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Trump departs the White House for Florida. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

There's an operational reshuffle coming at the top level of the White House. Senior Trump administration official Johnny DeStefano is set to assume greater responsibilities and influence, including overseeing the beleaguered White House political operation.

What's coming: Two sources with direct knowledge of the internal deliberations say DeStefano is expected to assume most of deputy chief of staff Rick Dearborn's responsibilities. Dearborn is expected to leave the White House sometime in the new year.

The backdrop: There's been an intense focus recently on the performance of the White House political shop in general and its leader Bill Stepien in particular. We were first to report in detail about the widespread concerns about the operation's performance; and WashPo and others reported on a recent tense meeting in the Oval Office that climaxed with Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski eviscerating Stepien.

Details of the reshuffle:

  • DeStefano, a Capitol Hill veteran and former leadership aide, is expected to take charge of the Office of Public Liaison — the White House's outreach to interest groups — and is expected to maintain his role overseeing personnel appointments across the administration.
  • DeStefano is also expected to lead the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs — making him responsible for maintaining the White House's relationships with state legislators, governors, tribal leaders, mayors, and other political leaders across the country.
  • The move makes DeStefano one of the administration's key point people to the wider Republican universe.
  • DeStefano did not respond to a request for comment.

I'm told one role of Dearborn's that DeStefano is less likely to take is overseeing Marc Short's Office of Legislative Affairs. Short is expected to report directly to Chief of Staff John Kelly.

Get more stories like this by signing up for our weekly political lookahead newsletter, Axios Sneak Peek.

Go deeper

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Rahm Emanuel floated for Transportation secretary

Rahm Emanuel. Photo: Joshua Lott for The Washington Post via Getty Images

President-elect Biden is strongly considering Rahm Emanuel to run the Department of Transportation, weighing the former Chicago mayor’s experience on infrastructure spending against concerns from progressives over his policing record.

Why it matters: The DOT could effectively become the new Commerce Department, as infrastructure spending, smart cities construction and the rollout of drone-delivery programs take on increasing economic weight.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden turns to experienced hands for White House economic team

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Joe Biden plans to announce Cecilia Rouse and Brian Deese as part of his economic team and Neera Tanden to head the Office of Management and Budget, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: These are experienced hands. Unveiling a diverse group of advisers also may draw attention away from a selection of Deese to run the National Economic Council. Some progressives have criticized his work at BlackRock, the world's largest asset management firm.

Biden taps former Obama communications director for press secretary

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Jen Psaki, who previously served as Obama's communications director, will serve as President-elect Joe Biden's press secretary, the transition team announced Sunday.

The big picture: All of the top aides in Biden's communication staff will be women, per the Washington Post, which first reported Psaki's appointment.