Trump Selects Drug Czar Nominee Amidst Opioid Crisis and Staffing Chaos

It appears the White House has finally settled on who will become the newest Drug Czar — they didn’t have to search far.

White House deputy chief of staff Jim Carroll is expected to become the next Director of the Office of the Nation Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), according to CNN reporting late Friday. Informally referred to as the “drug czar,” the Director of the ONDCP serves as the top advisor to the president on drug policy and related issues.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed the nomination late Friday, stating President Trump has “full confidence in Jim to lead ONDCP to make significant strides in combating the opioid crisis, reducing drug use, and coordinating US drug policy.”

“Fighting the opioid crisis and drug addiction is a priority for this administration,” Sanders said in the statement.

The new drug czar nomination comes after several tumultuous months of the administration looking to fill the position and recent administrative staffing changes.  

Trump’s first nominee was Pennsylvania Rep. Tom Marino, author of the Transnational Drug Trafficking Act and vocal Trump supporter. Trump nominated Marino in April only to see Marino withdraw from consideration on Oct. 17, 2017 after the Washington Post and 60 Minutes reported that Marino sponsored a measure that greatly hindered the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in its fight against the opioid crisis.

President Trump made the announcement via twitter:

Nine days later, on Oct. 26, President Trump declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency.

Carroll’s announcement to depart was made on Friday, nearly in the same breath as White House staff secretary Rob Porter’s resignation announcement. The top White House official resigned after allegations of domestic abuse from two of his ex-wives surfaced (Porter denies the allegations).

As drug czar, Carroll is expected to play an important role in the fight against the opioid crisis. The ONDCP advises the White House and Congress on drug policy and sets priorities for federal programs dedicated to address drugs and addiction. Carroll’s nomination comes after only serving as the deputy chief of staff for less than three months, a position he never officially held.

Carroll is expected to get the nod as early as Friday, a move that will have him serving as the office’s acting director before his official confirmation.

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