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Keith Schiller
Keith Schiller.jpg
Director of Oval Office Operations
In office
January 20, 2017 – September 20, 2017
President Donald Trump
Preceded by Brian Mosteller
Succeeded by Vacant
Personal details
Born 1959 (age 58–59)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political party Republican
Children 2

Keith Schiller (born c. 1959)[1] is a former Deputy Assistant to U.S. President Donald Trump who concurrently served as Director of Oval Office Operations. Prior to his appointment in the Trump administration, Schiller served as the Director of Security for The Trump Organization; in this capacity, he was the personal bodyguard to Trump. He has been described as "one of Trump's most loyal and trusted aides" and "a constant presence at Trump's side for nearly two decades."[2]

Early life[edit]

Born in the Bronx, the middle child of five, Schiller spent the first 18 years of his life in New York's Hudson Valley, attending New Paltz High School and graduating in 1977.[3] He was not a good student, but he was an accomplished athlete, according to John Ford, his high school football coach; he played defensive end in football and power forward in basketball, showing promise in both.[3]

United States Navy[edit]

Schiller joined the United States Navy immediately after finishing high school. He served primarily at the Little Creek base in Norfolk, Virginia, and also spent time on the USS Plymouth Rock, a landing ship for amphibious vehicles. After serving as SWCC, he left active duty in 1982 and spent another two years in the reserve, serving until 1984.[3]

Plattekill Police Department and New York State Division for Youth[edit]

After leaving the Navy in 1984, Schiller returned to New York. That same year, he found work as a counselor in the New York State Division for Youth (after volunteering as a counselor through his church) and concurrently served as a police officer at the Plattekill Police Department, holding these two jobs until 1992.[3]

New York City Police Department[edit]

In 1992, Schiller was hired by the New York City Police Department (NYPD). He graduated from the New York City Police Academy, and served as a patrol officer in northern Manhattan, at that time the epicenter of the cocaine trade.[3] After a brief stint as an undercover officer, Schiller then joined the Street Narcotics Enforcement Unit, where he was the rammer (charged with breaking the door during raids), describing his job as "busting into drug houses up to three times a night".[3] Schiller also spent time in the high-intensity drug-trafficking area, where he worked under then-Lieutenant David E. Chong, who describes Schiller as a "devoted, physical and loyal officer" who "always had his boss's back".[3] Schiller regularly handled wiretaps, search warrants and large-scale seizures of drugs.[3]

Trump Organization and White House[edit]

In 1999, Schiller saw Marla Maples, Donald Trump's then-wife, at the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, accompanied by a bodyguard, whom Schiller judged as not being particularly imposing. Seeking side work to supplement his NYPD salary, Schiller asked the Assistant District Attorney to put in a good word with Trump, so that he could be employed as a bodyguard. The Trump Organization eventually brought him on for a one-month trial and later that year hired him officially. Schiller remained a part-time bodyguard until he retired from the NYPD in 2002. In 2004, Trump named him his Director of Security.

Schiller made headlines in 2015 when he hit a protester outside Trump Tower.[4][5][6]

Keith Schiller sitting to the right of Jared Kushner on his trip to Iraq

He was appointed Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Oval Office Operations after Trump assumed the office of the President in January 2017. In this role, he accompanied Jared Kushner to Iraq and sat in on meetings.[7]

Schiller was selected by Trump to personally deliver to FBI headquarters the letter telling FBI director James Comey that he was being dismissed "effective immediately";[8][9] Comey was not present at the time, learning of his firing from television while in Los Angeles.[10]

The following week, Schiller unintentionally exposed Secretary of Defense James Mattis' cell phone number when a photograph of Schiller carrying papers with the hand-written number on a sticky note was published in The Washington Post.[11]

On September 1, 2017, it was reported by CNN that Schiller intended to leave his White House position in late September or early October due to financial considerations.[2] Although White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders dismissed the story as "not true",[2] the next day, CBS News correspondent Major Garrett cited "two White House sources" as confirming that Schiller indeed plans to leave the White House and relocate to Florida for financial and professional reasons.[12] Three people close to Schiller, speaking on background, also confirmed reports of his impending departure to The New York Times White House correspondent Maggie Haberman.[13] Schiller refused to comment on the accuracy of the report,[2] in keeping with his policy of virtually never giving interviews to journalists.[14]

Schiller left his White House position on September 20, 2017, reportedly after White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly told him he needed permission to speak to the president and to provide written reports of those conversations.[15][16][17] Previously, Bloomberg had reported that Schiller would return to private security when he left the Trump Administration.[18]

