US Politics

Donald Trump hires ex-Fox News executive Bill Shine ‘who covered up sex scandals’ as new communications chief

PUBLISHED : Friday, 06 July, 2018, 5:39am
UPDATED : Friday, 06 July, 2018, 6:38am

US President Donald Trump has hired a former top Fox News executive who was accused of covering up sexual harassment scandals to lead his communications team.

Bill Shine, the former co-president of Fox News, was appointed on Thursday as the White House’s deputy chief of staff for communications and assistant to the president.

Shine’s hiring comes more than a year after he resigned from Fox News in the wake of the sexual assault allegations against Roger Ailes, the network’s late former chairman.

The former Fox exec had been accused of covering up the allegations against Ailes and former host Bill O’Reilly, who faced his own accusations of sexual misconduct and subsequently left Fox News in April 2017.

Shine was never accused of sexual harassment himself, but several women said in court documents that he had ignored or sought to suppress their charges of misconduct at the network. Shine, who resigned in May 2017, has denied those allegations.

In announcing Shine’s hiring, the White House cited his tenure at Fox News: “He brings over two decades of television programming, communications and management experience to the role.”

Bill Shine resigns from Fox News following cover-up claims

Fox News has been a high profile supporter of US President Donald Trump, often lavishing the president and his administration with positive coverage.

Sean Hannity, an especially vocal supporter of Trump’s, is said to have a close rapport with Shine.

Shine had long been rumoured as a contender for a role within the White House, which has been operating without a communications director since the exit of Hope Hicks earlier this year.

Trump’s communications team has seen a series of departures over the last year and a half.

Sean Spicer, the former White House press secretary, resigned last July amid disagreements over the hiring of Anthony Scaramucci, who had newly been tapped as director of communications.

Scaramucci lasted just 10 days in the role after being forced out for an expletive-filled interview with The New Yorker, in which he derided other White House aides.

Hicks, who assumed the communications role from Scaramucci, announced her resignation in March, one day after she testified before the House Intelligence Committee for nine hours as part of the panel’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.