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Trump taps Conway for West Wing role, picks press secretary

By The Associated Press

This article was originally published December 22, 2016 at 8:43 a.m. Updated December 22, 2016 at 1:17 p.m.

in-this-dec-1-2016-photo-kellyanne-conway-trump-pence-campaign-manager-is-shown-prior-to-a-forum-at-harvard-universitys-kennedy-school-of-government-in-cambridge-mass-conway-is-headed-to-the-white-house-where-shell-serve-as-counselor-to-the-president-the-announcement-was-made-by-the-president-elects-transition-team-early-thursday

In this Dec. 1, 2016 photo, Kellyanne Conway, Trump-Pence campaign manager, is shown prior to a forum at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Mass. Conway is headed to the White House, where she'll serve as counselor to the president. The announcement was made by the president-elect's transition team early Thursday.

WASHINGTON — President-elect Donald Trump has named close adviser Kellyanne Conway as his White House counselor, elevating the woman who led his campaign to victory to a senior West Wing position.

Trump — who also announced his senior White House communications staff, including naming former Republican National Committee spokesman Sean Spicer as press secretary — has a strong rapport with Conway and she was seen as a positive influence on his often chaotic campaign. Conway, who took over as campaign manager in the summer, has been one of Trump's most visible advisers, making frequent television appearances on his behalf.

"She is a tireless and tenacious advocate of my agenda and has amazing insights on how to effectively communicate our message," Trump said in a statement Thursday announcing the position.

Trump is creating another power center in the West Wing by tapping Conway for the senior White House role.

He's already named outgoing Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus as his chief of staff and conservative media executive Steve Bannon as a senior adviser. Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner will also be an influential adviser, though his exact role is still to be determined.

Internal rivalries have long been a hallmark of Trump's businesses and campaign as well as his transition team. Conway and Priebus have been at odds over some major decisions, including who should serve as Trump's secretary of state. He ultimately chose Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson.

Conway irritated some Trump aides with her outspoken opposition to the prospect of the president-elect picking Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican nominee, to head the State Department. She panned the idea in public, though she said she had also made her feelings known to Trump privately.

Conway, a longtime Republican pollster, considered not joining the White House staff and turned down offers to serve in a communications role. She also expressed a desire to help Trump set up an outside political organization to promote his agenda.

Conway said Thursday that she was "humbled and honored to play a role in helping transform the movement he has led into a real agenda of action and results."

Meanwhile, Spicer's elevation was championed by Priebus, his longtime ally at the RNC. Additionally, the transition team announced that Jason Miller will be the director of communications. Hope Hicks, the longtime campaign spokeswoman, was appointed Director of Strategic Communications while Dan Scavino will be Director of Social Media.

Hicks and Scavino were original members of Trump's skeletal staff, joining the Republican businessman's campaign in its early days. Miller joined after Trump became the presumptive nominee.

Read Friday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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Displaying 1 - 9 of 9 total comments

Packman says... December 22, 2016 at 2:50 p.m.

Kellyanne Conway is a strong and amazing woman and a true role model for young girls and women everywhere. Donald Trump continues to assemble one of the most capable presidential staffs in modern history.

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BEARTRAP919 says... December 22, 2016 at 3:43 p.m.

The South Is Rising Again, Thank God for a Strong Leader, Hopefully this is the Ending to the Oft used Politically Correct Crap we have had to put up with since Eisenhower Left Office. Trumpet Man is the Master of Things, and America will be Great Again, It is about Time I might Add.

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hurricane46 says... December 22, 2016 at 4:33 p.m.

Pack don't you mean the richest cabinet in history, the middle class is screwed.

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carpenterretired says... December 22, 2016 at 7:39 p.m.

Communications director Hope Hicks great name for one whose job may be to offer hope to all the hicks who were gullible enough to vote for Trump when they began to realize they have been had . Now the Trump DC swamp will be so large that it will be great hunting for the old duck hunter , he could just fly his airplane to DC and perhaps go mudding with the amazing and strong swamp woman Kellyanne.

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pauljohnson says... December 22, 2016 at 8:04 p.m.

Sounds like to me she is totally desperate, being almost the last one picked. hurricane 46 you are right, the middle class are screwed as usual. Packman, do you know Kellyanne personally or is this as usual another line of BS.

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Packman says... December 22, 2016 at 8:44 p.m.

Hey hurricane - People that make lots of money are typically those that work hard, make good decisions, and respect the value of a dollar. I have NO PROBLEM whatsoever being lead by proven leaders.
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Hey pauljohnson - I would be honored to know Ms. Conway personally and can only admire her from afar. Do you hate all women, paul, or just Ms. Conway?

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KCSAP says... December 23, 2016 at 7:28 a.m.

The difference with Trump's cabinet is that they all made their money through strong work ethic in the free market, while politicians like the Obama's, Clinton's, Ried's, and their ilk siphoned their riches dabbling in the government enticing foreign entities and the likes of George Soros!

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TimberTopper says... December 23, 2016 at 10:20 a.m.

KC, tell us about how they all raised themselves with only their bootstraps, and then check it out many are like Trump. Ol'Dad financed with a hell of alot of money to start. Enjoy the next 4!

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hurricane46 says... December 23, 2016 at 10:40 a.m.

Pack if you do make a lot of money then you'll be ok, your taxes are going down, but if your middle class then yes, you're screwed, because they're going up. And no Pack, I don't think any of these smarmy, billionaires have proven a damn thing yet to lead this country. But you have a Merry Christmas anyway, it may be the last for this country if Donny start up the cold war again.

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