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Highest-paid employees in the White House

Highest-paid employees in the White House
1/Joseph Sohm // Shutterstock

Highest-paid employees in the White House

The recent White House salary report to Congress has revealed some surprises. One is that the highest-paid person in the white house—besides the president—is an assistant.

With any large organization, the pay is typically a reflection of how important the staffer is perceived. For example, the highest-paid employee of many Division I Football Bowl Subdivision universities is not the president of the university or the provost, but the head coach of the men's football team. This is most likely because football is the leading revenue driver for not just the athletic department, but typically the academic departments, too.

Pay for federal employees is based on established pay rate tables and congressional mandates, but the White House has managed to find ways to reward loyalists with higher-paying positions. One way to do this is to make a staffer a detailee—a "borrowed" position from a different executive branch agency.

A detailee is a federal employee that's temporarily assigned to a different workstation and work title. Being assigned a detailee allows the employee to collaborate with a different branch, work with a non-federal body, or take on a separate federal position removed from current obligations. A detailee would be paid at the pay rate of his or her home agency but would be able to work at the White House.

Stacker compiled a list of the 50 highest-paid White House employees using data from the Annual Report to Congress On White House Office Personnel. The data presented is current as of June 28, 2019, and lists 418 employees as working for the executive office of the branch. As there were several high-profile resignations in July 2019, these have been denoted where relevant. The president of the United States makes $400,000 per year, while the vice president currently makes $230,700—less than the highest-paid White House staffer. The report lists the name of each employee, their position in the White House, their employment status, their salary, and the pay basis for each salary, which is per annum for each employee.

The 50 White House employees on this list were ranked by their salaries, and any ties were indicated in slide titles. This list does not consider elected officials or employees that officially have a salary of $0, such as Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Keep reading to find out which highly paid White House staffer's previous experience included being a third-grade teacher.

You may also like: Your guide to the Cabinet of the United States

#50. Martin J. Dannenfelser (tie)
2/Alberto Zamorano // Shutterstock

#50. Martin J. Dannenfelser (tie)

- Salary: $166,500
- Position title: Senior policy advisor
- Status: Detailee
- Pay basis: Per annum

Before joining the White House, Martin J. Dannenfelser served five and a half years as the senior policy advisor and coalitions director for the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. He also served as the director of external relations for the Energy Innovation Project and deputy assistant secretary and senior policy advisor at the Department of Health and Human Services.

#50. Nancy B. Beck (tie)
3/Lance Cheung/U.S. Department of Agriculture // Wikimedia Commons

#50. Nancy B. Beck (tie)

- Salary: $166,500
- Position title: Policy advisor
- Status: Detailee
- Pay basis: Per annum

Nancy B. Beck was the senior director for regulatory science policy for the American Chemistry Council, where she worked to improve chemical risk assessments. In 2017, Beck joined the Environmental Protection Agency as the deputy assistant administrator for Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention.

#29. Kathryn C. Todd (tie)
4/Michal Kalasek // Shutterstock

#29. Kathryn C. Todd (tie)

- Salary: $168,000
- Position title: Deputy counsel to the president
- Status: Employee
- Pay basis: Per annum

Kathryn Comerford Todd was the former senior vice president and chief counsel for the U.S. Chamber Litigation Center, which serves as the litigation arm of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Todd also served as a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas during the 2000 term.

#29. Amy H. Swonger (tie)
5/Chip Somodevilla // Getty Images

#29. Amy H. Swonger (tie)

- Salary: $168,000
- Position title: Deputy assistant to the president and deputy director of legislative affairs
- Status: Employee
- Pay basis: Per annum

Before joining the White House, Amy Swonger was the senior manager of the Washington Council Ernst & Young and a member of Heather Podesta + Partners. A lobbyist, Swonger lobbied for Aetna, American Bankers Association, Airlines for America, Boeing, Cigna, Dish Network, The Dow Chemical Company, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Reynolds American, and many others.

