One of Trump's Closest Advisers Is Bakery Owner You've Never Heard Of

Politico takes a close look at heiress Rebekah Mercer
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 21, 2016 11:59 PM CST
One of Trump's Closest Advisers Is Bakery Owner You've Never Heard Of
In this Nov. 9, 2016 file photo, President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a rally in New York.   (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci, File)

(Newser) – You may never have heard of one of the Trump advisers that Politico says is "wielding the most clout." Meet Rebekah Mercer, 42-year-old heiress to a hedge fund fortune who co-owns a boutique cookie business, homeschools her kids, and steers millions to various conservative groups in work that she does mostly from home. Politico has 2,000+ words on Mercer in a look at her influential role on Trump's transition team, "detailed ... for the first time" on that site, Politico says. Insiders say she's aggressively lobbied both for and against potential Cabinet secretaries, and was one of the main people to push Sen. Jeff Sessions as attorney general. In addition, insiders say she's convinced Trump to bring on advisers whose efforts her family has helped to fund, including Kellyanne Conway and Steve Bannon. She's said to hold more sway over Trump than almost anyone other than his adult kids and son-in-law Jared Kushner.

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Politico takes a look at everything from Mercer's early life (she comes from an "anti-establishment" family), her demeanor (she's a private person who is known to "harbor grievances" when someone rubs her the wrong way), the places her family's money goes ($10 million to Bannon's Breitbart News), and some of the advice she's given Trump (she didn't want ex-campaign manager Corey Lewandowski named as chairman of the Republican National Committee; insiders say that's because early in the campaign, Lewandowski refused to pay for the services of a data company owned in large part by Mercer's family). Her close ties to Trump "[call] into question Trump’s campaign trail boasts that his own fortune, which he used to partly fund his campaign, would make him independent from deep-pocketed donors and special interests he railed against on the campaign trail," Politico notes. Click for the full piece. (Read more Donald Trump stories.)

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