If you've ever seen one of President Donald Trump's posts on Twitter (who hasn't?), you've probably seen some of Dan Scavino Jr.'s work. And the White House director of social media — who met the now-president when he was a teen working as a golf course caddie — is among only a handful of people who can say they've been with Trump's campaign since the very beginning.
Trump recently announced White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders would be leaving her position at the end of June to return to her home state of Arkansas.
Huckabee Sanders worked as part of Trump's administration since the first day of his presidency. Her departure leaves only Scavino and three others who can claim they were there since the start of his administration.
- Stephen Miller: White House Senior Adviser
- Kellyanne Conway: Counselor to the President
- Stephanie Grisham: Press Secretary, Communications Director for the First Lady
- Dan Scavino Jr.: White House Director of Social Media, Assistant to the President
A member of the final four, Scavino was part of Trump's campaign team on June 16, 2015, the day the president announced his plans to pursue the office.
Since taking office in 2017, Trump has seen a staff turnover rate higher than the previous five administrations, according to the Brookings Institute.
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After serving on Trump's transition team, Scavino, who first met Trump at what is now the Trump National Golf Club in Westchester County, N.Y., was named director of White House social media in December 2016, a title he's carried into the White House.
(Scavino started as a caddie at the club and eventually worked his way up to being the executive vice president.)
"Quite surreal, I will be joining the president in the White House and around the world," Scavino told the Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) Journal via text in December 2016.
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At the time of his hiring in 2015, Trump had just over 6 million followers on his personal Twitter account. Today, Scavino and Trump both use the account to communicate directly to 61 million followers.
Hope Hicks, former White House communications director for Trump, told the New York Times Magazine in 2018 that Scavino is "the conductor of the Trump Train.” Several of the president's personal tweets are written by Scavino himself, but he's also said Trump will dictate tweets to him.
“You could make the case that without Dan fulfilling his core mission of conveying the excitement, people wouldn’t have realized that they were part of a movement," said Jason Miller, a chief spokesman for Trump's 2016 presidential campaign. "It was absolutely critical in encouraging people to turn out.”
Scavino is said to talk with the president more than almost any other aide and Trump himself has said he'll often take Scavino's words of advice on issues, too.
"Oftentimes, I’ll go through Dan. You know, I’ll talk it over. And he can really be a very good sounding board," Trump told Politico. "A lot of common sense. He’s got a good grasp."
When does Trump tweet and when does Scavino tweet for him?
Scavino is often at meetings where the president is at, but operates behind the scenes, documenting Trump's moves in videos and photos and connecting directly with the president's base, firing off several of his tweets.
Wired Magazine says text-only tweets sent between 6 p.m. and 10 a.m. are the most likely to be written by the president, due to his schedule and cable TV news viewing habits. If there's a thread of tweets, the magazine surmises Scavino is more likely to have written them.
As far as spelling mistakes, White House officials have said off the record that Scavino has spell-checked some of Trump's tweets before sending them.
So it's possible famous tweets about "covfefe" and recently, "Prince of Whales," may have been typed out by the president himself. But the reality is, we just don't know.
What we do know is engagement on Trump's posts have experienced a slight decline. According to an Axios article citing data from social monitoring platform CrowdTangle, the interaction rate on the tweets have dipped from 0.32% to 0.16% between June 2017 and May 2019.
Follow Nate Chute on Twitter: @nchute
This article originally appeared on Poughkeepsie Journal: He writes Trump’s tweets and has been with Trump's campaign since day one