Mar 21, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: McCarthy hires top Trump official to run political operation

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is seen speaking during his weekly news conference.

Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has hired former President Trump’s White House political director, Brian Jack, to lead his own political operation, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The move to bring on Jack underscores McCarthy's strategy of keeping Trump and his orbit close as Republicans seek to retake the House majority in 2022 — and McCarthy achieves his personal goal of becoming speaker.

The backdrop: Jack is one of a small group that worked for Trump through his entire journey — from his 2016 campaign to his final flight on Air Force One.

  • McCarthy (R-Calif.) met Jack through Trump and sees him as an asset for fundraising and recruitment, as well as strategy.
  • Jack remains connected to Trump, who viewed him as his go-to guy for congressional elections during the last cycle.
  • Jack previously held top roles at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and the Republican National Committee and has worked with several GOP campaigns.

What we're hearing: Talks about a potential job in McCarthy's office began in December, while Trump was still in office.

  • Jack formally started this month.
  • He was initially considered as a candidate to lead the National Republican Campaign Committee but ultimately opted to work directly for McCarthy.
  • Jack will work closely with NRCC staff, as has been the case with aides to past House Republican leaders.

What they’re saying: “I worked closely with Brian during his four years at The White House,” Richard Hudson, secretary of the GOP conference, told Axios.

  • “He served President Trump exceptionally well, knows what it takes to win Congressional races, and I’m excited he’s working with Leader Kevin McCarthy and our team that will Take Back the House.”
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