Kellems Joins the Trump Campaign
Donald Trump Hires Veteran Adviser to Oversee Surrogates
By MAGGIE HABERMAN
JUNE 20, 2016
The political adviser Kevin Kellems, left, with Paul D. Wolfowitz, in 2003, when Mr. Wolfowitz was a deputy secretary of defense. Credit Stephen Crowley/The New York Times
Donald J. Trump is bringing aboard a senior campaign aide to oversee the surrogates who defend him, in an effort to provide order and breadth to the ecosystem of supporters, according to two people briefed on the plan.
The aide, Kevin Kellems, was hired late last week, according to the two people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak publicly.
Mr. Kellems, who is based in Indiana, advised Newt Gingrich for a time during his 2012 presidential campaign. He also was the communications director for former Vice President Dick Cheney, and worked for Paul D. Wolfowitz, the former deputy secretary of defense who was a major proponent of the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Mr. Trump has made criticism of the Iraq war and of President George W. Bush’s administration central to his candidacy.
Mr. Kellems was an adviser to Senator Dan Coats, Republican of Indiana, and worked with former Senator Fred D. Thompson.
The Trump campaign’s surrogate operation has relied heavily on a small cadre of supporters and cable news pundits. Aides had been looking to expand Mr. Trump’s slim communications team with people seasoned in political communications.
Hope Hicks, a spokeswoman for Mr. Trump, did not return an email seeking comment.