President Trump is looking to change the way he deals with Congress as he recently appointed a new top liaison to Capitol Hill, Eric Ueland.
According to Axios, Trump chose Ueland, who is the current deputy assistant to the president for domestic policy, to take on the Democratic stronghold in the House.
“Serving as the White House’s top liaison to Capitol Hill is seen as a tough job at this particular moment, as Trump threatens new tariffs that face bipartisan opposition and tries to pass a major trade deal through Congress amid skepticism from many Democrats,” Politico reported last month.
According to the report, Trump and his chief of staff had been conducting interviews with at least two candidates before deciding on Ueland:
Trump and acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney are interviewing at least two internal candidates for the position in the Oval Office on Friday afternoon, according to two people familiar with the deliberations.
The candidates being interviewed Friday are Eric Ueland, a top official at the White House Domestic Policy Council, and Amy Swonger, the White House deputy director of legislative affairs. Neither Ueland nor Swonger immediately responded to requests for comment.
Ueland, a former top Senate aide, is seen inside the West Wing as the front-runner for the position after a handful of other top contenders took themselves out of the running. Jonathan Slemrod, a former top aide at the Office of Management and Budget and close Mulvaney ally, recently told top White House officials he did not want the job, according to people familiar with the matter. Slemrod recently started work at a lobbying firm, Harbinger Strategies.
And, via Axios:
President Trump has picked Eric Ueland, currently, deputy assistant to the president for domestic policy, to replace Shahira Knight as his top liaison to Capitol Hill, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the decision. Ueland has deep experience in Congress and is widely respected on Capitol Hill, and the White House did not immediately respond to request for comment.
Why it matters: It’s 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.
Ueland previously served in the State Department as an Under Secretary and the Director of U.S. Foreign Assistance Resources. Current legislative liaison Shahira Knight will be leaving her post in early June.