President Donald Trump is reportedly considering Bill Shine, a former Fox News executive who was close to ousted network chair Roger Ailes, as his communications director to replace Hope Hicks — even though Shine was named in multiple lawsuits or allegations related to sexual harassment or racial discrimination at Fox News.
Multiple media outlets reported on Wednesday that Shine, who stepped down as Fox News co-president in May 2017, is the top contender.
The New York Times, citing two people familiar with the decision, reported that Shina has met with Trump in recent weeks and offered him the communications director job, while Kellyanne Conway declined the post and Mercedes Schlapp, a communications adviser considered to be a contender, hadn’t been offered it.
Shine was ousted from Fox News last year over concerns about his handling of sexual harassment complaints at the network. He was a high-ranking executive at Fox when allegations of misconduct were launched against Ailes and former host Bill O’Reilly. And he was co-president of Fox News when its parent company, 21st Century Fox, paid settlements with women who had accused O’Reilly of sexual harassment.
Shine was named in multiple lawsuits or allegations related to sexual harassment or racial discrimination at Fox News, according to CNN. Laurie Luhn, a former booker at Fox News who accused Ailes of sexual harassment, said Shine made travel arrangements for meetings with Ailes. On-air contributor Julie Roginsky alleged that Shine retaliated against her for not backing Ailes in his battle against Gretchen Carlson, who sued Fox News over sexual harassment.
This White House isn’t particularly concerned with the treatment of women
According to the Times, White House officials are “aware that they will face blowback” if Shine is indeed appointed, given his ties to Ailes and the Fox News harassment scandals. But they think they can “weather it” — and probably for good reason.
Trump has been accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct and assault with seemingly little consequences, and he has largely brushed aside accusations against others. He defended both Ailes and O’Reilly amid the allegations against them
When since-ousted staff secretary Rob Porter was credibly accused of physical abuse by two if his ex-wives, Trump openly worried about his life being “shattered” and expressed concern that he hadn’t received due process. The president endorsed accused child molester Roy Moore in the US Senate race in Alabama.
The White House has yet to announce Shine’s appointment, but if and when it does, there’s a long track record that suggests Trump won’t care one way or the other about the blowback.