Speed Reads

Life or Death

Trump's former bodyguard is now one of his closest aides

Keith Schiller is one of President Trump's top aides and closest confidants, a rare individual that Trump believes he can trust completely. Of course, Trump used to do much more than trust Schiller with his presidential secrets — he trusted the man with his life.

That is because Schiller used to be Trump's bodyguard, The Washington Post reports. A former New York police detective, Schiller got his job when he noticed, 18 years ago, that a man who seemed too scrawny to be a bodyguard was tasked with protecting Trump's then-wife Marla Maples. "A light goes off," Schiller recalled. "I said: 'Bodyguard, I can do this' … I'm no stranger to putting my hands on people." He got in touch with Trump and a short time later, he was installed as official protection.

Today, Schiller's task is a slightly different one:

… [In] the White House, Schiller sits at a desk just steps from the president as director of Oval Office Operations. He serves as one of Trump's most trusted aides — as well as a key player in this week's controversial firing of FBI Director James B. Comey.

On Tuesday, the president personally dispatched Schiller to FBI headquarters to deliver a letter informing Comey he was "terminated" — a moment that was recorded and broadcast by CNN. Trump chose Schiller for the task over a more junior staffer, one White House official said. [The Washington Post]

"Keith Schiller is not just some bodyguard," said Trump's former political adviser, Michael Caputo. "Nobody knows the score among the advisers better than Keith Schiller."