#29. Roger L. Stone (tie)
6/Andrea Hanks/The White House // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Roger L. Stone (tie)

- Salary: $168,000
- Position title: Deputy assistant to the president and director of White House Information Technology
- Status: Employee
- Pay basis: Per annum

Roger L. Stone—who is a different individual from the currently indicted political operative Roger J. Stone—is the White House chief information officer. The office was created by President Barack Obama in 2015 to “have the primary authority to establish and coordinate the necessary policies and procedures for operating and maintaining the information resources and information systems provided to the president, vice president, and EOP [Executive Office of the President].” Stone joined the federal government during the Obama administration as a staffer of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

#29. Ory S. Rinat (tie)
7/The White House // Flickr

#29. Ory S. Rinat (tie)

- Salary: $168,000
- Position title: Deputy assistant to the president and chief digital officer
- Status: Employee
- Pay basis: Per annum

Ory S. Rinat worked previously as a teacher at General Assembly, a for-profit college, and as an employee for the conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation. He also worked as a self-employed marketing consultant.

#29. Julie T. Radford (tie)
8/Alex Wong // Getty Images

#29. Julie T. Radford (tie)

- Salary: $168,000
- Position title: Deputy assistant to the president and chief of staff to the advisor
- Status: Employee
- Pay basis: Per annum

Julie T. Radford is the chief of staff for Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump. Radford formerly worked in the George W. Bush administration as an assistant to the then-Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings.

#29. Michael M. Purpura (tie)
9/PD // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Michael M. Purpura (tie)

- Salary: $168,000
- Position title: Deputy counsel to the president
- Status: Employee
- Pay basis: Per annum

Michael M. Purpura is the White House counsel assigned to lead the response against congressional investigations on the White House. Purpura formerly served as a federal prosecutor and a Justice Department official.

#29. Patrick F. Philbin (tie)
10/Alex Wong // Getty Images

#29. Patrick F. Philbin (tie)

- Salary: $168,000
- Position title: Deputy counsel to the president
- Status: Employee
- Pay basis: Per annum

Patrick F. Philbin was a controversial figure in the George W. Bush administration. Philbin was the deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel before moving on to be an associate deputy general in the Office of the Deputy Attorney General. Philbin helped to convince Bush that the former president could charge Guantanamo detainees before military commissions. He was also one of the Justice Department staffers that rushed to then-Attorney General John Ashcroft’s hospital bed to try to block other staffers from persuading Ashcroft to reverse James Comey’s decision to block renewal on the warrantless wiretap program. This earned Philbin the ire of then-Vice President Dick Cheney.

#29. Timothy A. Pataki (tie)
11/Ron Przysucha/U.S. Department of State // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Timothy A. Pataki (tie)

- Salary: $168,000
- Position title: Deputy assistant to the president and director of the Office of Public Liaison
- Status: Employee
- Pay basis: Per annum

Timothy A. Pataki previously served the Trump administration as the special assistant to the president for legislative affairs and the special assistant to the president and deputy director of the Office of Public Liaison. He also worked in the staff of then-House Majority Leader (currently, the House Minority Leader) Kevin McCarthy and former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

#29. Andrew J. Olmem (tie)
12/The Global Entrepreneurship Summit // Flickr

#29. Andrew J. Olmem (tie)

- Salary: $168,000
- Position title: Deputy assistant to the president for economic policy and deputy director of the National Economic Council
- Status: Employee
- Pay basis: Per annum

Andrew J. Olmem was a partner with lobbying firm Venable LLP before joining the White House. He also served as the Minority Chief Counsel for the United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

#29. Anna C. Niceta (tie)
13/Andrea Hanks/The White House // Flickr

#29. Anna C. Niceta (tie)

- Salary: $168,000
- Position title: Deputy assistant to the president and social secretary
- Status: Employee
- Pay basis: Per annum

Anna Cristina Niceta Lloyd worked with catering and event-planning firm Design Cuisine as an account executive before being appointed by Melania Trump. As an account executive, Niceta Lloyd worked on the last five presidential inaugurations and was involved in the planning and execution of the Trump inauguration celebrations.

