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- Josh Raffel, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump’s right-hand man, is leaving the White House after nine months, Axios reported on Tuesday afternoon.
- Raffel, who previously worked with Kushner and Hope Hicks as a New York public-relations executive, handled much of the communications work for the first daughter and her husband, also a top presidential aide.
Josh Raffel, the deputy White House communications director and right-hand man to Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, is leaving the White House after less than a year on the job, Axios reported on Tuesday afternoon.
“Josh is honest, passionate and thoughtful. Whether it was offering strategic guidance on the communications for tax reform or a foreign trip, Josh’s guidance was invaluable,” Ivanka said in a statement to Axios. “The White House won’t be the same without him.”
A former Hollywood publicist, Raffel joined the White House last April to oversee communications for the Kushner-led Office of American Innovation. He quickly took over media relations for Kushner and Ivanka, while remaining an integral part of the West Wing communications shop.
“I probably talk to Josh 30 times a day,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told BuzzFeed last August. “I certainly wouldn’t say he’s doing personal PR, but he handles a lot of things in [Kushner and Ivanka Trump’s] portfolio.”
Last fall, Raffel was promoted to deputy communications director and managed communications for the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and issues involving the National Economic Council and the National Security Council.
Raffel, a former Democrat and Hillary Clinton supporter, had previously worked with Kushner. He represented Kushner Companies while a public-relations executive at Hiltzik Strategies, where he worked alongside eventual White House communications director Hope Hicks.
Raffel’s exit comes as Hicks, with whom he was reportedly close friends, is testifying before the House Intelligence Committee as part of its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Raffel has told colleagues that he is moving back to New York to attend to family obligations and will return to the private sector, Axios reported.
Raffel did not respond immediately to a request for comment.