NPR has reported that in an announcement on Thursday, July 5, the White House has shared its latest decision to appoint former Fox News co-president Bill Shine to the position of Deputy Chief of Staff of Communications/Assistant to the President.
Shine’s departure from the news network in May of 2017 did not exactly come about under the best of terms, as the network was undergoing a major personnel review after a shocking sexual harassment scandal that led to the resignation of not only Shine but also Chairman Roger Ailes and host Bill O’Reilly.
Although the former co-president was never accused directly of any sexual harassment, his resignation came about due to reports that “a growing number of women at Fox News have alleged, some of them in court documents, that he was aware of deeply inappropriate behavior against them and deflected, ignored or sought to suppress their concerns rather than take actions to address them constructively.”
Despite his resignation and those who have reportedly testified against him, Shine has continued to maintain his innocence and claim that he was not aware of any wrongdoing of that nature within the network while he was employed there.
The position that Shine will be occupying now has been vacant since March when longtime Trump aid Hope Hicks vacated the position.
However, this is still not the first scandal an individual in this position during the Trump administration has faced. Hicks had stepped in last August following the White House investigations occurring considerably at the time, and she had replaced Anthony Scaramucci, whose short-lived stint in the position was due to an expective-chocked interview he had given to The New Yorker while in office.
Aside from the position itself, the Communications department in the White House, in general, has been shaken up quite a bit since Trump took office, with former press secretary Sean Spicer having resigned too, only six months into the new administration, leaving his position vacant for a bit as well.
Since then, Sarah Sanders has taken over the press secretary role and received harsh criticisms for supporting Trump’s immigration policies, even having requested temporary Secret Service detail for her and her family after the instance in a restaurant where she was heckled by other patrons and asked to leave by the owner, as well as reported threats to her family itself otherwise.
Of course, given Shine’s alleged controversial past as a factor as well as his close personal friendship to the president and other notorious Trump-bolsterer Sean Hannity, it may only be a matter of time before he is at the receiving end of the administration protesters’ criticisms as well.