Sarah Matthews’ Age, Education, Salary, Background & Family

sarah matthews white house

Getty Former Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Matthews.

Sarah Matthews is an Ohio native who served as deputy White House press secretary for President Donald Trump. Matthews, 27, was one of the White House staffers who resigned following the violence on January 6, 2021.

She originally testified before the January 6 Committee in February about what she witnessed that day after receiving a subpoena. Matthews testified before the committee again during the televised primetime hearing on July 21 alongside Matthew Pottinger, Trump’s former deputy national security adviser.

Both of them were expected to corroborate accounts provided by former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, who testified about the former president’s actions before and during the U.S. Capitol insurrection. You can watch the replay of the hearing here.

Here’s what you need to know.

1. Matthews Was ‘Honored’ to Serve in the White House But Said the Events of January 6 ‘Deeply Disturbed’ Her & Has Described January 6 as a ‘Coup Attempt’

sarah matthews

January 6 CommitteeSarah Matthews originally testified before the January 6 Committee in February 2022.

Matthews formally resigned from the White House on January 6, 2021. According to her hometown newspaper The Repository, she released this official statement that day:

I was honored to serve in the Trump administration and proud of the policies we enacted. As someone who worked in the halls of Congress I was deeply disturbed by what I saw today. I’ll be stepping down from my role, effective immediately. Our nation needs a peaceful transfer of power.

As the Washington Post reported, Matthews originally testified before the January 6 Committee about the threat to Vice President Mike Pence’s life.

sarah matthews trump deputy press secretary

GettyFormer National Security Council member Matthew Pottinger and former Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Matthews listen to opening statements during a hearing by the House Select Committee to investigate the January 6th attack on the US Capitol on July 21, 2022.

During a televised hearing on June 16, Rep. Pete Aguilar explained that Matthews testified that Chief of Staff Mark Meadows had told Trump about the violence happening at the Capitol prior to sending a tweet attacking Pence. You can watch that clip of the hearing here. Matthews’ on-camera testimony begins at 3:51.

Trump’s tweet at 2:24 p.m. on January 6, shared here in a screenshot by CNN anchor Jake Tapper, read, “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!”

Matthews told the committee, “I remember us saying that that was the last thing that needed to be tweeted at that moment. The situation was already bad. And so, it felt like he was pouring gasoline on the fire by tweeting that.”

On January 6, 2022, Matthews reflected back on that day in a Twitter thread, which you can read in full here. She said in part, “Make no mistake, the events on the 6th were a coup attempt, a term we’d use had they happened in any other country, and former President Trump failed to meet the moment. While it might be easier to ignore or whitewash the events of that day for political expediency — if we’re going to be morally consistent — we need to acknowledge these hard truths. One year ago, thanks to the courageous acts of many, democracy prevailed and Congress returned that night to ensure the peaceful transition of power. Let this day serve as a reminder of how fragile democracy truly is & the importance to protect, preserve, and cherish it.”

sarah matthews white house

GettyFormer Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Matthews speaks during a hearing by the House Select Committee to investigate the January 6th attack on the US Capitol on July 21, 2022.

Matthews also publicly supported Cassidy Hutchinson for her testimony. Matthews praised her former colleague on Twitter, “Just want to say how much admiration I have for the tremendous bravery Cassidy Hutchinson is displaying. Even in the face of harassment and threats, she is choosing to put her country first and tell the truth. This is what real courage, integrity, and patriotism looks like.”

Matthews added, “Anyone downplaying Cassidy Hutchinson’s role or her access in the West Wing either doesn’t understand how the Trump WH worked or is attempting to discredit her because they’re scared of how damning this testimony is.”

2. Matthews Worked for Trump’s Reelection Campaign Before She Was Recruited to the White House

Matthews was working as a press secretary for the House Committee on Energy and Commerce when she joined the Trump reelection campaign, according to her LinkedIn account. She started working for the campaign as a deputy press secretary in June 2019. Her Twitter account includes several photos and videos from across the country on the campaign trail.

On November 3, 2020, she tweeted that it had been “the honor of a lifetime working on President @realDonaldTrump’s re-election and the @WhiteHouse over the last year and a half. Now let’s win this thing 🇺🇸 #FourMoreYears.”

In June 2020, Matthews officially left the Trump campaign to become a White House staffer. In a feature article for her alma mater, Kent State, Matthews said she was recruited by then-White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, whom she had met during the campaign.

“In June (2020) she poached me from the campaign and brought me on board at the White House as Deputy Press Secretary,” Matthews said. She explained of her job, “As cheesy as this sounds, teamwork is everything,” she said. “For example, people may watch a White House briefing and not realize just how much work goes into it. From the binder of facts that Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany wields to murder-board prep sessions beforehand to decide how to best answer tricky questions, every member of our team plays a key part.”

