Season 2 of “Axios on HBO” airs Sundays at 6pm ET/PT. Keep up to date with Axios AM:

Stories

Scoop: Trump selects Eric Ueland to lead legislative affairs

Photo: Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images

President Trump has picked Eric Ueland, currently deputy assistant to the president for domestic policy, to replace Shahira Knight as director of legislative affairs, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the decision. Ueland has deep experience in Congress and is widely respected on Capitol Hill.

Why it matters: As the president's top liaison to Capitol Hill, this is perhaps the hardest job in Washington. The White House is at war with House Democrats, who have initiated a blizzard of subpoenas. Trump has made clear he wants his current and former staff to stonewall House Democrats and that he expects to get no big legislative items done (for example, infrastructure) while Democrats are investigating him.

Context: Joe Grogan, the head of the White House's Domestic Policy Council, brought Ueland onto his team earlier this year, and officials have who worked both with and against Ueland over his long career on the Hill described him as an especially important hire.

  • Ueland previously served as chief of staff to former Republican Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and was a senior adviser on the Senate Budget Committee. He also served as a top official on the Trump transition team and later worked in the Office of U.S. Foreign Assistance at the State Department.
  • The White House issued a statement on Thursday confirming Ueland's appointment, calling him a "a talented, highly respected individual," and a start date of June 17

Go deeper: How Trump can stall House Democrats