Bill Shine, the former Fox News executive who joined the Trump White House as communications director and deputy White House chief of staff, is leaving the White House, according to multiple media reports Friday.
Philip Rucker of The Washington Post said on Twitter that Shine had resigned but would serve as a “senior adviser” on President Trump’s re-election campaign in 2020. Maggie Haberman of The New York Times, soon after, tweeted that two White House sources confirmed that Shine was leaving. Haberman added that Shine’s departure “has been anticipated for several days.”
“Bill Shine has done an outstanding job working for me and the administration,” the president said in a statement, as reported by The New York Times. “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!”
Bill Shine worked for most of his career for Fox News, where he produced Sean Hannity’s show and then climbed the ladder until he was named co-president of the network following Roger Ailes’ 2016 departure. Shine, who had been named in multiple lawsuits related to sexual harassment at the network, left Fox in 2017 and arrived at the White House last year.
Shine was the fifth White House communications director during the first two years of the Trump presidency. Mike Dubke held the position early in 2017, while then-press secretary Sean Spicer briefly held the job on an interim basis that spring. Anthony Scaramucci’s infamous 11-day tenure came that summer, but then “The Mooch” was replaced by Hope Hicks, who held the communications director job until the spring of last year. Shine arrived in July to replace Hicks, who ironically took a job with Fox News parent company 21st Century Fox.
— Peter Baker (@peterbakernyt) March 8, 2019
The departure of Shine comes days after the publication of a long piece in The New Yorker by Jane Mayer, which illustrated closer-than-usual ties between the Trump Administration and Fox News. These have included multiple Fox hosts, such as Sean Hannity and Lou Dobbs, acting as de facto advisers to the president, and a revolving door of personnel between the two institutions.
Among other revelations, Mayer reported that a Fox News reporter had found the story of Donald Trump’s affair and hush money agreement with Stormy Daniels in 2016, but Ken LaCorte, the former digital editor at the network, had killed the story because they were unable to corroborate all of the details.
Shine’s wife, Darla Shine, has occasionally drawn controversy for social media posts, per a Vox explainer in 2018. These include racially inflammatory tweets, anti-vaccination opinions, and her belief that sunscreen is a hoax.