Fox News announced Thursday that former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will join the network as a contributor. Pompeo is the latest in a line of former President Donald Trump officials hired by the network, and while the news isn’t particularly surprising, Fox staffers reacted with a mix of frustration, disgust, and resignation.
“Oh get the fuck out of here,” said one Fox insider, who had not heard the news, when Mediaite informed them that Pompeo had been hired.
“Nauseating,” they added. “This is so needless. He would have come on the channel anyway.”
“He’s obviously just trying to get more exposure before his 2024 run,” another staffer said.
Pompeo’s possible run for future office has been the subject of much speculation. A political run would end Pompeo’s contributorship with Fox, as the network has a longstanding policy of not having candidates actively seeking office on the payroll.
While some at Fox News oppose Pompeo’s addition, others were more resigned to the network’s commitment to giving its viewers what they want.
Lara Trump, Trump’s daughter-in-law and senior Trump campaign adviser, recently joined Fox News as a paid contributor. Trump’s former National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow, signed on with Fox in January, and his Fox Business show debuted at the start of February – although to be fair, Kudlow was a CNBC host before joining the Trump administration, so perhaps him joining Fox wasn’t particularly surprising.
Former Trump White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany was named co-host of Outnumbered in March, after Fox paused negotiations following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Another former Trump press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, joined Fox as a contributor in 2019, but left the network in January after announcing her plans to run for governor of Arkansas in 2022.
But the nature of the so-called “Trump–Fox feedback loop,” paired with speculation that Trump may run for president in 2024, makes the ever-increasing number of former Trump officials joining the most-watched cable news network especially notable.
What’s more, some of those officials, like Kayleigh McEnany, were instrumental in pushing the lie that Trump won the 2020 election. Pompeo infamously said, after Joe Biden won the election, that there would be a “transition to second Trump administration.”
“Trump officials have mostly become pariahs in the private sector,” another Fox staffer said, perhaps referring to a recent report about the difficulties some former Trump officials are having finding work. “But apparently, they’re all welcome at Fox.”
Marisa Sarnoff was a researcher at the Fox News Channel from 2015-2020.
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