Kayleigh McEnany

Fox News denies hiring ex-Trump press secretary

Ethics watchdog Crew had reported new job · Cable broadcaster says it is ‘open’ to hiring McEnany in future

McEnany reached an agreement with the company in January 2021 to start working there this month

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MEDIA PRESS GROUP

Fox News denied on Tuesday that the former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany had joined the conservative TV channel, after a government ethics watchdog reported that she had. But a source familiar with the matter said the channel would be open to hiring McEnany in the future.

Citing a “termination financial disclosure report”, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington said: “McEnany reached an agreement with the company in January 2021 to start working there this month. During her stint in the Trump administration, McEnany regularly appeared on the network, including more than 20 times after Trump lost the 2020 election.”

The report published by Crew featured a reference to an “employment agreement with Fox News, starting work in January” 2021. Before entering the White House, McEnany worked for both Fox News and CNN.

A Fox News spokeswoman told the Guardian: “Kayleigh McEnany is not currently an employee or contributor at Fox News.”

A source familiar with the matter said conversations had been held after the presidential election in November, but had been paused. “We do not discuss the details behind contracts with any personnel,” the source said, “but we are open to hiring her in the future given we do not condone cancel culture.”

The Crew report about McEnany and Fox News followed former White House press secretary Sarah Sanders’ exit from the same outlet, shortly before she announced a Republican run for governor in Arkansas with a statement including an attack on the mainstream media.

Crew lamented “the revolving door between Fox News and the Trump administration”.

McEnany was Donald Trump’s fourth White House press secretary, succeeding Sean Spicer, Sanders and Stephanie Grisham in April 2020.

“I will never lie to you,” she declared on her debut in the White House briefing room. “You have my word on that.”

In an administration founded on misleading statements and outright lies which spread from the president down, they proved to be famous first words.

McEnany spent her last days in the White House role repeating Trump’s baseless claims that the election was stolen.

Fox News hosts continue to support Trump, who left office on 20 January but awaits a second impeachment trial in the Senate, for inciting the attack on the Capitol in which five died, beginning after 8 February.

On Tucker Carlson’s primetime Fox News show on Monday night, the liberal watchdog Media Matters noted, the word “impeachment” was not mentioned once despite House managers having delivered the article of impeachment to the Senate earlier the same evening.

Trump is the only president to have been impeached twice.

Laura Ingraham did choose to cover Trump’s looming trial on Monday. On her show the former South Carolina governor and United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley, widely considered a potential candidate for the Republican nomination in 2024, said it was time for Democrats to “give the man a break”.

“I mean, move on,” Haley said. “If you truly are about moving on, move on. The idea that they’re going to do impeachment, that’s not going to bring our country together, that’s only dividing our country.”

Responding to Haley’s remarks on social media, the author and former CNN contributor Wajahat Ali asked: “Did Nikki Haley ‘move on’ from Hillary’s emails or Benghazi??? Let me know.”

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