White House Communications Director Bill Shine Resigns, Takes Campaign Post--4th Update

Date : 09/03/2019 @ 07:08
Source : Dow Jones News
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White House Communications Director Bill Shine Resigns, Takes Campaign Post--4th Update

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By Rebecca Ballhaus 

WASHINGTON -- President Trump on Thursday accepted the resignation of Bill Shine, a top White House official overseeing communications, the White House said Friday -- less than a year after the former Fox News executive joined the White House staff.

Mr. Shine will now serve as a senior adviser to the president's re-election campaign, the White House said.

"Serving President Trump and this country has been the most rewarding experience of my entire life," Mr. Shine said in a statement. "I'm looking forward to working on President Trump's reelection campaign and spending more time with my family."

The president said in a statement that Mr. Shine would be "totally involved" in his campaign.

A person close to the White House said there was no blowup between the two, but that the president was experiencing a "simmering frustration" with Mr. Shine. Mr. Trump felt the communications chief wasn't able to turn around negative news coverage cycles quickly enough to focus on more favorable stories, the person said. Mr. Shine is leaving the White House after a week in which cable news coverage has largely focused on explosive testimony in which Mr. Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, accused the president of committing crimes and on the sentencing of Mr. Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.

His departure from the White House is the latest exit of a top-level staffer. Mick Mulvaney has been serving as acting chief of staff since January, after the president announced the departure of then-chief of staff John Kelly late last year.

His departure also once again leaves open the job of White House communications director, which has been held by five people during Mr. Trump's two years in office. Hope Hicks, who previously held the job, left the White House last spring.

Mr. Shine joined the White House staff in July as deputy chief of staff for communications. He discussed the job of communications director with the president last spring, but Mr. Shine wasn't interested at the time, people familiar with the matter said. Fox News host Sean Hannity, who is close to Mr. Shine and to the president, had played a key role in orchestrating the process, one person familiar with the discussions said.

Mr. Shine joins the Trump campaign as it has added new staff in recent weeks. Headed by longtime Trump adviser Brad Parscale, the campaign last month hired a communications director, Tim Murtaugh; a press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany; and a strategic communications director, Marc Lotter, who previously served as an aide to Vice President Mike Pence.

Mr. Shine, among the longest-serving executives at Fox News, left the company in 2017 in one of a string of high-profile departures amid a sexual-harassment controversy that led the company to part ways with its former chairman and chief executive, the late Roger Ailes, and prime-time star anchor Bill O'Reilly. Both men had, at times, advised the president.

Mr. Shine was never accused of harassment. In lawsuits, some Fox News employees and former executives have alleged that Mr. Shine ignored complaints of bad behavior by Mr. Ailes and enabled an environment that was hostile to women.

In a lawsuit against Mr. Ailes, Mr. Shine and other Fox News executives filed last August in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, on-air personality Andrea Tantaros said she was told by Mr. Shine that she would "need to let this one go" after complaining of harassment by Mr. Ailes.

Mr. Ailes, who died last May, denied any wrongdoing, as has Mr. O'Reilly. Fox News denied any wrongdoing by Mr. Shine.

News Corp, which owns The Wall Street Journal, and Fox News parent 21st Century Fox Inc. share common ownership.

Write to Rebecca Ballhaus at Rebecca.Ballhaus@wsj.com


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 08, 2019 14:53 ET (19:53 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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