Top aide to President Donald Trump leaves administration

President Trump re-assigned a high-ranking White House official Thursday, sending Deputy Chief of Staff Katie Walsh to advise an outside pro-Trump political group.

Her departure comes on the day the Trump administration is reeling from the most explosive leak yet, a report that two White House officials played a role in showing House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes intelligence reports tying the Obama administration to surveillance of his successor a year ago. The group, started by Trump's 2016 campaign aides has had issues getting its operation off the ground and was notably absent during the public-relations push for the GOP's plan to repeal and replace parts of Obamacare.

"It was abundantly clear that we didn't have air cover when it came to calls coming into lawmakers", said White House chief of staff Reince Priebus.

A White House official who insisted on anonymity to discuss a personnel move said Walsh had accepted a position with an outside organization but declined to identify the group.

Trump son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner, Priebus and chief strategist Steve Bannon told the website Thursday afternoon Walsh's move was "less shake-up and more rebooting of an outside effort that they believe failed them in their first, crucial legislative showdown".

Read the latest on Donald Trump's first 100 days in office.

Despite her low profile, Walsh has become a key player in the administration's inner circle and has grown close to the president in recent months. One of its co-founders, Rick Gates, left last week amid renewed reports about his firm's past work on behalf of Russian clients.

Walsh is expected to serve as an adviser both to a pro-Trump nonprofit and the RNC. John McCain's presidential bid in 2008.

  • Joanne Flowers