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Who is Marc Short? Pence’s ‘soft-spoken’ chief of staff has COVID-19

  • October 25, 2020

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff and closest aide, on Saturday became the latest high-profile figure in the Trump administration to test positive for COVID-19.

Although a veteran conservative insider, Short has not sought the spotlight in recent years. Short began quarantining Saturday and assisting in the contact tracing process, according to Pence spokesman Devin O’Malley. 

“In a town of big egos and self-promotion, Marc Short stands out by trying to stand back,” a profile of Short by the National Journal, known for its in-depth coverage of the inner workings of the federal government, says.

Short previously led President Donald Trump’s legislative agenda as the White House director of legislative affairs. When profiling him in 2017, Politico described him as “soft-spoken, self-effacing” and skilled at “smoothing Trump’s rougher edges.” 

He left that role in summer 2018 and returned to the Trump administration to serve as Pence’s chief of staff in early 2019.

At that time, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell publicly welcomed Short back: “I am thrilled to have Marc back in the administration,” McConnell said. 

Earlier this year, NPR reported Short held up to $1.64 million in stocks in companies doing work related to the Trump administration’s pandemic response. 

At that time, O’Malley dismissed conflict of interest concerns and told NPR “Marc Short has followed all applicable ethics laws, and even sought to divest from potential financial conflicts. … Additionally, on several occasions, including since the formation of the coronavirus task force, Mr. Short has worked with legal counsel to implement appropriate recusals.”

Short was the executive director of Freedom Partners for eight years, the Center for Responsive Politics reports. That conservative organization was dissolved last year.

Short has been linked with Pence for about a decade, according to Politico.

Contributing: Maureen Groppe; The Associated Press

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