#29. William J. McGinley (tie)
14/Chip Somodevilla // Getty Images

#29. William J. McGinley (tie)

- Salary: $168,000
- Position title: Assistant to the president and Cabinet secretary
- Status: Employee
- Pay basis: Per annum

William J. McGinley is the current Cabinet secretary. This confusing title—as all executive branch department heads are secretaries of the Cabinet—refers to the head of the Office of Cabinet Affairs, which serves as the main point of communication between the Office of the President and the various Cabinet departments. As of July 2019, McGinley has left the White House to return to the private sector.

#29. Jennifer B. Lichter (tie)
15/Shealah Craighead/The White House // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Jennifer B. Lichter (tie)

- Salary: $168,000
- Position title: Deputy assistant to the president for domestic policy
- Status: Employee
- Pay basis: Per annum

Jennifer B. Lichter was formerly counsel at the Office of Legal Policy for the U.S. Department of Justice before joining the White House. Lichter also served as counsel for the Archdiocese of Washington.

#29. Catherine B. Keller (tie)
16/U.S. Department of Commerce // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Catherine B. Keller (tie)

- Salary: $168,000
- Position title: Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Staff Secretary
- Status: Employee
- Pay basis: Per annum

Catherine B. Keller served as counsel at Dimensional Fund Advisors before joining the White House. Formerly a corporate attorney for the law firm of Latham & Watkins LLP, she represented or offered legal services for Advanced Micro Devices, American Airlines, Citigroup Global Markets, and World Kitchen.

#29. Brian T. Jack (tie)
17/Gage Skidmore // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Brian T. Jack (tie)

- Salary: $168,000
- Position title: Deputy assistant to the president and director of political affairs
- Status: Employee
- Pay basis: Per annum

Brian T. Jack took over the office of Director of Political Affairs after serving as the deputy director. Jack was a member of Donald Trump’s campaign—serving as both the national delegate director and the battleground states director—and the transition team.

#29. Hope R. Hudson (tie)
18/Tia Dufou/The White House // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Hope R. Hudson (tie)

- Salary: $168,000
- Position title: Deputy assistant to the president and chief of staff to the senior counselor
- Status: Employee
- Pay basis: Per annum

Hope R. Hudson is the chief of staff for Senior Counselor Kellyanne Conway. The wife of Rep. Richard Hudson, Hope Hudson was chief of staff to Rep. Todd Rokita of Indiana.

#29. Douglas L. Hoelscher (tie)
19/Alex Wong // Getty Images

#29. Douglas L. Hoelscher (tie)

- Salary: $168,000
- Position title: Deputy assistant to the president and director of intergovernmental affairs
- Status: Employee
- Pay basis: Per annum

Douglas L. Hoelscher was director of the Iowa Office of State-Federal Relations for the Office of the Governor before joining the White House. He worked for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as both the White House liaison and the executive director of Homeland Security Advisory Committees.

#29. Vincent M. Haley (tie)
20/Shealah Craighead/The White House // Flickr

#29. Vincent M. Haley (tie)

- Salary: $168,000
- Position title: Deputy assistant to the president and advisor for policy, strategy, and speechwriting
- Status: Employee
- Pay basis: Per annum

Vincent Haley served as an adviser for Trump for America before joining the White House. He also offered movie production services to The Gingrich Foundation and was a producer of the Billy Graham Film Project.

