In a Tuesday, May 2, 2017 file photo, President Donald Trump walks with aide Keith Schiller to the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. 
Evan Vucci/AP Photo

RNC pays Trump’s former bodyguard a surprisingly generous sum

Keith Schiller’s role on Team Trump has long been a little hard to explain. As regular readers may recall, Schiller used to serve as the head of Donald Trump’s private security detail, until early 2017, when he became the president’s “full-time physical gatekeeper.” I’m not entirely sure what duties that entailed.

In May 2017, it was Schiller who personally went to FBI headquarters to deliver the paperwork firing then-director James Comey, who was in California at the time.

Four months later, Schiller left the White House, at which point the Republican National Committee began paying his private security firm, KS Global Group, $15,000 a month for “security services.” Specifically, as CNBC reported at the time, Schiller’s contract was for “security consulting on the site selection process for the 2020 Republican National Convention.”

CNBC reports today that Schiller has now received $225,000 in RNC money.

Schiller was originally hired by the RNC to help select a site for the 2020 convention. But once the city of Charlotte, North Carolina, was announced in July, Schiller’s firm was kept on to “work on other security needs for the committee,” a party official told CNBC, speaking on the condition of anonymity in order to share information that was not included in campaign filings.

The official declined to go into detail about what the committee’s security needs might be but confirmed that the work is ongoing. […] Now that the original task of selecting a convention site is complete, and Schiller is still on the payroll, the issue of what Trump’s former bodyguard is being paid to do is not clear.

It’s also not clear, by the way, whether Schiller’s private-sector firm has any other private-sector clients.

Dave Levinthal of the nonpartisan Center for Public Integrity, said last year, “It pays to be in Donald Trump’s circle of trust.” Evidently, that may be literally true.

Schiller’s name may also be familiar because he was with Trump during his 2013 trip to Russia for the Miss Universe pageant.

In late 2017, Schiller also offered congressional testimony as part of the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into the Russia scandal.