job in the White House. But when things slumped for him, he took a chance and applied for a job with Trump’s administration. He began as an intern and worked his way up the ranks. Now he’s a special assistant to both the Senior Counselor and the President and makes $120,000 a year. That should get him into a lot of baseball games.

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16. William Harrison

As you may know, William (Henry) Harrison was the ninth President of the United States. Alas, he died a mere thirty-one days after taking office and still holds the record for the shortest tenure of a U.S. President. Now another William Harrison serves as Trump’s special assistant for Operations. And since he’s on $120,000 per year, it’s safe to say he’s had better luck than his namesake.

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15. Arthur Harding

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Arthur Harding works in the Office of the First Lady, which is part of the White House Office. And he currently has the position of special assistant to the President and director of Policy for the Office of the First Lady, which pays $120,000 per annum.

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14. Julia Hahn

Before going to work as Donald Trump’s special assistant, media pro Julia Hahn worked for Breitbart News. The controversial right-leaning website has been criticised over the years but was a rallying point for supporters of Trump. To add to this, Hahn is also the director of Surrogate and Coalition Communications at the White House, making $120,000 a year.

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13. James Goyer

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Having previously been a legislative assistant, James Goyer was made special assistant to the President for External Affairs in February 2018. And this came with a salary of $95,000 per year. But in 2019 his job title had been changed: now he was the special assistant to the President and the deputy director of the Office of Public Liaison. Oh, and his salary was upped to $120,000.

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12. Madeleine Westerhout

Madeleine Westerhout was the special assistant to the President and also the director of Oval Office Operations. For that she received $145,000 per year, up until August 2019. You see, she was fired for discussing Trump’s personal life with reporters. According to Politico.com, she told them at a dinner that Trump didn’t want to be photographed with his daughter Tiffany because she was overweight. Well, maybe Westerhout was overpaid.

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11. David Kalbaugh

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David Kalbaugh, the executive clerk, is the man responsible for reviewing the various documents and orders sent between the president and Congress. Funnily enough, Donald Trump has threatened in the past to adjourn all of Congress, but the job still exists. Currently Kalbaugh enjoys a salary of $165,417 per year.

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10. Emma Doyle

Emma Doyle has worked in politics for a long time. Previously, she was a legislative assistant to Senator Pat Toomey, and after that she was chief of staff to Mick Mulvaney. Now under the Trump administration, she bags one of the most important jobs going. Yes, she’s assistant to the President and principal deputy chief of staff, making $183,000 a year.

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9. Pat Cipollone

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Pasquale “Pat” Cipollone, the child of an Italian factory worker, was given the job of White House Counsel in 2018. From there, he became the person who defended Donald Trump during the impeachment inquiry of 2019, indicating that the White House would not cooperate and representing Trump at his hearing. He makes $183,000 a year.

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8. Brooke Rollins

Brooke Rollins was the first woman to be elected as student body president at Texas A&M University, and also the first to speak at one of its ceremonies. Now she’s assistant to the President for Strategic Initiatives, and gets paid $183,000 a year. Interestingly, it was her who helped pass the First Step Act to reform prisons.

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7. Mercedes Schlapp

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Before being hired by him, former media commentator Mercedes Schlapp made several statements that were critical of Donald Trump. Yes, in a 2015 column for U.S. News & World Report she wrote that his approach was “short-sighted,” and “harmful to the Republican party.” But now she’s his director of Strategic Communications, and is paid $183,000 per year.

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6. Stephanie Grisham

Stephanie Grisham holds the dubious honor of being the first White House press secretary to not hold any press conferences. Instead, she did interviews for mainly conservative media. In 2020 thirteen former White House secretaries signed a letter demanding Grisham go back to press conferences. At the time, she was being paid $183,000 per year. Since then, she’s been moved to the East Wing as Melania Trump’s chief of staff.

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5. Kellyanne Conway

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Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s assistant and senior counselor, is the woman who gave the world the phrase “alternative facts.” Needless to say, she was strongly criticised for it, which was an attempt to make light of a previous press secretary’s alleged failings. She makes $183,000 a year.

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4. Stephen Miller

Miller is the person who wrote some of Trump’s inaugural address and currently serves as the president’s senior advisor. In 2019 he was caught up in controversy over emails he sent to a Breitbart journalist, allegedly warning of the dangers of immigration and putting forward conspiracy theories. Commentators lined up to claim that he was a “quiet extremist.” In any case, he was retained in the White House and gets $183,000 per year.

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3. John Bolton

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Former United States Ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton has been labelled, among other things, a “foreign policy hawk” an “American nationalist” and a “neoconservative.” He rejects the latter label. Anyway, he was on $183,000 a year as assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, but got the boot in September 2019. In the aftermath, he’d claimed he’d resigned.

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2. John “Mick” Mulvaney

John Mulvaney, who goes by his nickname of Mick, was the acting chief of staff of Trump’s administration. However, in 2020 he was fired by his boss and replaced with Republican congressman Mark Meadows. Mulvaney’s last known salary was $203,500 per year, though, so maybe that will console him.

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1. John Czwartacki

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John Czwartacki is the highest-paid member of the White House staff, earning $239,595 per year. That’s more than most of the staff members, whose salaries are capped at $183,000. He makes so much because he’s actually on detail from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, so that’s worked out pretty well for him. And officially, he’s the senior advisor to the Chief of Staff for Strategy and Stakeholder Engagement.

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