#29. John H. Gidley (tie)
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#29. John H. Gidley (tie)

- Salary: $168,000
- Position title: Deputy assistant to the president and principal deputy press secretary
- Status: Employee
- Pay basis: Per annum

John H. Gidley previously served as a special assistant to Donald Trump before taking on the position of principal deputy press secretary in 2019. He was the communications director for Rick Santorum’s 2012 presidential bid, the executive director of the South Carolina Republican Party, and director of media operations for former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

#29. Sean E. Doocey (tie)
22/ND700 // Shutterstock

#29. Sean E. Doocey (tie)

- Salary: $168,000
- Position title: Deputy assistant to the president and director of presidential personnel
- Status: Employee
- Pay basis: Per annum

The Presidential Personnel Office is responsible for the recruiting and vetting of appointed positions throughout the executive branch. However, the shortage of staff and lack of experience have led to a series of embarrassments for the White House. Sean E. Doocey is the head of this beleaguered office.

#29. Jessica E. Ditto (tie)
23/Joyce N. Boghosian/The White House // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Jessica E. Ditto (tie)

- Salary: $168,000
- Position title: Deputy assistant to the president and deputy director of communications
- Status: Employee
- Pay basis: Per annum

Like many on the White House staff, Jessica E. Ditto was a member of both the campaign and transition teams. Ditto also worked for Kentucky Govs. Ernie Fletcher and Matt Bevin.

#29. Monica J. Block (tie)
24/lazyllama // Shutterstock

#29. Monica J. Block (tie)

- Salary: $168,000
- Position title: Deputy assistant to the president and director of White House Management and Administration and acting director of the Office of Administration
- Status: Employee
- Pay basis: Per annum

Monica J. Block worked as the deputy director of operations for Chris Christie for president and director of operations for the Leadership Matters for America PAC. She was also the director of operations for Trump for America and the governor's liaison and director of fundraising operations for the Republican Governors Association.

#28. Wayne A. Leighton
25/Paul Williams/The White House // Flickr

#28. Wayne A. Leighton

- Salary: $174,052
- Position title: Senior policy director
- Status: Detailee
- Pay basis: Per annum

Wayne A. Leighton is the senior deputy chief for the Office of Economy and Analytics for the Federal Communications Commission. He was previously the chief of the Federal Communications Commission’s Office of Strategic Planning & Policy Analysis and senior economist for the agency.

#25. Eric S. Turner (tie)
26/Chip Somodevilla // Getty Images

#25. Eric S. Turner (tie)

- Salary: $179,700
- Position title: Executive director of the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council
- Status: Detailee
- Pay basis: Per annum

Eric Scott Turner is a former professional football player and a member of the Texas House of Representatives. Turner played nine seasons for the Washington Redskins, Denver Broncos, and San Diego Chargers (now known as the Los Angeles Chargers). The office he heads, the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council, was created by executive order last December to spearhead investment in distressed areas.

#25. Emily P. Newman (tie)
27/CHRISTOPHER E ZIMMER // Shutterstock

#25. Emily P. Newman (tie)

- Salary: $179,700
- Position title: Policy advisor
- Status: Detailee
- Pay basis: Per annum

Emily Newman is the senior advisor to the director of Indian Health Services. Indian Health Services is a department of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services charged with offering public health services options to members of the federally recognized Native American and Alaskan Native tribes.

#25. George M. Fishman (tie)
28/Joyce N. Boghosian/The White House // Flickr

#25. George M. Fishman (tie)

- Salary: $179,700
- Position title: Policy advisor
- Status: Detailee
- Pay basis: Per annum

George M. Fishman is the deputy general counsel for the Office of General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Before this, he was chief counsel for the House Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement and the Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security.

#5. Daniel P. Walsh (tie)
29/Tia Dufou/The White House // Flickr

#5. Daniel P. Walsh (tie)

- Salary: $183,000
- Position title: Assistant to the president and deputy chief of staff for operations
- Status: Employee
- Pay basis: Per annum

Daniel P. Walsh was the deputy assistant to the president and the director of the White House Military Office before becoming the deputy chief of staff for operations. Walsh replaced Joe Hagin, who held the position under Republican presidents since Ronald Reagan.

