Kellyanne Conway, top Trump aide, to leave White House before election

Washington: Kellyanne Conway, one of US President Donald Trump’s most influential and longest serving advisers, has announced she will be leaving the White House next week.

Conway, Trump’s campaign manager during the stretch run of the 2016 race, was the first woman to successfully steer a White House bid, then became a senior counsellor to the President. She informed Trump of her decision in the Oval Office.

Trump counsellor Kellyanne Conway is leaving the White House at the end of the month.Credit:AP

Conway cited a need to spend time with her four children in a resignation letter she posted on Sunday night, US time. Her husband, George, had become an outspoken Trump critic and her family a subject of Washington’s rumour mill.

“We disagree about plenty but we are united on what matters most: the kids,” she wrote. “For now, and for my beloved children, it will be less drama, more mama.”

She is still slated to speak at the Republican National Convention this week. Her husband, a lawyer who renounced Trump after the 2016 campaign, had become a member of the Lincoln Project, an outside group of Republicans devoted to defeating Trump.

George Conway, husband of loyal Trump staffer Kellyanne Conway, is leaving the Lincoln Project.Credit:Getty Images

The politically adversarial marriage generated much speculation on and offline. George Conway also announced on Sunday that he was taking a leave of absence from both Twitter and the Lincoln Project.

Kellyanne Conway worked for years as a Republican pollster and operative and originally supported Senator Ted Cruz in the 2016 Republican primary. She moved over to the Trump campaign and that August became campaign manager as Stephen Bannon became campaign chairman; Bannon was indicted last week for fraud.

President Donald Trump, right, speaks while Kellyanne Conway, left, and Vice-President Mike Pence listen during an event on reopening schools earlier this month.Credit:Bloomberg

Conway cited a need to help her children's remote learning during the coronavirus pandemic as a need to step away from her position. She had remained a trusted voice within the West Wing and spearheaded several initiatives, including on combating opioid abuse.

She was also known for her robust defence of the President in media appearances, at times delivering dizzying rebuttals while once extolling the virtues of "alternative facts" to support her case. Conway was also an informal adviser to Trump’s reelection effort but resisted moving over to the campaign.

Her departure comes at an inopportune time for Trump, who faces a deficit in the polls as the Republican National Convention begins on Monday, Tuesday AEST. Her exit was first reported by The Washington Post.


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