Before boarding Marine One on Friday morning, President Trump confirmed some changes in personnel that were part of his administration. William P. Barr, who served as attorney general during the George H.W. Bush will be nominated to fill this position, replacing former Attorney General Jeff Sessions. And the replacement of Nikki Haley as UN ambassador will be Heather Nauert, currently the State Department spokesman, if it were to be confirmed.
What makes the next appointment particularly interesting is the background of Nauert. Before working at the State Department, he worked for Fox News, specifically for Trump's favorite show, "Fox and Friends".
The news of Nauert's nomination came shortly after another bit of news related to Fox News. On Thursday afternoon, the network took the unusual step of approving a proposed reform of the criminal justice system, an effort that was the focal point of Trump's consultant / son-in-law Jared Kushner. This approval comes from the office of the new network communications manager: One Hope Hicks, who led the communications for the 2016 Trump campaign and, ultimately, for his White House. When he left that role, he was replaced by Bill Shine – who came to work having recently served as co-president of Fox News.
This is a remarkable intertwining of the administration and the network, which is also the only one that Trump has praised regularly from his settlement, what he looks at most and what is most popular with his base.
But the interaction of Fox News employees and collaborators with the administration and the Trump campaign certainly does not end with Nauert, Shine and Hicks. At least 12 people have moved between the two worlds at some point from Trump's inauguration.
The numbers below correspond to those in the figure above.
- Trump himself. Trump had a long-standing concert called "Fox and Friends" to offer his thoughts on the political news of the day. It started in 2011 and ended only when it announced its presidential candidacy.
- Hicks. Hicks left the White House at the start of this year after serving Trump from before his campaign announcement.
- Shine. Shine left Fox News in 2017 due in part to criticism regarding the treatment of sexual harassment charges within the network.
- Nauert. This chart assumes that it is confirmed by the position of the United Nations.
- John Bolton. A pillar of Fox News programs, Bolton was appointed national security advisor at the start of this year, replacing H. McMaster, himself the second person to hold this position.
- Mercedes Schlapp. Schlapp was also a commentator on Fox News before being hired to work in the White House communications office.
- Anthony Scaramucci. Speaking of this position, perhaps his most infamous leader under Trump was Scaramucci, who worked as a communications director for 11 days last year. He had previously appeared as a Fox Business Network contributor and served on Trump's transition team.
- Kimberly Guilfoyle. Guilfoyle left his position as co-host of Fox's "The Five" at the start of this year and joined a super PAC by Trump. Her involvement in Trump's inner circle is more intimate than that, however: she and Trump's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., have been attending for several months.
- Tony Sayegh. Sayegh, a former Fox collaborator, now plays a communication role at the Treasury Department.
- John McEntee. McEntee, who gave personal help to Trump, was fired from the White House at the start of this year after losing his security clearance. Then he joined the Trump campaign team. Before working at the White House he was a production assistant at Fox News.
- K.T. McFarland. McFarland joined the administration as deputy national security adviser under Trump's first national security adviser, Michael Flynn. He left that role under McMaster and was briefly regarded as a possible ambassador to Singapore until he withdrew from consideration in February. She was once a Fox collaborator too.
- Seb Gorka. After leaving the White House in controversial conditions (insists he was not fired), Gorka was hired by Fox News to talk about things.
This list does not include many former Fox collaborators who have held positions as ambassadors (including Georgette Mosbacher, ambassador to Poland). The point should however be obvious: the interaction between Trump and Fox News that is played on Twitter has often extended much further.