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Biden adviser Cedric Richmond set to leave the White House

By Kaitlan Collins, Jasmine Wright and Maegan Vazquez, CNN

President Joe Biden’s senior adviser Cedric Richmond is expected to leave his job as the director of the Office of Public Engagement in the coming weeks to work for the Democratic National Committee.

“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 in a statement to CNN.

Biden and the DNC, Richmond said, “are working hand-in-hand to build a strong Democratic Party and deliver our message to the American people and supporting Democrats.”

“I look forward to working in partnership with (DNC Chair) Jaime (Harrison) and the talented and hard-working crew at the DNC to amplify the White House’s message as we head toward the midterms,” Richmond continued.

Richmond will serve as a senior adviser to the DNC — a role like the one he had on the campaign in 2020, an adviser to Biden said. Richmond is expected to travel the country to help the DNC fundraise while acting as a national surrogate for Biden and the Democratic Party.

A source familiar with his decision said Richmond is expected to join the private sector.

Harrison said in a statement that “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.”

“We look forward to having Cedric join our already strong team as we continue to work in close partnership with the White House, and our sister committees to protect and expand our Democratic majorities. The Democratic Party is all-in and leaving nothing to chance,” he added.

Democratic Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, the House majority whip, called Richmond’s new job “an exciting and important move” ahead of November’s midterm elections.

The New York Times was first to report details of Richmond’s expected departure.

Richmond, a former Democratic congressman from Louisiana, joined the White House at the start of the administration and will become one of the few advisers close to Biden to vacate his position.

Richmond played golf with the President on Sunday in Delaware and has publicly said he would leave his position in the White House only if Biden asked him to. He is one of the highest-ranking Black aides to the President and has often served in a public-facing capacity for the administration’s policies in front of the press.

And as a former congressman and early campaign supporter, Richmond became a critical line to House Democratic leadership for Biden.

Prior to joining the administration, he served as chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus and was a co-chair of Biden’s presidential campaign. He served on the House Ways and Means Committee, was a member of the New Democrat Coalition and served as the House Democratic assistant to the majority whip.

Staff changes in the White House

News of Richmond’s anticipated departure comes amid several personnel changes within the White House and Biden administration.

The vice president’s office has dealt with a number of staff changes in recent months, but most recently, CNN reported last week that Kamala Harris’ chief of staff, Tina Flournoy, is set to leave this spring.

The White House is also preparing a slew of personnel moves as officials brace for a potential Republican takeover of Congress.

One of Biden’s closest advisers, Anita Dunn, is expected to return to the West Wing before the midterm elections. Dunn previously worked in the administration on a short-term basis. While the details of her return are still being finalized, Dunn is expected to return in a full-time capacity this time, sources familiar with the matter say.

Ian Sams, who currently works at the Department of Health and Human Services, is also joining the White House Counsel’s Office in a communications position.

Sams previously served as a spokesperson for Harris’ 2020 presidential campaign, where he developed a reputation for being outspoken and at times for having a combative style, traits that could be useful while facing aggressive inquiries from Republicans.

This story has been updated with additional reporting Monday.

™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

CNN’s MJ Lee and Jeff Zeleny contributed to this report.

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