#5. Eric M. Ueland (tie)
30/Aaron P. Bernstein // Getty Images

#5. Eric M. Ueland (tie)

- Salary: $183,000
- Position title: Assistant to the president for legislative affairs
- Status: Employee
- Pay basis: Per annum

Eric M. Ueland was Donald Trump’s first nominee for the position of under secretary of state for management. Ueland was a member of the transition team and Republican staff director of the United States Senate Committee on budget. He lost his nomination to Brian Bulatao.

#5. Mercedes V. Schlapp (tie)
31/Gage Skidmore // Flickr

#5. Mercedes V. Schlapp (tie)

- Salary: $183,000
- Position title: Assistant to the president and senior advisor for strategic communications
- Status: Employee
- Pay basis: Per annum

Mercedes Schlapp was the White House director of strategic communications until July 2019, when she transitioned to the Donald Trump 2020 presidential campaign. She was previously a contributor for Fox News and a columnist for The Washington Times, and is the co-owner of a lobbying firm.

#5. Dan J. Scavino (tie)
32/Chip Somodevilla // Getty Images

#5. Dan J. Scavino (tie)

- Salary: $183,000
- Position title: Assistant to the president and senior advisor for digital strategy
- Status: Employee
- Pay basis: Per annum

Daniel Scavino, Jr. is the White House director of social media. Per a USA Today report, Scavino is the author of Donald Trump’s Twitter posts. Scavino was the general manager of Trump National Golf Club Westchester.

#5. Sarah H. Sanders (tie)
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#5. Sarah H. Sanders (tie)

- Salary: $183,000
- Position title: Assistant to the president and press secretary
- Status: Employee
- Pay basis: Per annum

Sarah Huckabee Sanders was the highly inflammatory public voice of the White House. Known for virtually phasing out the daily White House press conference and for admitting to investigators that she knowingly made false statements to the public, Sanders’ political experience before the White House was in managing her father’s various campaigns, as well as a regional liaison position under George W. Bush. Sanders replaced Sean Spicer as press secretary in July 2017 and was succeeded by Stephanie Grisham in July 2019.

#5. Brooke L. Rollins (tie)
34/Alex Wong // Getty Images

#5. Brooke L. Rollins (tie)

- Salary: $183,000
- Position title: Assistant to the president for strategic initiatives
- Status: Employee
- Pay basis: Per annum

Brooke Rollins is an assistant to the president in the Office of American Innovation. This office was created in 2017 to accommodate the work of the current director, Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner. Rollins was the president and CEO of free-market think tank Texas Public Policy Foundation and was a staffer to former Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

#5. Lindsay B. Reynolds (tie)
35/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP // Getty Images

#5. Lindsay B. Reynolds (tie)

- Salary: $183,000
- Position title: Assistant to the president and chief of staff to the first lady
- Status: Employee
- Pay basis: Per annum

Lindsay Reynolds is the daughter-in-law of major Republican fundraiser Mercer Reynolds. She was the associate director of the White House Visitors Office and before—a third-grade teacher.

#5. Peter K. Navarro (tie)
36/Chip Somodevilla // Getty Images

#5. Peter K. Navarro (tie)

- Salary: $183,000
- Position title: Assistant to the president for trade and manufacturing policy
- Status: Employee
- Pay basis: Per annum

Peter Navarro is a professor emeritus of economics and public policy at The Paul Merage School of Business at the University of California, Irvine. Navarro is a large proponent to the non-orthodox theories that Germany and China are engaged in currency manipulation and that the United States should have large tariffs to help encourage the growth of the American manufacturing sector.

#5. Stephen Miller (tie)
37/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP // Getty Images

#5. Stephen Miller (tie)

- Salary: $183,000
- Position title: Assistant to the president and senior advisor for policy
- Status: Employee
- Pay basis: Per annum

Stephen Miller is a far-right political advocate. The former communication director under former Sen. Jeff Sessions, he was also a press secretary for former Reps. Michele Bachmann and John Shadegg. Miller is an immigration hardliner and has been the author of many of the Trump administration’s more controversial actions, including the Muslim travel ban, the reduction of refugees accepted at the southern border, and the migrant children separation policy.

