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Fox News parts ways with Lara Trump, former president’s daughter-in-law

Former president Donald Trump's daughter-law Lara, his son Eric, his son Barron and his son-in-law Jared Kushner attend Trump's announcement in November at the Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., that he will run again for president in 2024. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
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Lara Trump, the daughter-in-law of Donald Trump, will no longer be paid to offer commentary on Fox News, the network announced over the weekend — a move that could suggest the conservative-leaning channel is distancing itself from his 2024 campaign.

“We appreciate Lara’s valuable contributions across Fox News Media programming,” a Fox News spokesperson told The Washington Post on Sunday.

A source with knowledge of the situation said the decision to sever ties with Lara Trump stemmed solely from the network’s ban on political activity, though the policy generally applies to commentators who announce their own campaign runs, such as former Fox News contributor Sarah Sanders — who left the network when she announced her bid for governor of Arkansas — rather than to relatives of announced candidates. In November 2014, Ben Carson also left his role as a Fox News contributor when he was pondering a run for the presidency.

When Fox hired Lara Trump as a contributor back in 2021, she had already been appearing so regularly on Fox that “the security guards were like, ‘Maybe we should just give you a key,’” she joked. Fox had already employed several former members of the Trump administration, including press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, and Lara Trump’s appointment signaled that Fox’s opinion side was still closely linked to Trumpworld.

But in recent months, several of Rupert Murdoch’s media outlets— including Fox, but also the New York Post and the Wall Street Journal — have expressed frustration with Trump and a preference for Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis as a potential 2024 alternative.

Although Lara Trump was weighing the possibility of a U.S. Senate run in her home state of North Carolina at the time she was hired, she did not end up running for the seat — and has not announced any other run for political office. She also does not appear to be working on the Trump 2024 campaign in an official capacity, though she served as a campaign adviser for his 2020 run. Although she is no longer on the network’s payroll, she could still appear on the network as an unpaid guest.

In the past, the network has said that it “does not condone any talent participating in campaign events,” a statement issued after hosts Sean Hannity and Jeanine Pirro appeared onstage at a Trump political rally ahead of the midterm elections of 2018.

Lara Trump was on Hannity’s show 25 times in the first 7½ months of President Biden’s administration. At the time, her commentary supporting her father-in-law fit seamlessly into Fox’s opinion programming, which was largely supportive of the former president and his ambitions for another run at the presidency.

But, in the hours and days after the Republican Party’s disappointing showing in the Nov. 8 midterm elections, several Fox commentators expressed displeasure with the former president and a preference for someone else in 2024.

One voice that notably dissented from the chorus of Trump skepticism was Lara Trump, who said early on the morning of Nov. 9 that “if there is ever a time people are ready for Donald Trump to come back, it could be right now.” Trump announced his bid less than a week later.