The Info List - Johnny DeStefano

John "Johnny" DeStefano is an Assistant to President Donald Trump and Counselor to the President. He oversees the Office of Presidential Personnel, Office of Political Affairs, and Office of Public Liaison. DeStefano entered the administration as the Director of Presidential Personnel.[1]

Prior to his current position, DeStefano worked for Ohio Republican Congressman John Boehner. From 2007 to 2011, he was Boehner's political director. From 2011 to 2013, when Boehner was Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, DeStefano served as Boehner's senior advisor. DeStefano also worked for the Republican National Committee building "a 2016 voter file and political database."[2]

Early life and education

DeStefano grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, and attended Saint Louis University. His uncle helped him to get an internship with Oklahoma Representative J. C. Watts during his junior year. Following his graduation, he worked for the House Republican Conference as a liaison to outside conservative groups. In 2006, he ran the reelection campaign of Ohio Representative Deborah Pryce.[3]

Data Trust

In July 2013, DeStefano was named president of Data Trust,[4] a private company that is the primary handler of voter files for the Republican National Committee.[5]

Trump administration

Conservative criticism

DeStefano's appointment as the Trump administration's Director of Presidential Personnel continues to draw criticism from some conservatives. "What? Trump appoints John DeStefano, a longtime aide to former House Speaker John Boehner, as Director of Presidential Personnel for the entire administration!" conservative radio host Mark Levin posted on January 4, 2017.[6][7] Conservative political activist Richard Viguerie's organization ConservativeHQ said DeStefano's appointment was designed "to funnel Capitol Hill staffers loyal to the congressional Republican establishment into key jobs in the executive branch." The organization also pointed out that DeStefano has zero experience in human resource functions, which are at the core of his new role.[8]

Dismissal of Sally Yates

On the evening of January 30, 2017, DeStefano wrote the letter to Acting Attorney General Sally Yates informing her that "the president [had] removed [her] from the office of Deputy Attorney General of the United States." Yates' dismissal was a result of her decision to inform the United States Department of Justice that she did not see defending Trump's executive order "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States" as consistent with her responsibilities.[9]


  1. ^ "President Donald J. Trump Announces Appointments for the Executive Office of the President". The White House. Retrieved 9 February 2018. 
  2. ^ "Trump Plucks Political Pros for White House Staff - RealClearPolitics". 
  3. ^ Rein, Lisa (April 19, 2017). "This Beltway insider is in charge of hiring for the Trump administration. It's taking a while". Washington Post. 
  4. ^ Drucker, David M. (July 29, 2013). "Data Trust hires ex-Boehner aide Johnny DeStefano to run GOP technology effort". Washington Examiner. Retrieved June 22, 2017. 
  5. ^ Kaye, Kate (April 15, 2016). "RNC's Voter Data Provider Teams Up With Google, Facebook and Other Ad Firms". Advertising Age. Retrieved June 22, 2017. 
  6. ^ Mark Levin Twitter post, January 4, 2017, retrieved February 7, 2017.
  7. ^ Facebook post by Mark Levin, retrieved February 7, 2017.
  8. ^ "Establishment GOP seizes most important job in Trump White House," ConservativeHQ, January 16, 2017, retrieved February 7, 2017.
  9. ^ Apuzzo, Michael D. Shear, Mark Landler, Matt; Lichtblau, Eric (30 January 2017). "Trump Fires Acting Attorney General Who Defied Him" – via NYTimes.com. 
Political offices
Preceded by
George Sifakis
Director of the Office of Public Liaison
Acting: 2017–2018