Dem strategist says former GOP spokeswoman will be 'an asset' to CNN

Former Democratic National Committee (DNC) spokesman Adam Hodge praised CNN’s decision to hire former Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores as a political editor in its Washington bureau.

During a panel discussion on Hill.TV's “Rising,” Hodge joked that he was “happy to welcome her into the resistance.” He also argued that Flores's background as a Republican operative could be an asset to the cable news network leading up to the 2020 election.

“[She] never worked in journalism, but the job of the political editor is to write a sign and look at how the campaign is unfolding and trying to think through what the next steps will be, so I think that will be an asset,” he told Hill.TV’s Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton.

Flores is being brought on to help coordinate 2020 election coverage across CNN’s TV and digital platforms. Her hire has sparked concern among pundits, government officials and politicians. CNN media reporter Brian Stelter reported that CNN employees have expressed concern about her sudden jump from the Trump administration to the network.

“I can understand why they would have some serious reservations about the hire, knowing that she’s slammed CNN from her perch at [Department of Justice] — that’ll make for some interesting conversations for inside the newsroom,” Hodge told Hill.TV.

Melanie R. Newman, a former Justice Department spokeswoman during the Obama administration, said she was “flabbergasted” by the move.

“As a former DOJ Spox, I am flabbergasted by this. Does anyone think I could have gone to CNN after being spox for Loretta Lynch? Anyone? No? Me either,” Newman, who was the Justice Department during Attorney General Loretta Lynch's tenure, tweeted following the news.

Stelter also reported that Flores would not be involved in CNN's coverage of the Department of Justice. "Political insiders have been joining newsrooms for decades," he noted.

Flores is a longtime political operative. She previously worked on several Republican campaigns, including Carly Fiorina's and Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyBiden on Trump's refusal to commit to peaceful transfer of power: 'What country are we in?' Romney: 'Unthinkable and unacceptable' to not commit to peaceful transition of power The Memo: Trump's strengths complicate election picture MORE’s 2016 presidential bids. She also served as the deputy communications director for the Republican National Committee from 2013 to 2014.

—Tess Bonn