#5. Derek S. Lyons (tie)
38/Joyce N. Boghosian/The White House // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Derek S. Lyons (tie)

- Salary: $183,000
- Position title: Assistant to the president and staff secretary
- Status: Employee
- Pay basis: Per annum

Derek S. Lyons became the acting White House staff secretary in February 2018. He took over the office permanently that June. He was previously the deputy staff secretary and general counsel for Sen. Rob Portman.

#5. Charles M. Kupperman (tie)
39/Ron Przysucha/U.S. Department of State // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Charles M. Kupperman (tie)

- Salary: $183,000
- Position title: Assistant to the president and deputy national security advisor
- Status: Employee
- Pay basis: Per annum

Charles Martin Kupperman was a senior official with Lockheed Martin before joining the Trump administration. Kupperman served on the board of directors for the Center for Security Policy and as a staffer for the Reagan administration.

#5. Lawrence A. Kudlow (tie)
40/Gage Skidmore // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Lawrence A. Kudlow (tie)

- Salary: $183,000
- Position title: Assistant to the president for economic policy
- Status: Employee
- Pay basis: Per annum

Lawrence A. Kudlow was a commentator for the National Review and CNBC. He is currently the director of the National Economic Council. He was the former associate director for economics and planning for the Office of Management and Budget under the Reagan administration.

#5. Joseph J. Grogan (tie)
41/Chip Somodevilla // Getty Images

#5. Joseph J. Grogan (tie)

- Salary: $183,000
- Position title: Assistant to the president and director of the Domestic Policy Council
- Status: Employee
- Pay basis: Per annum

Joseph Grogan was with the Office of Management and Budget before being called to the White House. He was behind many of the initiatives to undo the Affordable Care Act. Grogan was a lobbyist for drug manufacturer Gilead Sciences before joining the White House.

#5. Stephanie A. Grisham (tie)
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#5. Stephanie A. Grisham (tie)

- Salary: $183,000
- Position title: Assistant to the president and deputy chief of staff for communications for the first lady
- Status: Employee
- Pay basis: Per annum

Stephanie Grisham is the current White House press secretary. When the data this report utilizes was released, Grisham was the press secretary to the first lady. Grisham had courted controversy, particularly when she was spokeswoman to then-Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne, where she described the two-hour botched execution of a prisoner as “peaceful.”

#5. Jason D. Greenblatt (tie)
43/JAAFAR ASHTIYEH/AFP // Getty Images

#5. Jason D. Greenblatt (tie)

- Salary: $183,000
- Position title: Assistant to the president and special representative for international negotiations
- Status: Employee
- Pay basis: Per annum

Jason D. Greenblatt was the executive vice president and chief legal officer to The Trump Organization. Greenblatt holds a position that was created for him by Donald Trump. He is only one of four officials in the White House that has access to the Trump administration’s complete Middle East peace plan.

#5. John A. Eisenberg (tie)
44/Joyce N. Boghosian/The White House // Wikimedia Commons

#5. John A. Eisenberg (tie)

- Salary: $183,000
- Position title: Deputy counsel to the president for national security affairs and legal advisor to the National Security Council
- Status: Employee
- Pay basis: Per annum

Before his service with the White House, John A. Eisenberg was a partner with the law firm Kirkland & Ellis. He also briefly served as an associate deputy attorney general for the Bush administration.

#5. Emma K. Doyle (tie)
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#5. Emma K. Doyle (tie)

- Salary: $183,000
- Position title: Assistant to the president and principal deputy chief of staff
- Status: Employee
- Pay basis: Per annum

At 31, Emma Doyle is one of the youngest White House staffers. She previously served as chief of staff for Mick Mulvaney during his stint as director of the Office of Management and Budget. She was a long-term Mulvaney loyalist, working with him as a legislative assistant when he was a representative.

