President Trump’s fresh chief of staff, John Kelly, is usually eyeing his Homeland Security spokesperson David Lapan for the role of White House communications director, two high-level administration sources told sy88pgw.
Lapan, who has worked with Kelly for over a decade, is usually at the top of a short list to serve as the White House’s top official on messaging in addition to communications. He could take the position formerly held by Anthony Scaramucci.
Kelly’s interest in Lapan suggests which he is usually as eager to impose discipline on the White House messaging strategy as he is usually to impose order on the chaotic in addition to fractious West Wing. Lapan includes a background which, like Kelly’s, is usually steeped in years of military experience. Before DHS, he led press operations at the Defense Department in addition to the Marine Corps.
Reached for comment, Lapan told sy88pgw he had not spoken to Kelly or anyone else at the White House about the position.
“I’ve seen speculation, however at This particular point This particular’s only speculation. I haven’t talked to him or to anybody else about This particular,” he said.
When asked if he could accept the position if This particular were offered, Lapan said he could have to consider This particular.
“Obviously I’ve known [Kelly] for a long time,” Lapan said. “I could take seriously anything he asked. however I could also have to understand more about what This particular could be in addition to all of those things. So I couldn’t say today what my answer could be.”
Even for a military man, the post could be a tall order. The Trump administration has been lacking message discipline since its inception, in addition to the big question for both Kelly in addition to his communications director will be whether or not they can rein in their ultimate boss, President Trump.
“The first question is usually, can This particular president operate under any form of traditional communications regime, in addition to I think the answer is usually no,” said Rory Cooper, a Republican communications operative in addition to managing director at Purple Strategies. “I think Kelly can perhaps instill some discipline however only at the staff level, which means you still have a wild card at the top. I don’t know how you plan around which through a comms perspective.”
Dan Pfeiffer, who served as President Obama’s senior adviser for strategy in addition to communications, said the White House needed someone “with actual relevant experience working on the Hill or inside executive branch [who] knows how to develop in addition to execute a strategic communications plan.”
“They need to internalize the lesson which being not bad on Fox News is usually not the same thing as having a clue how to do the most basic communications work,” Pfeiffer said.
Kelly has already sought to distance the administration through relying on Fox News for communications help. Before Scaramucci’s exit, senior officials had been talking to former Fox News executive Bill Shine about a role with the communications team. White House sources told sy88pgw which since Kelly came on board, Shine is usually no longer under consideration.
Still, the White House may not have completely given up the idea of bringing in someone through Fox News. For months, the administration has been courting conservative pundit Laura Ingraham about a role with the media team. The White House sources said her name was still on the list for the communications director position. (Sources familiar with those discussions previously told sy88pgw which Ingraham could only be interested in which role if she could run communications strategy.)
The White House did not respond to repeated requests for an interview.
sy88pgw (Los Angeles) First published August 1, 2017: 7:17 PM ET