Former Fox News executive Bill Shine, who was a casualty of Fox’s spate of sexual harassment claims, is now being mentioned as a possible White House communications director.
Speculation that Shine would work for President Donald Trump was first reported by Vanity Fair, which said Fox personality Sean Hannity has been trying to connect Trump and Shine.
Former Communications Director Hope Hicks resigned in March.
“If Bill Shine comes in, I think it’s great,” said White House adviser Kellyanne Conway, according to Bloomberg. “The president wants someone who’s built the most successful cable network in history to help oversee press and comms.”
“I think it’s great to have somebody who’s on the other side of the camera, who doesn’t go in front of the camera, which is a luxury,” Conway said.
Vanity Fair said Shine’s attraction is that he can be the taskmaster to bring the communications effort up to Trump’s standards.
“Trump wants Shine to plug the leak-prone communications shop and bring discipline to the White House’s daily messaging,” said Vanity Fair’s report, which relied on anonymous sources “close to the White House.”
“He’s a mechanics guy,” the Vanity Fair report said of Shine. “He can determine when the best day to announce something is to drive the news cycle; or when the White House is doing events how to get the best camera shots.”
In its take on the announcement, Politico stressed the Fox News connection.
“He’s already outsourced a lot of his communications stuff to Fox News,” it quoted a source the publication described as a “Republican close to the White House” as saying. “He has a tremendously close relationship with Hannity, so he’s going to put Hannity’s guy in there.”
The New York Times reported that Shine met with Trump last week and was formally offered the job. CNN reported that Shine accepted, although the details of the announcement are being worked out. The network said Shine’s title was expected to be deputy director of communications.
Shine joined Fox News in 1996 as the producer of the show “Hannity & Colmes.” He later rose to be the network’s co-president, but was pushed aside in 2017 after several high-profile sexual harassment cases against Fox personalities. Shine was never accused of harassment.
Shine’s arrival is also linked with speculation that Hicks will return and be named chief of staff.
“She is exactly perfect for what the president is looking for,” Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg said Sunday, according to The Hill. “He is thinking about not having a chief of staff.”
Nunberg said Trump wants the White House to run like a business.
“What he wants is to operate like the 26th floor of Trump Tower where he had a strong-willed, very good woman in Rhona Graff handling the calls, knowing him, getting his zen, things like that,” Nunberg said.
“He will listen to women more than men — believe it or not — sternly saying ‘this is not a good idea,’” Nunberg said.
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