White House deputy chief of staff leaving

The White House deputy chief of staff Joseph Hagin is one of the most seasoned government veterans in a team populated mainly by newcomers.
The White House deputy chief of staff Joseph Hagin is one of the most seasoned government veterans in a team populated mainly by newcomers.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON • White House deputy chief of staff Joseph Hagin, one of the most seasoned government veterans in a team populated mainly by newcomers, plans to step down next month.

Mr Hagin has run White House operations for President Donald Trump for 17 months.

Just this month, Mr Hagin led a delegation of officials in Singapore who arranged the logistics of Mr Trump's landmark meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

"Joe Hagin has been a huge asset to my administration," Mr Trump said. "He planned and executed the longest and one of the most historic foreign trips ever made by a president, and he did it all perfectly. We will miss him in the office and even more on the road. I am thankful for his remarkable service to our great country."

Mr Hagin, who served for 14 years under presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush, has more experience on the White House staff than nearly any other person in modern times. But that made him suspect to some in Mr Trump's circle.

A senior White House official said Mr Hagin had been repeatedly targeted by others in Mr Trump's orbit who questioned his loyalty given his ties to the Bush family. Neither of the former presidents voted for Mr Trump in the 2016 election.

Mr Hagin said on Tuesday "the Bush thing is overblown" and that his departure was unrelated and long planned. He said he committed to stay for just a year and planned to leave at the start of this year.

"But Kelly pushed me to stay and I have great respect for him," Mr Hagin said, referring to chief of staff John Kelly.

"Then the summit came up and I felt obligated to see that through."

White House officials said Mr Hagin would retire from the federal government on July 6, and return to the private sector.

NYTIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 21, 2018, with the headline 'White House deputy chief of staff leaving'. Print Edition | Subscribe