As top positions in president-elect Donald Trump’s future administration fill up, some early loyalists are getting antsy, feeling they’ve been frozen out after spending the last year in the trenches fighting for Trump.
The list of top campaign advisers still vying for a job in the Trump administration is long, and includes some of his Jewish supporters who offered their services early on in the campaign.
Michael Cohen, Trump’s attorney who had defended his boss on cable news TV and was part of Trump’s inner circle during the campaign, has yet to get a job offer, according to a Thursday New York Magazine report.
Cohen told the publication he has no doubts about Trump’s loyalty to his staff and that once the president-elect is done with filling top cabinet positions, he “will concentrate on offering important roles to those who have been with him since the beginning of the campaign.”
To be sure, Trump has already taken care of some.
Steve Mnuchin, Trump’s national finance chairman during the campaign, was recently tapped as Treasury Secretary in Trump’s future cabinet.
But others haven’t been that lucky. At least so far.
Another Jewish top campaign staffer still out in the cold is Michael Glassner, who served as deputy campaign manager. According to Politico, Glassner is one of several “Trump originals” who left their private sector positions early on in the race to join Trump’s presidential campaign, but have so far seen no reward in terms of future administration position.
Stephen Miller, the 30-year-old Trump speechwriter, foreign policy adviser, and, at times warm up act, hasn’t gotten any job offers, either. In his previous role, Miller worked on Jeff Sessions’ Senate staff, a position that could land him a job alongside Sessions, who has already been tapped for Trump’s next Attorney General.
Also waiting on the sidelines is Boris Epshteyn, who during the campaign served as Trump’s senior adviser and described by some as his on-air attack dog. In the meanwhile, Epshteyn is working as a member of Trump’s inauguration committee.
Outside the campaign immediate circle, Trump’s two advisers on Israel haven’t been mentioned for any future position so far.
One of them, Jason Dov Greenblatt, is likely uninterested, according to a Jewish Republican source, and is content with keeping his professional positions as executive vice president and chief legal officer of the Trump business group.
The other, David Friedman, a New York bankruptcy lawyer, is angling for one very specific position. Several pro-Israel activists have heard in recent weeks from Friedman that he’d like to be Donald Trump’s ambassador to Israel. One even recalled that Friedman jokingly invited him to visit Friedman’s home in Israel next year after he’s taken his dream job.
Trump, however, has given no indication that he indeed plans to appoint Friedman to be his top diplomat in Israel. Early rumors from the Trump transition team suggested he prefers former primary rival Mike Huckabee for the job, but Huckabee himself denied reports that he had already been tapped for the position.
The person holding the key to many of these former campaign officials’ anxieties may be Jared Kushner, Trump’s Jewish son-in-law and close confidant. According to New York Magazine, in the power struggle waging between future White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and future senior adviser Steve Bannon, Kushner has sided with Priebus, paving the way for more Republican establishment activists to get high-ranking positions, at the expense of campaign loyalists who had pinned their hopes on Bannon making sure they find their place in Trump’s administration.
Nathan Guttman, staff writer, is the Forward’s Washington bureau chief. He joined the staff in 2006 after serving for five years as Washington correspondent for the Israeli dailies Haaretz and The Jerusalem Post. In Israel, he was the features editor for Ha’aretz and chief editor of Channel 1 TV evening news. He was born in Canada and grew up in Israel. He is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.