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Mike Pompeo to install Trump loyalist at State Department

Mike Pompeo close up
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Photo: Salah Malkawi/Getty Images

Cliff Sims, the director of White House messaging strategy, is expected to join Mike Pompeo's State Department as a senior adviser to the Secretary, according to two sources with knowledge of the planning. Politico first reported the expected move.

A source close to Pompeo told me: "Cliff will be a senior advisor to Secretary Pompeo. Cliff worked on communications for Pompeo’s confirmation and did an outstanding job, which led to Secretary Pompeo offering him that position."

Why this matters: Sources from various corners of the White House have told me that Sims, a Trump campaign veteran, has forged one of the stronger personal relationships with the President of any staffer at his level. 

  • During his time in the White House, Sims, alongside Treasury's Tony Sayegh, was a key figure on the communications team that worked on tax reform.
  • As Politico first reported, Sims has clashed with some of his colleagues — particularly some who joined the White House from the Republican National Committee. He's not been alone in that regard — this White House has been deeply factionalized.
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