The guy who runs Trump’s social media is the staffer who's been around the longest — he started as Trump's caddie — but rumours are swirling he could be leaving soon

There’s only one White House staffer who’s not family that’s been in President Donald Trump’s orbit since the early days of the campaign: social media director Dan Scavino.

But the The New York Times reported he could be one of several aides looking to leave the White House later this year.

When former White House Communications Director Hope Hicksdeparted the administration in March, Scavino became Trump’s longest-serving aide. But he has been by Trump’s side since way before his 2016 campaign began.

His relationship with Trump runs all the way back to 1990, when a 16-year-old Scavino was hand-picked to be Trump’s caddie. Since that chance selection, Scavino has rocketed high into the ranks of Trump’s communications team, and today is part of a small group of people in charge of the White House’s messaging.

Here’s how Scavino went from cleaning clubs to managing Trump’s social media:


Scavino’s family hails from northern Italy. His great-grandfather entered the US through Ellis Island in the early 1900s and soon settled in New York City.

Source: Politico Magazine


After Trump began criticising what he called “chain migration,” many pointed out that Scavino’s family itself had came to the US through this process. After his ancestor Vittorio came to New York in 1904, other members of his family followed over the next few years.

Sources: Politico Magazine, Business Insider


Scavino was born in 1976 and grew up in the New York City metropolitan area.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesDan Scavino.

When he was 16 years old, Scavino was working a summer job cleaning golf clubs at New York’s Briar Hall Country Club in the lower Hudson Valley when the country club got an unexpected visitor.

Dave Kotinsky/Getty ImagesThe Brair’s Hall, which is now called the Trump National Golf Club Westchester.

Source: CNN


It was 1990. Briar’s Hall was headed for foreclosure, and Trump was interested in expanding his golf empire. When the future president dropped by, Scavino was in the right place at the right time, and was chosen to be his golf caddie for the day.

Source: CNN


“I’ll never forget the day his limo first pulled up,” Scavino said years later. “I was star-struck. I remember his first gratuity. It was two bills ― two hundred-dollar bills. I said, ‘I am never spending this money.’ I still have both bills.”

Source: Huffington Post


Scavino went on to graduate from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh in 1997, and then worked several jobs in his 20s, including on in the sales department of a Coca-Cola bottler. But his encounter with Trump in 1990 soon bore fruit for him.

Sources: Facebook, Huffington Post


In 2004, Trump hired Scavino to be the assistant manager of the Trump National Golf Club in Westchester where they had first met, and he became the executive vice president of the club in 2008.

Source: Huffington Post


Scavino even appeared on an episode of Trump’s reality show “The Apprentice.”

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Source: CNN


When Trump was musing a serious presidential run, Scavino told him he would “drop everything” to work with him on the campaign. In July 2015, Trump asked him to join.

Source: Huffington Post, Fortune


In February 2016, Trump chose Scavino to head his social media campaign, which had been growing in size and scope. But while he headed up the effort as a whole, he let Trump be Trump on Twitter.

Wikimedia CommonsDan Scavino during the campaign.

Source: Huffington Post


It seems this has been the secret to Scavino’s success. “He doesn’t run anything by me,” Scavino told CNN in 2016. “We’re a different campaign.”

Source: CNN


Scavino travelled with Trump for months, and sometimes took dictation from him for his tweets.

Source: CNN


But the campaign was not without controversy — not only did Trump’s unfiltered messaging make waves, but the campaign came under fire for several allegedly offensive tweets.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesScavino (R) walks with former White House staff secretary Rob Porter.

On one occasion, Trump tweeted a picture of then-2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton with the text “Most Corrupt Candidate Ever!” inside of a six-point star. The symbol was seen as anti-Semitic, and the campaign eventually changed the graphic.

Screenshot via TwitterThe original image, which Scavino chose.

Source: Business Insider


Shortly after Trump’s victory in the election, the president-elect named Scavino White House Director of Social Media.

Source: Huffington Post


Scavino has become a vital part of Trump’s administration, and even followed him to places like the Vatican to meet Pope Francis last year.

Source: Reuters


But Scavino couldn’t stay out of trouble for long. He violated the Hatch Act, which prohibits executive branch officials from being involved in electoral activity, when he sent a tweet urging the defeat of Rep. Justin Amash. He was warned that an other violation “could result in further action.”

Sources: AP, Washington Post


In September 2017, he tried to warn people in Florida about Hurricane Irma, but accidentally tweeted video of wrong storm. The Miami International Airport replied to his tweet noting the error.

Source: Business Insider


In January, Scavino’s personal life took a hit when he and his wife Jennifer filed for divorce. They had been married for 18 years and have two children.

Source: Huffington Post


But despite his troubles, it looks like Scavino’s stint as Trump’s right-hand man on social media won’t end anytime soon.


Scavino attributes social media as one of Trump’s greatest strengths. “He is in the White House today because of social media,” Scavino told Fox News. “It’s what won him the White House, and he’s just gonna keep tweeting away.”

Pool via Getty ImagesDan Scavino (R) with John Kelly (L)

Source: Huffington Post


Hicks and Scavino have been two of Trump’s most trusted confidantes. With her out of the White House, Scavino is now the only aide who’s been with Trump since the beginning.

Source: Business Insider


Scavino is one of several aides who is rumoured to be leaving the White House later this year. If he goes, Scavino would be the last of the major players in Trump’s original inner circle to leave.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesFormer personal aide to the president John McEntee (L), Scavino, and Senior Advisor to the President Stephen Miller leave the White House with Trump on November 29, 2017.

Source: The New York Times

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