The White House just fired Angella Reid, the first female to hold the position of Chief Usher. An administration official told ABC News that Reid is “no longer employed by the White House.” One administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, cited “issues with the staff” as the reason for the firing; others within the administration described tension between Reid, her staff and members of Trump’s team.
The Washington Post first reported the abrupt firing. It is unusual for a White House usher to change with administrations. Only nine people have held the job in the last 132 years. The White House usher is responsible for the day-to-day management of the White House. The title of the position comes from the original role of ushering people in to meet the president, according to The White House Historical Association. Over time, the position has grown to include construction, food, maintenance as well as personnel and administrative duties. Reid took the role in 2011 during the Obama administration. She replaced Adm., Stephen Rochon, the first African-American to hold the position when he was appointed in 2007. Rochon left the position to take a role at the Department of Homeland Security. Rochon had replaced Gary Walters who retired after serving as Chief Usher since 1986. The Washington Post reported:
Douglas Brinkley, a presidential historian, and professor of history at Rice University said that it is highly unusual for an administration to fire its chief usher, especially without providing any explanation. “If there is a very compelling reason for the dismissal, the White House needs to tell the public,” he said. “Otherwise it comes off as cruel.”
“Knowing Angella, I doubt seriously that she would have done something herself to cause this,” said Rochon, Reid’s predecessor. “She worked for years in top management in hotels. She knows about hospitality. She is definitely professional but you’re not going to please everybody.”
Reid was said to be close to the Obamas, who hired her for the job, but three people with knowledge of the situation said there were tensions with the household staff she managed, some of whom viewed her as bossier than previous ushers.
Anita McBride, who served as chief of staff to Laura Bush, spoke highly of Reid but said her background in the hospitality sector may have left her less prepared for the transition between administrations than other White House residence staff members, who had served Democrats and Republicans in the course of their careers.
White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that Reid “left on very good terms and [we] wish her the very best. It’s not uncommon that you might have a transition of staff when a new administration comes in. And it’s simply nothing more than that.”
Prior to her role as White House usher, Angella Reid was the former general manager of The Ritz-Carlton in Pentagon City, Virginia. Angella Reid did not respond to media questions with a comment.
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Credit: ABC News