STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

First lady Melania Trump's policy director departs

First lady Melania Trump's office is operating without a policy director.Reagan Hedlund, who was hire...

Posted: Aug 4, 2018 4:58 PM
Updated: Aug 4, 2018 4:58 PM

First lady Melania Trump's office is operating without a policy director.

Reagan Hedlund, who was hired for the job by Trump in January, recently departed the first lady's team, according to a source with knowledge of the East Wing staffing change.

Celebrities

Donald Trump

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Melania Trump

Political Figures - Intl

Political Figures - US

Theresa May

US federal government

White House

Hedlund came to Trump's office from the National Security Council, where she was an executive assistant; prior to that she served as policy and communications adviser to Mike Pompeo when he was a Republican member of the House of Representatives from Kansas, before his roles as CIA director and secretary of state.

"She is no longer with our office and we wish her our best," Trump's communications director, Stephanie Grisham, told CNN on Friday.

Hedlund's departure was first reported by Politico.

The parting of the first lady's policy director comes as Trump appears to have begun a take-two on her rollout of Be Best, the initiative the first lady designed to help children. The broad-based program pursues three different issues: overall well-being, positivity on social media, and the effect of the opioid crisis on kids. Although Trump officially announced Be Best as her policy platform at a Rose Garden event in early May, the momentum of the launch was somewhat stalled after the first lady entered Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for an undisclosed kidney procedure on May 14, requiring several weeks of recovery.

In England last month, Trump talked up Be Best to schoolchildren during an official event with Philip May, the husband of British Prime Minister Theresa May. This week Trump taped a video message for kids at a leadership camp in Kentucky, reminding them to be nice to one another, and two weeks ago she traveled to Nashville, Tennessee, to visit a children's hospital and learn more about neonatal abstinence syndrome, part of the opioid crisis that affects newborn babies.

Trump has lately also waded into policy related to the country's ongoing immigration crisis at the border, with Grisham telling CNN in June the first lady "hates to see" families being separated, and that she encouraged a bipartisan legislative resolution. Additionally, Trump made two trips to border facilities, in Texas and in Arizona, for what Grisham stated were attempts to "educate herself" about what is happening on the front lines of the "zero-tolerance" policy being enforced by her husband's administration.

While it is unclear if Hedlund had anything to do with Trump's statements or actions on immigration, she did tell Politico that she worked on Be Best.

"I am very grateful to the first lady for the opportunity to help launch her policy initiative," Hedlund told Politico. "It was a rare opportunity to contribute at such a high level. It was a difficult decision to leave, however, I have decided to return to my roots in the foreign policy world."

It is unclear what Hedlund's current job status is.

A source familiar with the matter told CNN that although the first lady's office is downplaying details of Hedlund's departure in an effort of goodwill, she was asked to leave the East Wing after it was determined she was not the right fit for the policy director position. CNN has attempted to reach Hedlund for comment.

Hedlund's departure makes Trump's already small team even leaner. With approximately 10 full-time staffers managing everything from daily operations to communications, Trump's East Wing office is less than half the size of Michelle Obama's when she left the White House. Obama had about 25 people on her staff, as did her predecessor Laura Bush.

"The team is small, but mighty," Grisham told CNN in April.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 35712

Reported Deaths: 2207
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion10037594
Lake3806202
Allen174371
Cass15927
Elkhart143529
St. Joseph132035
Hamilton118094
Hendricks118074
Johnson1120110
Madison59761
Porter55329
Clark52841
Bartholomew52238
Howard43734
LaPorte43624
Tippecanoe4214
Shelby39822
Jackson3942
Delaware38740
Hancock34928
Floyd32140
Boone31835
Vanderburgh2902
Morgan28324
Noble25121
Montgomery24417
Clinton2401
White2389
Decatur23031
Grant22123
Dubois2053
Harrison19622
Henry18412
Vigo1758
Greene17125
Dearborn17021
Monroe17012
Warrick16728
Kosciusko1661
Lawrence16524
Marshall1472
Miami1411
Putnam1377
Orange13122
Jennings1314
Scott1223
Franklin1158
Ripley1086
LaGrange1022
Daviess9516
Carroll933
Steuben872
Wayne865
Wabash802
Fayette797
Newton7810
Jasper701
Jay530
Clay522
Washington511
Rush503
Randolph503
Fulton501
Pulaski490
Jefferson471
Whitley443
DeKalb431
Starke393
Sullivan371
Owen341
Perry340
Huntington342
Brown331
Benton320
Wells320
Knox310
Blackford272
Tipton261
Crawford240
Fountain222
Switzerland210
Spencer211
Adams201
Gibson182
Parke180
Posey160
Ohio130
Warren121
Martin120
Vermillion100
Union90
Pike60
Unassigned0175
West Lafayette
Clear
83° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 86°
Kokomo
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 82°
Rensselaer
Scattered Clouds
81° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 83°
Fowler
Scattered Clouds
81° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 83°
Williamsport
Clear
80° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 82°
Crawfordsville
Scattered Clouds
77° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 79°
Frankfort
Broken Clouds
82° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 84°
Delphi
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 81°
Monticello
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 81°
Logansport
Scattered Clouds
79° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 81°
Isolated storms & humid......
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events