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Former Trump official Kayleigh McEnany will be a co-host on Fox News’ ‘Outnumbered’

Kayleigh McEnany holds up a tabloid at a press conference
Former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany will become a co-host on Fox News’ “Outnumbered” next month.
(Patrick Semansky / Associated Press)

Kayleigh McEnany, who served 10 months as press secretary for the Trump White House, has landed a co-host seat on the Fox News daytime program “Outnumbered.”

The cable news network is expected to announce her new role Tuesday, according to people familiar with the plans.

McEnany, 32, worked in cable news before she entered politics. She was a paid on-air commentator for CNN during the 2016 presidential campaign and a talk show producer at Fox News.

McEnany was already back in the Fox News family, joining as a paid contributor earlier this month. The rapid upgrade to a full-time role on “Outnumbered” will give her a daily forum alongside co-hosts Harris Faulkner and Emily Compagno and a rotating group of panelists.

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For her own sake, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany should probably hope Trump stops having any say at all in healthcare policy.

A Harvard Law School graduate, McEnany was a critic of Trump in the early days of the 2016 presidential campaign before he won the Republican nomination.

But she became a vocal Trump supporter after he won the election, and she was named national spokesperson for the Republican National Committee in 2017. She was named White House press secretary in April 2020, and quickly demonstrated an ability to vigorously defend or rationalize Trump’s frequent misstatements.

McEnany is the second former Trump administration official this year to land a full-time hosting job at the conservative-leaning Fox News, where the former president received strong support on its opinion programs and little pushback when he did sit-down interviews. Trump’s former economic director, Larry Kudlow, was given a daily program on Fox Business Network in February.

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Zoom and video conferencing, once a last resort for TV news shows, are here to stay.

While McEnany’s assignment will once again put a spotlight on the close ties between Trump and Fox News, the revolving door between TV news operations and the White House press office has been spinning for years.

Jen Psaki, the press secretary for President Biden, is a former CNN commentator, while ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos worked in the Clinton administration. MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace served as a spokesperson for George W. Bush’s White House, as did Fox News host Dana Perino.

Sean Spicer, Trump’s first press secretary, now co-hosts a daily program on the upstart conservative channel Newsmax.

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McEnany’s predecessor, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, was a Fox News contributor after she left the Trump administration. Sanders gave up her Fox News role once she declared herself a candidate for Arkansas governor, as the network does not permit politicians who are running for office to be on the payroll.

A lawsuit, new right-wing competitors and an angry ex-president present challenges for Rupert Murdoch’s cable news leader.

Fox News has also hired the former president’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump as a paid contributor, although any organizational move she makes toward a U.S. Senate run would require her to give up the position. Lara Trump has said she is considering a run for the Senate seat of her home state, North Carolina.

One reason for cable networks to sign paid contributors is that it provides them with exclusivity, preventing them from appearing as guests on competing channels.


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