by WorldTribune Staff, January 27, 2017
The former chief of staff to President Donald Trump’s top rival in the 2016 primaries has been tapped as the White House’s new liaison to House conservatives.
Paul Teller, who served as Sen. Ted Cruz’s chief of staff from early 2014 to July 2016, is expected to head congressional conservative relations for the Trump administration, The Daily Caller News Foundation reported.
Teller confirmed the report with a Jan. 26 status update on his Facebook page: “Started Working at THE WHITE HOUSE Yesterday — Special Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs.”
Teller will be tasked with ensuring that conservative congressmen in the House Freedom Caucus, Republican Study Committee and Senate Steering Committee are on board with Trump’s policy priorities.
“Trump is known to surround himself with loyalists, but Teller could serve a strategic purpose,” the Daily Caller report said. Like Cruz, Teller “isn’t afraid to go against the establishment. Neither is Trump.”
An October profile on Teller in The Hill described him as having a reputation as a “troublemaker.”
“I was always a classroom agitator,” Teller told The Hill. “I wasn’t necessarily the person who would organize a rally or a club to do this or that, but in the classroom, I was the guy with the hand up being like, ‘Uh, teacher, I don’t see it that way, or I disagree with that student over there.’ ”
According to the Daily Caller, Teller “has paid a price in the past for his contrarianism”.
In 2013, after then-Speaker of the House John Boehner led a leadership takeover of the conservative Republican Study Committee, Teller was fired from his role as the longtime executive director, sparking outrage from conservatives, the report said. Then-Chairman Steve Scalise cited leadership anger over Teller working with outside conservative groups.
“Undeterred, Teller moved to the Cruz office where he was responsible for working with House conservatives on fighting Obamacare,” the report said.