Before boarding Marine One on Friday morning, President Trump confirmed a few rumored staffing changes within his administration. William P. Barr, who served as attorney general during the administration of George H.W. Bush, will be nominated to again hold that position, replacing ousted former attorney general Jeff Sessions. And replacing Nikki Haley as United Nations ambassador will be Heather Nauert, the State Department’s spokeswoman, should she be confirmed.
What makes that latter nomination particularly interesting is Nauert’s background. Before working at the State Department, she worked for Fox News — specifically, for Trump’s favorite show, “Fox & Friends.”
News of Nauert’s nomination came shortly after another bit of Fox News-related news. On Thursday afternoon, the network’s parent company took the unusual step of endorsing a proposal to reform the criminal justice system, an effort that’s been a key focus of Trump adviser/son-in-law Jared Kushner. That endorsement came from the office of Fox’s new head of communications: One Hope Hicks, who led communications for Trump’s 2016 campaign and, ultimately, for his White House. When she left that role, she was replaced by Bill Shine — who came to the job having most recently served as co-president of Fox News.
That’s a remarkable bit of interplay between the administration and the network that is also the only one Trump has praised regularly since taking office, the one he watches the most and the one that’s the most popular with his base.
But the interplay of Fox and Fox News employees and contributors with the Trump administration and campaign certainly doesn’t end with Nauert, Shine and Hicks. At least 12 people have moved between the two worlds at some point since Trump’s inauguration.
The numbers below correspond to those in the illustration above.
- Trump himself. Trump had a long-standing gig calling in to “Fox & Friends” to offer his thoughts on the political news of the day. It began in 2011 and ended only when he announced his candidacy for the presidency.
- Hicks. Hicks left the White House earlier this year after having served Trump since before his campaign announcement.
- Shine. Shine left Fox News in 2017 due in part to criticism over his handling of sexual harassment allegations within the network.
- Nauert. This chart assumes she is confirmed for the U.N. position.
- John Bolton. A mainstay of Fox News programs, Bolton was named national security adviser earlier this year, replacing H.R. McMaster, himself the second person to hold that position.
- Mercedes Schlapp. Schlapp was also a Fox News commentator before being hired to work in the White House communications office.
- Anthony Scaramucci. Speaking of that office, perhaps its most infamous leader under Trump was Scaramucci, who served as communications director for a solid 11 days last year. He’d previously appeared frequently as a contributor to the Fox Business Network and served on Trump’s transition team.
- Kimberly Guilfoyle. Guilfoyle left her position as a co-host of Fox’s “The Five” earlier this year and joined a pro-Trump super PAC. Her involvement in Trump’s inner circle is more intimate than that, however: She and Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., have been dating for several months.
- Tony Sayegh. Sayegh, a former Fox contributor, now serves in a communications role at the Treasury Department.
- John McEntee. McEntee, who served as a personal aide to Trump, was fired from the White House earlier this year after losing his security clearance. He then joined Trump’s campaign team. Before working at the White House he was a production assistant at Fox News.
- K.T. McFarland. McFarland joined the administration servings as a deputy national security adviser under Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn. She left that role under McMaster and was briefly considered as a possible ambassador to Singapore until she withdrew from consideration in February. She, too, was once a Fox contributor.
- Sebastian Gorka. After leaving the White House under disputed conditions (he insists he wasn’t fired), Gorka was hired by Fox News to talk about things.
This list doesn’t include several other former Fox contributors who went on to positions serving as ambassadors (including Georgette Mosbacher, ambassador to Poland). The point should nonetheless be obvious: The interplay between Trump and Fox News that plays out on Twitter has frequently extended much further than that.
clarification: This article has been updated to clarify Hicks' role.