President Donald Trump’s former press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, is in the midst of discussions with Teneo, a global consulting firm started by former Clinton aides. She is talking about working together to advise corporate clients about the Trump administration, according to a former Teneo employee and two other people familiar with the matter.
Sanders would most likely serve as an independent contractor and would not be employed by Teneo, these people said.
“They’ve got to walk into the room with someone who knows the White House,” said one of the people familiar with the arrangement. “They need someone to explain how the Trump thing operates.”
Both Teneo and Sanders declined to comment on this move.
Sanders left the White House at the end of June and is considering a run for Arkansas governor in 2022. Trump has endorsed her effort, and Sanders launched a slick website this week that fueled the speculation. She also signed on to Fox News as a contributor — a job that will keep her in the public eye.
Sanders’ potential work with Teneo would be an opportunity that would provides a path that has generally been closed to many other top former Trump officials.
“Corporate America have basically banned Trump people from making a payday afterwards,” said the person familiar with the matter. Sanders is “still getting corporate America, but she’s got to do sleight of hand … Nobody in Corporate America will ever pay a Trump person.”
Teneo has more than 800 employees with about 20 offices around the world. It was founded in 2011 by Declan Kelly, who worked in Hillary Clinton’s State Department, and Doug Band, a close aide for former President Bill Clinton, as well as Paul Keary.
The firm works ‘exclusively with the CEOs and senior executives of the world’s leading companies’ to provide ‘strategic counsel across their full range of key objectives and issues,’ it says on its website.
Its clients include Dow Chemical, Coca-Cola, Weight Watchers, Delta and GE.
The president praised Sanders when he announced she was leaving the White House, calling her “a very special person with extraordinary talents, who has done an incredible job! I hope she decides to run for Governor of Arkansas — she would be fantastic.”
“Trump loves her,” said one of the people familiar with the Teneo arrangement. “He doesn’t love many people. He loves her. He loves her. She’s his girl.”