President Donald Trump’s personal aide and body man John McEntee — known within the West Wing simply as Johnny — is leaving the White House and taking a position on Trump’s re-election campaign, the campaign announced Tuesday.
McEntee is the latest member of Trump’s original inner circle, which included communications director Hope Hicks and bodyguard Keith Schiller, to leave the White House.
An administration official confirmed that McEntee was abruptly escorted out of the White House on Monday, but did not know why. Another official said he would be mailed his belongings.
The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that McEntee’s departure was triggered by a security issue.
The move comes at a time of intense turbulence within the West Wing and throughout the administration. Trump announced Tuesday morning that he was putting forward CIA director Mike Pompeo to replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and also said he is considering pundit and outside economic adviser Larry Kudlow to succeed outgoing National Economic Director Gary Cohn.
McEntee, a former University of Connecticut quarterback who joined the Trump campaign as a volunteer in 2015, has been a regular presence by Trump’s side in the White House.
“John McEntee, who was a personal aide to President Trump in the 2016 campaign and the White House, will also re-join the Trump campaign as a senior adviser for campaign operations,” the campaign said in a statement on Tuesday morning.
McEntee will be based in Washington. The campaign also announced that Katrina Pierson, who served as a spokesperson for Trump in 2016 and remains a frequent Trump surrogate on cable news, will join the campaign as a senior adviser.
“As we build out our operations for the 2018 mid-term elections and the 2020 re-election campaign, we are pleased to welcome back two outstanding members of our 2016 team,” campaign manager Brad Parscale said in a statement. “We need the help of proven leaders such as Katrina and John to promote the president’s growing portfolio of achievements across the country.”
Andrew Restuccia contributed to this report.