President Donald Trump has accepted the resignation of White House Communications Director Bill Shine.
Shine’s resignation comes a few days after The New Yorker posted a lengthy article suggesting Fox News has become too pro-Trump. The headline blares “The Making of the Fox News White House,” with a subheadline that reads: “Fox News has always been partisan. But has it become propaganda?”
The article quotes Joe Peyronnin, an NYU journalism professor, offering this assessment of the network: “It’s as if the President had his own press organization. It’s not healthy.”
Shine was co-president of Fox News for nine months until he was forced to step down — though with a multimillion-dollar settlement — amid at least four lawsuits against the network about sexual harassment. He left Fox on May 1, 2017, and joined the White House on July 5 of last year.
Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed Shine’s departure on Friday.
“Bill continues to support President Trump and his agenda and will serve as Senior Advisor to the 2020 re-election campaign,” she said in an email.
Shine joins a long list of Trump Cabinet or senior West Wing aides to leave the administration, many under the cloud of scandal or controversy.
“Bill Shine has done an outstanding job working for me and the administration. 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,” Trump said in a statement.
The communications director position was vacant for many months after the departure of Hope Hicks following a scandal involving her former boyfriend, Rob Porter, who was forced out after assault allegations surfaced from his ex-wife. During the interim between Hicks and Shine, Sanders and others filled the void — but the president himself largely has led the messaging for his White House.
Like Hicks before and the rest of the communications team, Trump often sets his own message each day via tweets. Often, he has stepped on the staff’s planned message and stirred controversies they were left to try to explain to reporters.
Shine had a mostly warm relationship with the White House press corps, and often answered questions in his office or while traversing West Wing hallways in between meetings.
But his legacy will be a mixed one.
One reason: White House press briefings largely ceased under his watch — though the president has said he pulled the plug.
Another: Fox News and its conservative personalities — like its morning “Fox & Friends” team and evening host Sean Hannity — grew closer to the White House.
Fox scored multiple interviews with the president; CNN has never had one. With Shine standing nearby, Hannity even appeared on stage with Trump at a campaign rally and praised the president.
Trump world was trying to describe his departure as a plus for the president’s re-election campaign.
“Bill Shine is an incredible professional and will bring insight and talent as we build a world-class campaign,” 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale said in a statement. “He is a gifted communicator, strategic thinker and brings a wealth of experience from cable news and the White House. The president’s re-election effort just got stronger.”