Matt Schlapp

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Matt Schlapp
Matt Schlapp by Gage Skidmore 2.jpg
Chairman of the American Conservative Union
Assumed office
June 19, 2014
Preceded byAl Cardenas
White House Director of Political Affairs
In office
May 23, 2003 – February 2005
PresidentGeorge W. Bush
Preceded byKen Mehlman
Succeeded bySara Taylor
Personal details
Matthew Aaron Schlapp

(1967-12-18) December 18, 1967 (age 51)
Wichita, Kansas, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Mercedes Schlapp
EducationUniversity of Notre Dame (BA)
Wichita State University (MA)

Matthew Aaron "Matt" Schlapp (born December 18, 1967) is an American political activist and lobbyist who is chairman of the American Conservative Union,[1] the oldest conservative lobbying organization in the country. He leads the lobbying firm of Cove Strategies.[2] He is also a Fox News political contributor.

Schlapp was President George W. Bush’s deputy assistant and political director during Bush's first term[3] He is married to Mercedes Schlapp, who is President Donald Trump's Director of Strategic Communications.

Early life and education[edit]

Schlapp grew up in Wichita, Kansas, and is the son of Susan Schlapp, a Wichita City councilwoman.[4] He started his education at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School in Wichita. He then continued at Kapaun Mt. Carmel Catholic High School, a private school in Wichita from which he graduated in 1986.[5] He attended the University of Notre Dame, where he earned a Bachelor's degree, and Wichita State University, where he earned a Master's degree in Public Policy.[3]

Political career[edit]

Schlapp began his political career in 1994, working for five years as a press secretary, campaign manager, and chief of staff for Representative Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.). Schlapp joined George W. Bush’s 2000 political campaign, serving as a regional political director with oversight of Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Kansas and Oklahoma.

During his tenure at the White House as George W. Bush’s political director, Schlapp advised the President, the Vice President, members of the cabinet, senior White House staff and had extensive contact with members of Congress and federal agencies.[6]

In 2004, Schlapp took a job at Koch Industries, headquartered in his hometown of Wichita, Kansas. In his role as vice president of federal affairs at Koch Companies Public Sector, LLC, he directed the major federal public policy strategies on anti-environmental and energy policies, financial markets, legal reform, and international and domestic tax issues.

On June 19, 2014, Schlapp was unanimously elected chairman of the American Conservative Union.

In September 2018, Schlapp tweeted a photo of three Democratic Senators, all of whom were people of color, and wrote, "Look at this photo conservative voters in WV, ND, IN, FL, MO, MT, MI, TN, AZ, NV."[7] Critics, including conservative Bill Kristol and Tom Nichols, accused Schlapp of racial dog-whistling, which Schlapp denied.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Schlapp married Mercedes (Mercy) Viana Schlapp, whom he met while the both worked at the White House, where she was the director of specialty media.[8] Together they co-founded Cove Strategies, a communications and political consulting firm based in Alexandria, Virginia. She is now President Trump's Director of Strategic Communications.

The couple have five young daughters[9]. He is a Catholic.


  1. ^ "Matt Schlapp bio from The American Conservative Union homepage".
  2. ^ "Meet the Schlapps, Washington's Trump-Era 'It Couple'". Retrieved 2018-09-29.
  3. ^ a b "Biography from Cove Strategies". Archived from the original on February 17, 2016.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "School News, September 17, 2010". Catholic Diocese of Wichita. September 17, 2010. Retrieved August 6, 2017.
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b "American Conservative Union chairman slammed for 'straight-up appeal to bigotry' after Kavanaugh hearing tweet". 2018-09-28. Retrieved 2018-09-29.
  8. ^ "Matt Schlapp biography video from The American Conservative Union YouTube Channel".
  9. ^ "Video of Matt Schlapp's Address at CPAC 2015 from The American Conservative Union's Youtube channel".

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Ken Mehlman
Director of the Office of Political Affairs
Succeeded by
Sara Taylor