Matthews added, “Working in a 24/7 news cycle means I’m never really ‘off the clock’ and keep my work phone attached to me at all times with the ringer on loud. To stay prepared, I read newsletters like POLITICO Playbook and others early in the morning, so I can see what news is driving the day. Then throughout the day, I’m constantly scrolling Twitter to see what reporters are tweeting about, and of course I have tweet notifications set up for the President.”

sarah matthews

Executive Office of the PresidentSarah Matthews earned a $106,000 salary as deputy press secretary in the Trump White House.

White House salaries are public record. According to archived records from July 2020, Matthews earned a salary of $106,000 before taxes. She would have taken home less than that, however, since she was in the job for less than one year.

3. Matthews Is Now the Communications Director for a House Committee on Climate

Matthews quickly found another position on Capitol Hill after leaving the White House. She now serves as communications director for the U.S. House of Representatives’ Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. She started the job in February 2021, according to her LinkedIn account.

Matthews clarified in a tweet that the job is specifically with the House Select Climate Committee Republicans. She wrote in February 2021, “As Dems continue to push their far-left climate agenda & destroy thousands of American jobs, I’m looking forward to promoting why Republicans’ realistic, innovative solutions to tackle climate change are the best path forward.”

sarah matthews salary

U.S. House of RepresentativesSarah Matthews is the communications director for a Climate Crisis committee on Capitol Hill.

Expenses and salaries for staffers and officials in the House of Representatives are public records. The “Statement of Disbursements of the House” from January-March 2022 lists Matthews as the communications director for the Climate Crisis subcommittee. According to the document, she earns $28,888 every quarter. Before taxes, that equals an annual salary of about $115,000. Her information is listed on page 2,963 of this House of Representatives document here.

4. She Interned With Former Speaker of the House John Boehner & Senator Rob Portman While a Student at Kent State University

Matthews attended Kent State University in northeastern Ohio. She earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations, according to her LinkedIn account.

In an interview with her alma mater in 2020, Matthews explained that working in politics had been a career goal. “I knew I wanted to work in communications or media relations and I always had an interest in politics,” she said. She was a member of the Kent State College Republicans on campus. She also covered politics as a student reporter for The Kent Stater; her content is online here.

Matthews also completed internships with some of the most prominent Republican leaders from Ohio. She spent the summer of 2015 interning on Capitol Hill, first in Ohio Senator Rob Portman’s office. She followed that with another 2-month internship with then-Speaker of the House John Boehner.

Matthews wrote of her internship with Boehner for The Kent Stater, “My time in Speaker Boehner’s congressional office gave me an inside look into one of the most powerful and influential people in America… At staff meetings, he stressed the importance of everyone, not just him, working to achieve what they believed. This was an admittedly surprising sentiment, given that most politicians say one thing and do whatever they please. Here was not only a Congressman but the Speaker of the House who practiced what he preached.”

In 2016, she interned with the Republican National Convention, which was held in Cleveland that year. Matthews advised other Kent State students in the university feature article from 2020, “If you’re specifically interested in political PR, I recommend getting involved with local campaigns. Whether that’s by joining an on-campus organization like College Republicans/Democrats or volunteering for your local county party – volunteering on campaigns is a great way to start building contacts.”

Matthews’ commitment paid off when she was offered a job before graduating college. She finished her final few weeks of college online because she had to quickly move to Washington, D.C. for a job as Communications Aide/Digital Manager for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security.

Matthews told Kent State it was the right decision. “I was told the office could not hold the position until my graduation date, and if I was interested I needed to move to D.C. as soon as possible. I jumped at the opportunity and moved to D.C. about a month before receiving my diploma, which meant I started my first job while simultaneously finishing up my classes online. It also meant missing the last few weeks of college with my best friends. It was a tough decision, but I knew it was the right decision in the long run.”

5. Matthews Is From Northeastern Ohio & Her Father Is a Local Republican Leader

According to a search of online records, Matthews was born in 1995 and is currently 27. She describes herself as a “proud Ohioan” in her bio on Twitter. During the hearing on July 21, she also described herself as a lifelong Republican.

According to the local newspaper The Repository, Matthews graduated from Hoover High school in North Canton in 2013. Canton is located in Stark County in northeastern Ohio. Voters in Stark County supported Trump in the 2020 election with more than 53% of the vote, as Politico reported at the time.

Matthews grew up in a political household. Her father, Jeff Matthews, is a GOP leader in the area, The Repository reported. He served as the chairman of the Republican Party in Stark County and the newspaper described him as the “longtime director of the Stark County Board of Elections.”

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