His name is Michael Roman, and he works in the White House. He used to work for the Koch brothers, and now he occupies an office with access to the president, and no one knows what the man does all day. The White House hired a handful of people without disclosing it to the public, and he was one of them.
His official titles are Special Assistant to the President and Director of Special Projects and Research. Those titles, frankly, tell us almost nothing at all. For this work, Roman earns $115,000 a year according to Politico. His office is inside the Eisenhower Office Building.
Roman reports to White House counsel Don McGahn who also worked for the Koch brothers as a lawyer during the time that Roman worked for them. Roman worked for the brother’s Freedom Partners group as head of research before the brothers Koch disbanded it in 2016.
Roman was hired by President Donald Trump to oversee poll-watching in the final weeks leading up to the election.
WHAT WE DO KNOW
There are a few more things reporters were able to discern about Roman with the help of aides and former aides to the White House. There is nothing concrete or even very telling, still.
Reportedly, Roman assists in vetting special appointees and he is known as McGahn’s “loyal soldier.” He is devoted to McGahn and is apparently quite invaluable to the man.
Another strategist close to the administration said that Roman acted like a manager during the transition to help McGahn bring in his team of lawyers. An aide added that Roman is an oppositional researcher, but would not elaborate on what that entailed.
“Within the research world, he cultivates this ‘man of the world’ mystery,” said one former administration official. “Like, he was the guy who you would talk to if you want to find a Hungarian hacker in Hong Kong.”
On his blog, Roman calls himself a “veteran political consultant and private investigator,” which, again, tells us almost nothing.
While none of this is damning, exactly, it doesn’t look good either. At this point, nearly everyone knows that the Koch brothers are never up to anything good. Knowing they have this guy installed in the White Houe skulking around all day doing god knows what is more than a little unsettling.
Not only that, but his position and office location are unprecedented. Previous presidents have indeed employed oppositional researchers, but those dirt-digging operatives Never shared a space with the White House Counsel’s office in amongst the lawyers.
Lawyers, by the way, who handle everything from national security to White House ethics and Roman is just right there, a loyal soldier standing ready.
It’s genuinely unsettling that no one can tell us what he is ready to do, however.
Suffice it to say, that this guy is a shadowy figure in the pockets of some of the most notorious right-wing money men in the country today and frankly, he is one that deserves a much closer look.
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