The White House aide who led the planning for U.S. President Donald Trump’s meeting last week with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un has decided to leave the Trump administration to return to the private sector.
Joe Hagin, the White House deputy chief of staff for operations, has served in every Republican White House since the Reagan administration. He held the same title in George W. Bush’s White House.
Hagin’s departure comes as the Trump administration continues to set records for staff turnover. More than 60 per cent of those who served in senior positions at the beginning of the administration have exited.
No successor has yet been identified.
A White House official said that after departing Singapore last week, Trump made a rare appearance in the staff cabin of Air Force One to praise Hagin for organizing the Kim summit and led White House staff in a round of applause for the aide.
Hagin was recruited to the Trump White House by former chief of staff Reince Priebus to bring a seasoned hand to a West Wing that had few experienced veterans. He had planned on staying only six months to a year, and considered leaving in the spring, but delayed due to planning for the Singapore summit.
Trump, in a statement, said Hagin has been a “huge asset to my administration,” and credited him with planning his Asia trip last year – the longest foreign trip by a U.S. president in a half-century.
Chief of Staff John Kelly praised Hagin’s work, saying his “selfless devotion to this nation and the institution of the Presidency is unsurpassed.”
Hagin was considered for the No. 2 posts at the Central Intelligence Agency or the Department of Homeland Security, but he decided to leave government service.
Hagin’s portfolio includes oversight of the scheduling and advance staffs, as well as the military office – including the replacement projects for Air Force One and Marine One.
His last day will be July 6.