#5. Kellyanne E. Conway (tie)
46/Gage Skidmore // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Kellyanne E. Conway (tie)

- Salary: $183,000
- Position title: Assistant to the president and senior counselor
- Status: Employee
- Pay basis: Per annum

Controversy lightning rod Kellyanne Conway has recently found herself in the news again for allegedly violating the Hatch Act. The Hatch Act prevents executive branch officials from using their official positions to influence an election. Conway, responding to former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley's condemnation of Donald Trump's alleged gloating on Twitter about a break-in at Rep. Elijah Cummings' home, tweeted "THIS is so unnecessary Trump-PENCE2020." This failure to separate her roles as an administration official and as Donald Trump's campaign operative has led many to argue that Conway should be removed from office.

#5. Pasquale A. Cipollone (tie)
47/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP // Getty Images

#5. Pasquale A. Cipollone (tie)

- Salary: $183,000
- Position title: Counsel to the president
- Status: Employee
- Pay basis: Per annum

Pasquale Cipollone replaced Don McGahn as White House counsel, following McGahn’s resignation after fear that the White House was preparing to make McGahn a scapegoat for potential obstruction of justice charges against Donald Trump, and McGahn’s refusal to prosecute Hillary Clinton and James Comey. Cipollone was a partner at Stein, Mitchell, Cipollone, Beato & Missner before joining the White House.

#5. Andrew P. Bremberg (tie)
48/Gage Skidmore // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Andrew P. Bremberg (tie)

- Salary: $183,000
- Position title: Assistant to the president and senior advisor for domestic policy
- Status: Employee
- Pay basis: Per annum

Andrew Bremberg is the current nominee to be the representative of the United States to the European Office of the United Nations. Before joining the Trump administration, Bremberg was the policy advisor and counsel on nominations for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and policy director to former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker during his presidential candidacy.

#3. John R. Bolton (tie)
49/Gage Skidmore // Flickr

#3. John R. Bolton (tie)

- Salary: $183,000
- Position title: Assistant to the president for national security affairs
- Status: Employee
- Pay basis: Per annum

John Bolton is the current national security advisor. A former United States ambassador to the United Nations, Bolton was a Fox News commentator and a senior adviser to the American Enterprise Institute. He is a known war hawk who favors regime change.

#3. Robert B. Blair (tie)
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#3. Robert B. Blair (tie)

- Salary: $183,000
- Position title: Assistant to the president and senior advisor to the chief of staff
- Status: Employee
- Pay basis: Per annum

Robert Blair was formerly the associate director for national security programs for the Office of Management and Budget. He was previously the staff director of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee and a Professional Staff Member for the House State-Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, focusing on migration and refugee assistance for Africa.

#2. John M. "Mick" Mulvaney
51/Gage Skidmore // Wikimedia Commons

#2. John M. "Mick" Mulvaney

- Salary: $203,500
- Position title: Acting chief of staff
- Status: Detailee
- Pay basis: Per annum

John "Mick" Mulvaney and his assistant John Czwartacki are the highest-paid members of the Executive Office of the President—shy of Donald Trump and Mike Pence—since they officially serve other agencies. White House staffers have a Congress-imposed salary cap of $183,000 per year, which Mulvaney—technically still the head of the Office of Management and Budget—can avoid by not being on the White House’s payroll. This situation may be a modifying factor in why Mulvaney has not been offered the chief of staff position permanently.

#1. John S. Czwartacki
52/Alex Wong // Getty Images

#1. John S. Czwartacki

- Salary: $239,595
- Position title: Senior advisor to the chief of staff for strategy and stakeholder engagement
- Status: Detailee
- Pay basis: Per annum

While it is rare for an assistant to make more than their “boss” in the federal government, it is not impossible. John Czwartacki is the chief communications officer at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. With the top pay grade at the CFPB being more than the pay of most secretaries of the Cabinet, it is not uncommon to find CFPB staffers among the highest-paid federal employees.

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