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Trump Picks Kellyanne Conway as Presidential Counselor

  • VOA News

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and his campaign manager Kellyanne Conway greet supporters during his election night rally in Manhattan, New York, Nov. 9, 2016.

Donald Trump's transition team says the president-elect has selected Kellyanne Conway as counselor to the president, making her the highest ranking woman in his White House.

Conway assumed the position of campaign manager in August, shortly after Trump won the Republican nomination, and is widely credited with playing a key role in paving the road to Trump's surprising presidential victory. She is the first woman to manage a victorious U.S. presidential campaign and will serve as one of the primary managers of the president-elect's political brand.

"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. "I am pleased that she will be part of my senior team in the West Wing."

Conway has been an ardent defender of the president-elect. She even stood by Trump after a 2005 video was publicized showing Trump using vulgar language to describe how he groped and kissed women without their consent.

Conway is a veteran pollster and a favored political strategist for conservative candidates. She advised Newt Gingrich during his 2012 run for the White House and Vice President-elect Mike Pence as he successfully campaigned for governor of Indiana.

News reports have indicated Conway clashed with incoming chief of staff Reince Priebus and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner over Conway's public criticism of former Trump rival Mitt Romney, who was under consideration for secretary of state. Trump eventually filled the nation's top diplomatic post with Rex Tillerson, the chief executive officer of ExxonMobile, a global oil and gas company.

The incoming president is said to be very fond of Conway and wanted her to serve at White House press secretary. She declined that role and publicly questioned for weeks whether she would move her husband and four children to Washington for another high pressure White House job or work with an outside organization that supports the president-elect.

"I want to thank the president-elect for this amazing opportunity," Conway said in the statement issued by the transition team.

The transition team announced Wednesday that Trump picked Peter Navarro to head the newly formed White House National Trade Council. Navarro is an economist who has written a number of popular books and produced a film describing China's threat to the U.S. economy.

Trump also selected billionaire investor Carl Icahn as an advisor on regulatory reform.

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