Marc Short, President Donald Trump’s former top liaison to Congress, is returning to the administration as Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, a source familiar with the situation said Tuesday.
His July departure from the White House did not last long, and his return will give him even more influence within the administration.
For instance, Trump was impressed enough by Pence’s former chief of staff, Nick Ayers, in meetings and internal debates that he approached him about becoming White House chief of staff. Trump was searching for a replacement to John Kelly, who left earlier this year and was replaced by former GOP Rep. Mick Mulvaney, but on an acting basis.
Since leaving the White House staff, Short has been a frequent guest on CNN. He has used most appearances to defend Trump and his policy whims, as well as his former boss’s spats with lawmakers.
That role did not change much from his White House days, when he expanded the role of legislative affairs director by also becoming one of the Trump team’s most articulate and level-headed spokespersons on television — something that matters a great deal to the president.
Now, he’s back in the fold just as Trump and Pence gear up for what looks like a tough and long re-election fight.
Short — with his signature shaved head — was the most visible Trump administration official on Capitol Hill. He was often seen chatting with reporters as he traversed the hallways going from meetings with leadership and rank-and-file members about the president’s legislative whims and demands.
Affable yet firm, Short seemed eager to joust with reporters on cable news, the Hill and even under the blistering summer sun in the White House’s north driveway.
White House observers believe Short’s legacy in his former role was solid, though he was unable to deliver a full repeal of the 2010 health law or the sweeping infrastructure plan on which Trump campaigned. Nor did he get full funding for the president’s proposed southern border wall or the kind of comprehensive immigration overhaul bill the president prefers.
Short likely will again be tapped to deal with lawmakers since Pence is frequently deployed to lead negotiations with Congress.
“I am thrilled to have Marc back in the administration. Marc was an integral partner as Republicans racked up win after win to help our nation and our economy grow and flourish. I’m confident he will help us achieve much more for the American people in this new and important role,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement.
The New York Times first reported Short’s return to the White House.