Schiller during his visit to Iraq
|White House Director of Oval Office Operations|
January 20, 2017 – September 20, 2017
|Preceded by||Brian Mosteller|
|Born||1959 (age 57–58)
|Spouse(s)||Lena Schiller |
|Children||Natalie Schiller |
|Education||New Paltz High School|
Keith Schiller (born c. 1959) is the current Director of Oval Office Operations. Prior to his appointment in the Trump administration, Schiller worked as the Director of Security for The Trump Organization and was the personal bodyguard to Donald 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."
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. 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.
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. He left active duty in 1982 and spent another two years in the reserve, serving until 1984.
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.
In 1992, Schiller was hired by the New York City Police Department (NYPD). He graduated from the NYPD academy, and served as a patrol officer in northern Manhattan, at that time the epicenter of the cocaine trade. 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". 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". Schiller regularly handled wiretaps, search warrants and large-scale seizures of drugs.
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.
He was appointed Director of Oval Office Operations after Trump assumed the office of the President in January 2017. In this role he accompanied Jared Kushner on his visit to Iraq and sat in on meetings.
Schiller was selected as Trump's envoy to personally deliver to FBI headquarters the letter telling FBI director James Comey that he was being dismissed "effective immediately". The following week, Schiller accidentally made Secretary of Defense James Mattis' cell phone number public when a photograph of Schiller carrying papers with the hand-written number on a sticky note was published in the Washington Post.
On September 1, 2017, it was reported by CNN that Schiller intends to leave his White House position at the end of September or early October, saying the main reason was financial. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders dismissed the story as "not true". 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. Three people close to Schiller and speaking on anonymity also confirmed reports of his impending departure to New York Times White House correspondent Maggie Haberman as well. Schiller himself has refused to comment on the accuracy of the report, in keeping with his policy of virtually never giving interviews to journalists.
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