A White House communications staffer, Steven Cheung, who served on President Donald Trump’s campaign, departed the White House last week, Politico reported.
Cheung was a special assistant to the President and the director of rapid response in the communications department. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders carried out Cheung’s ousting during a meeting last week. Other staffers in the communications shop were not notified of his departure until their emails to Cheung stopped sending, Politico reported.
In a statement to Politico, Sanders said Cheung was leaving to pursue a “prominent position in the private sector.” She called him a “well-liked” and “talented” member of the team, notwithstanding the reported “clashes that precipitated his departure,” in Politico’s words.
Cheung’s departure comes on the heels of reports that the communications department is shrinking in an attempt by top White House officials to clean up the leak of internal information to the press— a crackdown ignited when a junior aide joked about Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) cancer during an internal meeting, comments that were promptly leaked to a Hill reporter.