Another White House official has departed President Joe Biden’s administration.
Senior White House adviser for public engagement, Trey Baker, helped lead the administration’s efforts to court black voters, a crucial segment of the president’s base, during the 2020 presidential election. He also worked as the go between the White House and Biden’s black base, Bloomberg reported.
Baker is one of Biden’s longest serving aides and departed the administration on Monday to work for the law firm Barnes & Thornburg.
“He had to handle some hot potatoes,” Reverend Al Sharpton, a famed civil rights leader, said in a telephone interview with Bloomberg, referring to the race-related riots following the death of George Floyd, who died after a police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes. “Trey was the real connection between civil-rights leadership, the White House and the campaign.”
“From the campaign to the White House, Stephen Goepfert has been by my side,” Biden said in a statement, CNN reported. “In moments big, small, and extraordinary, he’s been a trusted and loyal confidant who everyone counts on and who always delivers. Jill and I will miss Stephen, but we’re proud that he will continue to serve the American people in his new role in the Biden-Harris administration as he continues his career in public service.”
Goepfert, the first openly gay personal aide to a president, has likely spent more time by the president’s side than other any other White House aide since his 2020 presidential campaign, CNN reported, describing him as a “key cog” on Biden’s team.
Goepfert and Baker are two of many White House employees to depart the administration in recent months: White House Rapid Response Director Mike Gwin and Press Assistant Michael Kikukawa both headed to the Treasury Department, while Assistant White House Press Secretary Vedant Patel is now a deputy spokesperson at the State Department.
White House Press Office Chief of Staff Amanda Finney went to the Energy Department in June, and Symone Sanders, the former chief spokesperson for Vice President Kamala Harris, now hosts a show at MSNBC — where former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki also headed.