Trump's staff secretary Derek Lyons to leave White House this month

Lyons is one of a handful of remaining staffers who have been in the White House since the first day of Donald Trump's presidency. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) - One of US President Donald Trump's closest aides, staff secretary Derek Lyons, will leave his job before the end of the year.

Lyons plans to depart the White House before his boss's term ends in January in order to spend time with his family and pursue a private sector opportunity related to jobs in the US, according to a person familiar with the matter. He informed Trump of his decision on Tuesday, the person said.

Lyons called his time in the administration "the experience of a lifetime" in a statement to Bloomberg News.

Few of Trump's top advisers have left their posts, with the President still insisting - falsely - that he won re-election. Departures before President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration are interpreted as implicit acknowledgment that Trump's time in the White House is coming to an end.

Alyssa Farah resigned earlier this month as White House communications director, one of the only other high-level officials to leave since the election. Attorney-General William Barr said Monday he'll leave by Dec 23 after Trump complained about the Department of Justice's handling of his unsubstantiated vote fraud assertions and an investigation of Biden's son Hunter Biden.

"It has been an honour and a privilege to work for President Trump in the White House and fight for the American people alongside truly talented and dedicated colleagues," Lyons said in his statement. "I am deeply grateful to the president for the opportunity to serve."

As staff secretary, Lyons held the unheralded but influential position of handling the flow of documents to Trump and coordinating the president's official remarks, major addresses and policy initiatives. He took over the position in 2018 from Rob Porter, who resigned after he was accused of domestic violence. Lyons previously served as Porter's deputy.

Lyons is one of a handful of remaining staffers who have been in the White House since the first day of Trump's presidency. He frequently accompanied the President on foreign and domestic travel, and in May received the title of Counsellor to the President, a capacity in which he advised Trump on policy matters ranging from trade to coronavirus relief efforts.

Before entering the White House, Lyons worked on the 2016 presidential campaign of Jeb Bush - a frequent punching bag of Trump's - and for Senator Rob Portman of Ohio as chief counsel on the Senate investigations subcommittee. Lyons is an lawyer who clerked for Brett Kavanaugh when he was a judge on the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

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