Teneo's Tony Sayegh becomes Trump's impeachment defender

Sayegh is a former small-town politician turned top Treasury aide.

L-R: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin with Sayegh at the G20 in March 2018. (Photo credit: Getty Images).

The Trump administration has recruited a familiar face to help with its impeachment communications defense: Tony Sayegh. 

The appointment marks Sayegh’s return to the Trump administration, where he served for two years as assistant secretary of the Treasury Department, while he takes a brief unpaid leave of absence from his job as MD at Teneo.

Former Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is also joining the White House’s team.

Here are some highlights from Sayegh’s career:

One-time small-town politician
At age 27, Sayegh was elected to public office in the "quaint, friendly" village of Tuckahoe, New York, population: 6,657. He served as deputy mayor and trustee for two terms starting in 2003, according to Westchester Magazine.

Donning the pinstripes
President Donald Trump’s love of TV, and particularly Fox News Channel, is well-documented. Sayegh posits that his presence on the president’s favorite cable news channel was one of the reasons why he was asked to lead comms at the Treasury Department.

"Being part of Fox News was like being on the Yankees," he told Westchester Magazine. "There is a very real pride of being the best in the business and a collegiality among the staff there that would surprise people. It is a great team, and I was proud to be part of it."

An early supporter of Trump, Sayegh was a Fox News contributor and political analyst from 2013 to 2017.

Wired in
Sayegh has a rolodex full of boldface names to leverage, including his former boss, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. He also reported to Gary Cohn, former National Economic Council Director and chief economic advisor, according to his CV on LinkedIn.

Axios reported that Sayegh is a key ally to Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump and has connections to Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.

Mnuchin awarded Sayegh the Treasury’s highest honor, the Alexander Hamilton Award.

Sayegh also retains close ties to Fox News and Fox Business, sometimes even receiving advice from their TV hosts, according to documents obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.

Sayegh worked in the press office of Rep. Jack Kemp (R-NY) during the 1996 presidential election when Kemp was on the ticket with former Sen. Bob Dole (R-KS). Sayegh named his consulting business Elias Kemp Consulting after the late representative. (Elias is Sayegh’s middle name.)

In 2013, Sayegh joined Jamestown Associates and served as EVP, running colorful campaigns with a satiric edge, including Shopping Cart, an attack ad against Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) that was funded by Generation Opportunity. Generation Opportunity is a Koch-linked organization that advocates for a conservative agenda among millennials.

During his time at Jamestown, Sayegh worked on the media team for Trump’s campaign for president in 2016. Sayegh also managed the coordination of and led comms for the administration’s tax reform push, according to his bio on Teneo’s website. He also led comms for trade negotiations with China, among other economic initiatives.

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