Ex-Fox executive Shine makes abrupt exit from Trump White House

Bill Shine, a former top Fox News executive, is resigning after less than a year leading President TrumpDonald John TrumpA better VA, with mental health services, is essential for America's veterans Pelosi, Nadler tangle on impeachment, contempt vote Trump arrives in Japan to kick off 4-day state visit MORE’s communications team, the White House announced on Friday.

Shine will serve as a senior adviser to Trump's 2020 reelection campaign, according to White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who said Trump accepted Shine’s resignation on Thursday night.

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“Bill Shine has done an outstanding job working for me and the administration,” Trump said in a statement. “We will miss him in the White House, but look forward to working together on the 2020 presidential campaign, where he will be totally involved. Thank you to Bill and his wonderful family!”

The sudden exit of Shine surprised some White House allies. The announcement was made while Trump was flying aboard Air Force One to tour tornado damage in Alabama. 

Shine’s successor will be the sixth person to serve in the role under Trump, demonstrating the high level of staff turnover in the West Wing. White House officials did not indicate who might replace him. 

Shine worked at Fox News for two decades, eventually rising to the position of co-president, and was seen as a symbol of the close links between the Trump White House and the network. He was brought on last July in an attempt to burnish the president’s image.

“Serving President Trump and this country has been the most rewarding experience of my entire life,” Shine said in a statement. “To be a small part of all this president has done for the American people has truly been an honor. I’m looking forward to working on President Trump’s reelection campaign and spending more time with my family.”

But the 55-year-old kept a low profile throughout his time in the White House and some people in Trump World questioned his effectiveness.

Trump has continued to suffer from bad headlines in the news media, most recently from the failure of his nuclear summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Michael CohenMichael Dean CohenCohen challenges Sekulow to testify about Trump Tower meetings George Conway contrasts Trump denying 'cover-ups' with check to Michael Cohen Avenatti indicted for allegedly defrauding Stormy Daniels MORE’s explosive testimony before Congress.

The president had complained Shine had not done enough to drum up good press, even though he was mostly focused on stage-managing Trump’s public events, according to multiple reports.

Others in the president’s orbit, however, believe the criticism of Shine is unfair because it is difficult for the communications team to have sway with Trump, who views himself as his own best messenger.

Shine also developed a reputation as an enforcer when Trump became angry at members at the press corps.

Last July, Shine and Sanders banned CNN’s Kaitlan Collins from a Rose Garden event after she asked Trump a question that was deemed “inappropriate.” He also co-signed the letter revoking the press pass of CNN’s Jim Acosta. The pass was eventually restored.

Press freedom advocates criticized both actions as violating norms surrounding coverage of the president.

Shine joined the White House just over a year after he was ousted from Fox News amid a sexual-harassment scandal surrounding then-network head Roger Ailes. Shine was accused of covering for Ailes misbehavior, which the Ailes and others denied.

Still, Shine served as a visible link between the White House and Fox during his time in the West Wing.

When Sean Hannity appeared with Trump during a November campaign rally in Missouri, Shine was seen high-fiving the Fox News host before he stepped on stage.