Apr 22, 2020 - Politics & Policy

White House's Rob Blair to move to Commerce Department

Senior Advisor to the Chief of Staff Robert Blair walks on the South Lawn prior to U.S. President Donald Trump’s departure from the White House
Senior White House official Robert Blair on the South Lawn of the White House. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Robert Blair, a senior White House official who played a key role under former chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, is moving to the Commerce Department to serve as director of policy, two sources familiar with his plans tell Axios and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross confirmed.

What we're hearing: Blair is expected to focus on 5G, rebalancing the relationship with China and reopening the economy after the coronavirus lockdowns, one of the sources said.

  • “I am thrilled that Rob Blair has chosen to join the Department of Commerce to serve as our Director of Policy and Strategic Planning," Ross told Axios.
  • "Rob’s experience on Capitol Hill, at the Office of Management and Budget, and as Assistant to the President and the Senior Advisor to the Chief of Staff, and Special Representative for International Telecommunications Policy at the White House will be incredibly valuable to our Department as we continue our work to execute on the President’s bold agenda.”

The backstory: Blair was a senior adviser for Mulvaney, then worked closely with National Economic Council director Larry Kudlow and National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien on the Trump administration's international 5G strategy.

  • Blair has told colleagues he’s now looking forward to contributing to the president’s 5G agenda by fleshing out the domestic policy.
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