WASHINGTON ― The merger between the Trump Organization and the Trump administration continued on Friday with the announced hire of Timothy Harleth, the director of rooms at Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., as the new White House chief usher.
President Donald Trump fired the previous usher, Angella Reid, on May 5. The chief usher oversees all White House household staff, and the position normally carries over from administration to administration. Ike Hoover, the longest-serving chief usher, worked for five different presidential administrations from 1909 to 1933.
Reid was the first chief usher to be dismissed by a president. Like Harleth, Reid, appointed by President Barack Obama in 2011, came from the hospitality industry as a former Ritz-Carlton executive.
In an unprecedented move, Trump has decided to maintain ownership of his multibillion-dollar business enterprise while serving as president. He has routinely used his position to advertise his various business properties, including his hotel in Washington. He has even fulfilled promises in his company’s marketing materials that he could drop in on weddings held at his hotels and golf courses.
The decision to hire Harleth was announced in a press release from first lady Melania Trump.
“I am so pleased that Timothy will be joining our team,” she said in a statement. “He was selected because of his impressive work history and management skills. My husband and I know he will be successful in this vital role within the White House.”