Melania Trump cuts first lady payroll drastically

Melania Trump cuts first lady payroll drastically
First lady Melania Trump has fewer staff and a lower payroll than former first lady Michelle Obama had in 2009. ( Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

First lady Melania Trump is running a much leaner East Wing payroll than her predecessor Michelle Obama, according to a Fox News analysis based on the June report to Congress on White House personnel.

The annual White House report sent to Congress details the names, positions, and salaries of all its personnel.

Trump’s spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham told Fox News that the first lady’s approach was deliberate.

“As with all things that she does, she is being very deliberate in her hiring, focusing on quality over quantity,” Grisham said in an email to Fox News. “It is important to her that the team is a good fit for what she wants to accomplish as first lady, and that everyone works well together. She also wants to be mindful and responsible when it comes to taxpayer money.”

How did she do it?

Trump has only four people on her office payroll whereas Michelle Obama had 16 staff positions listed on her payroll during then-President Barack Obama’s first year.

Staff salaries for Trump’s staff totaled $486,700, according to the report. Michelle Obama’s staff salaries totaled $1.24 million a year.

What are the details of the Melania Trump’s payroll?

Lindsay B. Reynolds, assistant to the president and chief of staff to the first lady: $179,700
● Stephanie A. Grisham, special assistant to the president and director of communications for the first lady: $115,000
● Timothy G. Tripepi, special assistant to the president and deputy chief of staff of operations for the first lady: $115,000
● Mary-Kathryn Fisher, deputy director of advance for the first lady: $77,000
(Source: June 2017 report to Congress on White House Personnel)

What are the details for Michelle Obama’s payroll in 2009?

● Susan S. Sher, assistant to the president and chief of staff to the first lady: $172,200
● Jocelyn C. Frye, deputy assistant to the president and director of policy and projects for the first lady: $140,000
● Camille Y. Johnston, special assistant to the president and director of communications for the first lady: $102,000
● Melissa E. Winter, special assistant to the president and deputy chief of staff to the first lady: $102,000
● David S. Medina, deputy chief of staff to the first lady: $90,000
● Catherine M. Lelyveld, director and press secretary to the first lady: $84,000
● Frances M. Starkey, director of scheduling and advance for the first lady: $75,000
● Trooper Sanders, deputy director of policy and projects for the first lady: $70,000
● Jennifer R. Goodman, deputy director of scheduling and events coordinator for the first lady: $62,000
● Alan Fitts, deputy director of advance and trip director for the first lady: $60,000
● Dana M. Lewis, special assistant and personal aide to the first lady: $60,000
● Semonti M. Mustaphi, associate director and deputy press secretary to the first lady: $52,500
● Kristen E. Jarvis, special assistant for scheduling and traveling aide to the first lady: $50,000
● Tyler A. Lechtenberg, associate director of correspondence for the first lady: $45,000
● Joseph J. Boswell, executive assistant to the chief of staff to the first lady: $40,000
● Deilia A. Jackson, deputy associate director of correspondence for the first lady: $36,000
(Source: July 2009 report to Congress on White House personnel)

What about President Donald Trump’s staff and payroll?

President Donald Trump also has a smaller staff and lower total payroll in comparison to former President Obama.

In June, Trump reported 377 White House office staff. That’s 110 fewer than were on Obama’s staff in 2009.

In 2016, Obama had 472 on his staff and payroll totaled $39,753,551.

The total payroll for Trump’s office staff is $35,766,744, about $4 million less than Obama’s.

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