Donald Trump frequently hired people after seeing them on Fox News. Now, Fox News is providing a home to former Trump insiders.
Since Donald Trump lost reelection in 2020, the Fox News Channel has hired several officials known for repeatedly misleading the public while serving in the Trump administration.
Fox News has operated for more than 25 years as a key platform in the conservative movement, promoting a dizzying array of conspiracy theories and misinformation, including dangerous falsehoods about the coronavirus pandemic and the presidential election.
The network was instrumental to the rise of Donald Trump and propped up his unpopular tenure in office. Several promintent figures in the Trump administration were hired from the ranks of Fox News, and now the network is returning the favor.
On Thursday, Fox announced that it had hired former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as a contributor to the network. In a statement, Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott said Pompeo is "one of America's most recognized and respected voices on foreign policy and national security issues."
But just a few months ago, Pompeo was promoting the lie that Trump had won the 2020 presidential election.
In November 2020, after the race had been called for Joe Biden, Pompeo told reporters there would be a "smooth transition — to a second Trump administration." The statement fed into lies circulated by Trump and his supporters that Biden's win was not legitimate. Two months later, on Jan. 6, 2021, those lies would form the foundation for the attack on the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob.
Pompeo spent his time in the administration speaking to groups connected to hate groups, using his office to campaign for Trump's reelection, pushing for a "human rights" agenda that would hurt LGBTQ people, using tax dollars to host lavish dinners for GOP donors and political figures, and reportedly demanding that racist language be included in a G-7 statement about COVID-19.
Pompeo is joining a fellow Trump administration figure at Fox, former press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, whose hiring was also recently announced.
McEnany promised at her first White House briefing in May of 2020 that she would never lie to the press, then broke that vow almost immediately. Her tenure as one of the most prominent faces of the administration was filled with repeated instances of lying to the public across a variety of issues, including the coronavirus.
She spent her last days of employment at the White House working for Trump's presidential campaign, a move that broke with precedent in both parties. McEnany was on the public payroll while promoting Trump's candidacy. Like Trump, McEnany falsely claimed that Biden's victory had come about as a result of voter fraud.
Lara Trump, who is Trump's daughter-in-law via her marriage to his second son, Eric Trump, officially joined Fox News in late March. She also served as a senior adviser to Trump's failed reelection campaign.
It was in that role that Lara Trump promoted baseless election conspiracies, arguing in one instance that Biden's over 80 million votes were suspect because he did not hold large rallies during the pandemic. She also attempted to call into question Biden's historic win in Georgia, discussing unfounded allegations of voter fraud in the state with Fox's Sean Hannity in December.
Lara Trump is reportedly considering a run for the U.S. Senate in North Carolina, and visibility on Fox News could aid her in that pursuit.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Trump's former press secretary, took a similar path. After working for Trump and lying on his behalf — something she admitted to under oath — Sanders was hired by Fox as a commentator. After a few months of Fox appearances, Sanders announced she would be running for governor of Arkansas.
Fox has also hired Larry Kudlow, who served as head of Trump's economic team, to host a daily show on Fox Business and to provide commentary on Fox News.
In the Trump administration, Kudlow added to his considerably long record of horrifically off-the-mark predictions by asserting in February 2020 that the virus had been contained and the situation was "pretty close to airtight." Hundreds of thousands of deaths followed his premature declaration. The next month, Kudlow advised people to "stay at work" even as infections were skyrocketing.
Defending Trump's trade war policy, Kudlow simply invented the claim that other nations were supporting a "coalition of the willing" against China. The list never materialized.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.