Fox News’ Kimberly Guilfoyle is a front-runner for replacing White House press secretary Sean Spicer -- if, indeed, his replacement is imminent -- and that should surprise no one. If she gets the job, it won’t be much of a change from her current role at Fox: routinely praising President Donald Trump, defending him unquestioningly, and lashing out at media outlets daring to report critically on his actions.
Guilfoyle, a co-host of the network’s The Five, told the San Jose Mercury News she’s in talks with the Trump administration about the press secretary position. The Washington Post’s Callum Borchers described Guilfoyle’s Mercury News interview by saying she’s “openly gunning for Sean Spicer’s job." He also noted that Guilfoyle certainly took the opportunity to tactfully criticize Spicer “as if he were already gone” and declare her patriotism, signaling loyalty to the president.
Guilfoyle and Fox News both subsequently released brief statements attempting to walk back the Mercury News interview -- though neither actually denied that Guilfoyle was in communication with the White House (but Guilfoyle is under “long-term” contract at Fox). Both The New York Times and Trump ally and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ website have said that Trump is interested in bringing in Guilfoyle for the role; she was also considered for the job back in December before Spicer was ultimately hired. If Spicer is fired, all signs point to Guilfoyle as a serious contender.
Regular viewers of her Fox program might not be surprised by these developments -- in the last week, Guilfoyle has essentially tried out for the job on air. Her sycophantic praise for Trump, blatant critiques of the current White House communications staff, and attacks on reporters suggest she’d fit right into the Trump administration.
Guilfoyle has also been lavishing Trump with unconditional praise.
Just hours after The New York Times broke the news that former FBI Director James Comey had written a series of contemporaneous memos detailing his interactions with the president -- one of which included an account of Trump potentially engaging in obstruction of justice by asking Comey to “let go” a federal investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn -- Guilfoyle questioned the validity and timing of the memos:
Last Friday on The Five, Guilfoyle and the other co-hosts discussed Trump’s statements about the White House communications team in an interview with Fox News’ Jeanine Pirro, and Guilfoyle’s contributions were essentially a five-minute-long job interview. Her assessment of the White House press shop included subtle implications she’d be more loyal and likeable than Spicer, and a joking reference to her earlier consideration for the role. She also agreed with her co-hosts that “the only person who communicated” effectively about the firing of FBI Director James Comey was Trump “himself.”
Guilfoyle’s Twitter account also highlights her Trump praise. More than a third of the tweets and retweets Guilfoyle’s posted since May 11 are just Trump retweets. Another is a Twitter “moment” she shared of comedian Melissa McCarthy unflatteringly impersonating Spicer. And the Fox personality’s pinned tweet is a post-inauguration response thanking the president for promoting her book in an old tweet from 2015.
Guilfoyle also seems to agree with her potential new boss on one key issue: She regards members of the media who are critical of Trump with contempt. She praised Trump’s media-bashing February press conference -- in which he mockingly called CNN “very fake news” and scolded reporters for writing critically about the White House -- as “wildly entertaining,” and celebrated that Trump “let the media have it for their bogus, dishonest reporting.” In March, Guilfoyle said Trump’s repeated attacks calling legitimate news organizations “fake news” were “pretty funny,” and that “he does have a pretty good delivery and inflection when he says it.”
And in the last week, Guilfoyle has doubled down. On May 10, Guilfoyle responded to Trump’s firing of Comey by asserting she would “have done the same thing,” and mocking “mainstream media” for going into “full meltdown mode” over the highly unusual and newsworthy move.
The next day, Guilfoyle again stood by Trump’s decision to fire Comey. She opened the May 11 episode of The Five with a lengthy, press-conference-ready defense of the firing -- but offered a brief and helpful critique of “what would have helped” the White House “in terms of the communications” to keep “detractors” from “trying to make something out of this.”
And just last night, Guilfoyle delivered a diatribe about mainstream media’s “witch hunt” against Trump, arguing that CNN reporters are engaging in a “bloodsport” and “trying to do in the presidency of Donald Trump” by running “biased” stories that “effectuate that outcome.”
She sounds ready for the Trump briefing room.