Ex-Fox News exec Bill Shine to join White House
President Trump on Thursday announced that former Fox News executive Bill Shine will join the White House as deputy chief of staff for communications.
The White House said in a brief statement that Shine “brings over two decades of television programming, communications experience to the role.”
The announcement ended months of speculation about whether Shine would formally join Trump’s team at the White House.
The hire is expected to generate controversy and pushback against Trump.
Shine left Fox last year amid scrutiny over his handling of sexual harassment allegations against powerful figures at the network.
Those charges led to the high-profile departures of former Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes, for whom Shine served as a top lieutenant, and former primetime host Bill O’Reilly. Shine was named co-president of the network after Ailes was ousted.
The former Fox bigwig will fill the communications director role left by Hope Hicks earlier this year.
Shine faces a difficult task: fixing a communications shop that has been riddled by infighting and high turnover. He will be the fifth person to lead the team since Trump’s inauguration. The others were Anthony Scaramucci, Michael Dubke, Sean Spicer and Hicks.
His hiring was all but officially decided since late last month. Shine was seen at the White House multiple times this week, most recently being spotted on Thursday afternoon entering Trump’s motorcade ahead of the president’s planned trip to Montana.
Shine has ties to figures at Fox News who are close with the president, including conservative talk show host Sean Hannity. Their relationship has sparked criticism that the network has too close of a relationship with the White House.
Some conservatives have also warned Trump against hiring Shine.
Conservative legal activist Larry Klayman this week urged prosecutors to investigate Shine for alleged crimes that took place during his tenure at Fox, including efforts to silence Ailes’s accusers.
“President Trump is not anti-women’s rights, but he has been unfairly branded as such by the leftist media in a further attempt to harm his presidency and to try to drive him from office,” Klayman said in a statement. “The president does not need unnecessary controversy at this time by naming Shine to as what is in effect a deputy of chief of staff in charge of communications and messaging.”
Trump has long faced sexual harassment allegations from multiple women, all of which he has denied. The White House earlier this year faced widespread condemnation for its handling of abuse accusations against former staff secretary Rob Porter.
–Updated 1:52 p.m.