On November 1, 2017, Schiller was named as one of several high-profile witnesses to be privately interviewed by the House Intelligence Committee as part of its Russia investigations.[19][20] The interview took place on November 7, where he reportedly told the committee that the salacious allegations in the Donald Trump-Russia dossier were not true, and that he could not recall or was not aware of connections between Russia and Trump associates.[21] He also testified that a Russian offered to send five women to Trump's hotel room during their 2013 trip to Moscow for the Miss Universe pageant but he rejected the offer.[22][23] "One source noted that Schiller testified he eventually left Trump's hotel room door and could not say for sure what happened during the remainder of the night."[24]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Morrow, Brendan (May 9, 2017). "Keith Schiller: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Heavy.com. Retrieved September 3, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d Bash, Dana; Gray, Noah; Diamond, Jeremy (September 1, 2017). "Longtime Trump aide Keith Schiller tells people he intends to leave White House". CNN. Retrieved September 2, 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Merica, Dan (April 16, 2017). "Meet the 'most underestimated person on Trump's team'". CNN. Retrieved September 3, 2017. 
  4. ^ Conway, Madelone (January 10, 2017). "Trump taps private security director for White House job". Politico. Retrieved February 8, 2017. 
  5. ^ Blinder, Rachelle (September 4, 2015). "Meet Trump's feisty head of security who smacked protester". New York Daily News. Retrieved February 8, 2017. 
  6. ^ Simendinger, Alexis (January 5, 2017). "Trump Plucks Political Pros for White House Staff". RealClearPolitics. Retrieved February 8, 2017. 
  7. ^ "Former bodyguard Keith Schiller maintains role as top Trump protector". CBS News. April 7, 2016. 
  8. ^ Dan Merica (May 9, 2017). "Who is Keith Schiller". CNN. 
  9. ^ Johnson, Jenna; Helderman, Rosalind S. (May 11, 2017). "The bodyguard chosen by Trump to deliver the 'terminated' letter to the FBI director". The Washington Post. 
  10. ^ Colleen Shalby, Trump fires Comey: A screenplay in 5 acts, Los Angeles Times (May 12, 2017).
  11. ^ Manteuffel, Rachel (May 15, 2017). "When President Trump's bodyguard revealed Jim Mattis's private cellphone number". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 16, 2017. 
  12. ^ Garrett, Major (September 2, 2017). "Trump aide Keith Schiller out at the White House - CBS News". CBS News. Retrieved September 3, 2017. 
  13. ^ Haberman, Maggie (September 5, 2017). "Longtime Trump Aide Said to Have Plans to Leave the White House". NYTimes.com. Retrieved September 16, 2017. 
  14. ^ Merica, Dan (May 10, 2017). "Who is Keith Schiller, the man Trump sent to fire Comey?". CNN. 
  15. ^ Bowden, John (September 20, 2017). "Longtime Trump aide Keith Schiller leaves White House position". The Hill. 
  16. ^ Merica, Dan (September 20, 2017). "Trump remains Trump but evidence of Kelly's reign is emerging". CNN. Retrieved September 29, 2017. 
  17. ^ “I Hate Everyone in the White House!”: Trump Seethes as Advisers Fear the President Is “Unraveling”, Vanity Fair, October 11, 2017
  18. ^ Key Trump Aide’s Departure Rattles President’s Allies Bloomberg Politics, published September 5, 2017, accessed September 16, 2017
  19. ^ Manu Raju and Jeremy Herb. "Schiller tops list of high-profile witnesses before House Russia investigators". CNN. Retrieved November 2, 2017. 
  20. ^ Leonnig, Carol D.; Miller, Greg (November 3, 2017). "Longtime Trump bodyguard to face questions about 2013 Moscow trip". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved November 4, 2017. 
  21. ^ "Trump aide Keith Schiller testified on Russia probe". Axios. November 8, 2017. Retrieved November 9, 2017. 
  22. ^ Dilanian, Ken; Allen, Jonathan (November 9, 2017). "Trump Bodyguard Keith Schiller Testifies Russian Offered Trump Women, Was Turned Down". NBC News. Retrieved November 9, 2017. 
  23. ^ CNN, Manu Raju and Jeremy Herb,. "Aide nixed offer of Russian women for Trump". CNN. Retrieved November 9, 2017. 
  24. ^ Dilanian, Ken; Allen, Jonathan (November 9, 2017). "Trump Bodyguard Keith Schiller Testifies Russian Offered Trump Women, Was Turned Down". NBC News. Retrieved February 28, 2018. 

External links[edit]

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