White House aide Steven Cheung has left the communications staff, Politico reported Monday, citing people familiar with his departure late last week.
Cheung, who was a special assistant to the president and director of rapid response, was one of the last campaign-era aides still working at the White House.
Unlike many other White House staffers, Cheung maintained a lower public profile after joining the communications team.
“Steven has been a part of Trump world for over 700 days,” Bryan Lanza, another former Trump campaign aide, told Politico. “He deserves a gold watch.”
The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Cheung’s reported departure from the White House came as President Trump and several senior aides headed to Singapore for Trump’s historic meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday.
Trump’s press and communications team has undergone a number of changes since he entered office, with the team facing acute scrutiny as senior aides focus on clamping down on leaks.
Chief of staff John Kelly approved a plan to shrink the size of the communications staff after the leak of an embarrassing comment about Sen. John McCain‘s (R-Ariz.) health by junior communications staffer Kelly Sadler, who exited the White House last week.
Cliff Sims, a campaign-era aide who also recently left the West Wing, told Politico that Cheung was responsible for the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch and the passage of the GOP tax-reform bill, two of the White House’s main accomplishments under Trump.
Cheung, who worked for the Ultimate Fighting Championship before joining the Trump campaign, plans to return the sports and entertainment industry, a source told Politico.
BY LUIS SANCHEZ – 06/11/18