President Trump's former golf caddy — a man with zero political experience — has, against all odds, risen to a top position in the West Wing.
Dan Scavino, who is an assistant to the president and director of social media, is the longest-tenured Trump employee in the White House, noted a sprawling profile of the man published by The New York Times Magazine on Monday. He is the architect behind many of the president's tweets, often tapping out 280 characters while Trump dictates, and previously served as an unofficial photographer during the campaign. Now that Hope Hicks, the former White House communications director, has left the administration, Scavino is one of the last "original" Trump team members and is closer with the president than ever, the Times Magazine reports. Scavino even took over Hicks' office after she departed at the end of March, just down the hall from the Oval Office.
Scavino was instrumental in framing Trump's campaign as "a movement," former chief strategist Stephen Bannon told the magazine. "He has his hands on the Pepes," Bannon said of Scavino, referring to the alt-right mascot "Pepe the Frog." Scavino has remained close with Trump due to his understanding of how to play to the president's base, officials told the Times Magazine, and often acts as a yes-man to placate Trump's ego.
Scavino is also the only aide allowed access to Trump's treasured Twitter account, and one source said that Trump and Scavino craft his tweets together, splitting the work 50-50. Because of how much Trump values his Twitter presence, sources say, Scavino's importance is unlikely to diminish, especially given his undying faithfulness to the president.
Scavino declined to be interviewed for the story. As a friend of Scavino's told the magazine: "Golf is a sport of the least mistakes. … That's how someone like Dan might float to the top — by not doing anything wrong." Read more at The New York Times Magazine. Summer Meza
Sen. Ted Cruz may be left with no one to debate but himself at Monday's Fox News debate. Shortly after Donald Trump announced Wednesday that he would not be attending the upcoming Republican presidential debate because he'd instead be giving a speech before the pro-Israel lobby group AIPAC, Ohio Gov. John Kasich's camp announced that if Trump wouldn't be attending, neither would Kasich.
Kasich consultant John Weaver tweeted Wednesday that only if "Trump changes his mind" would Kasich show up:
No debate in SLC Monday due to Trump backing out. No surprise Trump avoiding contrast. Utah: @JohnKasich headed your way Fri.