Mike Roman, a longtime Republican opposition researcher who worked for billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch before joining the Trump campaign, is now the White House’s director of special projects and research. He is one of a half-dozen unannounced hires the White House has made since President Trump took office.
Roman, who led the Kochs’ surveillance and intelligence-gathering unit before it was disbanded in April 2016, is best known for promoting a video showing members of the New Black Panthers allegedly intimidating voters outside a Philadelphia polling place in 2008. That controversial video of two men yelling racial slurs led to infighting and political recriminations inside the Justice Department and became a flash point for conservative media.
We found out about Roman’s job as well as the titles of other White House staffers with the help of readers. (Roman’s title was not included in his White House financial disclosure, but a White House official confirmed his position to ProPublica. The official also confirmed the other staffers’ job titles but did not respond to other questions.)
Roman, who made roughly $246,000 in salary from the Koch-backed Freedom Partners, according to his financial disclosure, was also a contributor to the conservative news site Breitbart and was tapped to run Trump’s “election protection” poll-watching efforts this November. He did not respond to ProPublica’s requests for comment.