Trump’s former campaign manager will be the highest-ranking woman in the White House. USA TODAY NETWORK
Donald Trump appointed campaign manager Kellyanne Conway as his White House counselor on Thursday, and tapped long-time Republican Party spokesman Sean Spicer as the next White House press secretary .
Conway “has been a trusted adviser and strategist who played a crucial role in my victory,” Trump said in a statement. “She is a tireless and tenacious advocate of my agenda and has amazing insights on how to effectively communicate our message.”
In addition to giving the spokesman’s job to Spicer — who served as an RNC liaison to the Trump campaign — Trump named campaign aides Hope Hicks as White House director of strategic communications, Jason Miller as communications director, and Dan Scavino as director of social media.
“Sean, Hope, Jason and Dan have been key members of my team during the campaign and transition,” Trump said. “I am excited they will be leading the team that will communicate my agenda that will Make America Great Again.”
Trump also waded into an Israeli-Palestinian dispute at the United Nations on Thursday, issuing a statement criticizing a proposed United Nations Security Council resolution seeking to halt Israeli settlements on land disputed with the Palestinians.
“As the United States has long maintained, peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians will only come through direct negotiations between the parties, and not through the imposition of terms by the United Nations,” Trump said. “This (proposal) puts Israel in a very poor negotiating position and is extremely unfair to all Israelis.”
Trump and aides had talked to Conway about becoming White House press secretary, but she sought a more advisory position. Some aides had criticized Conway for making public criticism of secretary of State candidate Mitt Romney, and at one time Conway talked about taking a job outside the Trump administration, perhaps with a newly formed pro-Trump political organization.
In thanking the president-elect for an “amazing opportunity” to be presidential counselor, Conway said that “a Trump presidency will bring real change to Washington and to Americans across this great nation. I am humbled and honored to play a role in helping transform the movement he has led into a real agenda of action and results.”
The transition team said that Trump’s victory last month “shattered the glass ceiling for women. Conway is the first female campaign manager of either major party to win a presidential general election.”
Conway now becomes the highest-ranking woman in Trump’s White House.
Trump made the Conway announcement before another day of meetings at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla.
In other developments, the Trump transition announced that:
• Vice President-elect Mike Pence will hold a conference call Thursday with Cabinet nominees.
• The president-elect will interview former Texas A&M University president Elsa Murano for the still-vacant position of secretary of Agriculture.