White House adviser Cedric Richmond confirmed Tuesday that he will depart President Biden’s staff for a position at the Democratic National Committee — shortly after reporting that he called left-wing Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib “f—ing idiots.”
Richmond, 48, will serve in a vague DNC role boosting the party’s efforts to avoid a wipeout in the midterm elections in November. He and the White House described the transition as a promotion.
Richmond, director of the White House Office of Public Liaison, was one of the few relatively fresh faces among Biden’s senior West Wing staff, which is dominated by longtime associates of the 79-year-old president. He reportedly struggled to be included.
It’s unclear if Richmond’s criticism of Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Tlaib (D-Mich.) had anything to do with the timing of his exit.
The former Louisiana congressman tore into the left-wing “Squad” members after progressive activists slammed Biden for hiring him despite his history of accepting campaign donations from fossil fuel executives, according to excerpts from the book “This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden and the Battle for America’s Future” by New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alex Burns.
“I am thrilled that the president has entrusted me with helping boost the robust work already being done at the DNC to make sure that Democrats grow their majorities in the House and Senate, and increase the number of Democratic governors in state capitals around the country,” Richmond said.
DNC Chairman Jamie Harrison said “there are few people more capable of helping us continue to build on our successes and deliver our message as we head into the midterm elections” and that Richmond’s transfer shows “the Democratic Party is all-in and leaving nothing to chance.”
House Majority Whip James Clyburn (R-SC), an important Richmond ally, said, “This is an exciting and important move – as we head toward the midterms Cedric Richmond will make an already strong team at the DNC, led by Jaime Harrison, even stronger.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Monday sought to head off the perception that Richmond was being cast aside when a reporter pressed her on Richmond’s recent remarks that he planned to remain at the White House.
“The New York Times is reporting that Cedric Richmond is leaving. Is he? And just last week, he said publicly that he wouldn’t leave unless the president asked him to. So, has something changed there?” the reporter asked.
“Cedric Richmond has been, continues to be a vital, essential adviser to the president — was on the campaign, continues to be in the White House. I have been in many meetings with Cedric Richmond, where the president goes to him and looks to him for his political sense, his assessment of Congress. He trusts him implicitly,” Psaki replied.
“I have nothing to announce at this point, but I can assure you when we have something to announce, it will involve a new important role too — for Cedric Richmond and something the president is excited about and has asked him to do.”