The Right-Wing Media’s Government Takeover, Via Donald Trump

Trump Has Picked -- Or Considered -- Over A Dozen Right-Wing Media Veterans For His Administration

President-elect Donald Trump has picked -- or considered -- nearly a dozen people who have worked in right-wing media, including talk radio, right-wing news sites, Fox News, and conservative newspapers, to fill his administration. And Trump himself made weekly guest appearances on Fox for a number of years while his vice president used to host a conservative talk radio show.

Donald Trump: President

Trump Had Weekly Segments On Fox & Friends And Squawk Box For Years. Before he ran for president, Donald Trump had weekly segments on Fox News’ morning show Fox & Friends for years, where he repeatedly pushed birther claims against President Obama, and a weekly segment with CNBC’s Squawk Box in 2012. [Media Matters, 9/12/16]

Mike Pence: Vice President

Pence Was A Self-Described “Rush Limbaugh On Decaf” Conservative Radio Host. Before he became governor of Indiana and then Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence served in the House of Representatives for six terms and worked as a conservative talk radio host. In a 2014 speech to “a gathering of the Radio Advertising Bureau and the National Association of Broadcasters,” Pence reportedly said, “I hosted a talk radio show in the early days of that format. I liked to say, ‘I’m a conservative, but I’m not [in] a bad mood about it.’ I was kind of like Rush Limbaugh on decaf.” [Media Matters, 7/14/16]

Stephen Bannon: White House Chief Counselor And Senior Strategist

Bannon Ran -- A “Platform For The ‘Alt-Right’” -- And Hosted A Satellite Radio Show. Stephen Bannon, who was the Trump campaign CEO and was named as Trump’s White House chief counselor and senior strategist, ran the right-wing news site, which he called “the platform of the ‘alt-right,’” referring to the fringe movement that pushes white nationalism. Bannon also hosted the SiriusXM radio show Breitbart News Daily. [Media Matters, 11/13/16, 8/25/16; The Washington Post, 11/15/16]

Ben Carson: Secretary Of Housing And Urban Development

Carson Was A Right-Wing Media Star Before Becoming A Fox Contributor And Washington Times Columnist. Ben Carson, whom Trump has named to run the Department of Housing and Urban Development, was praised by conservative media for talking up conservative policies at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast with President Obama. That July, he became a columnist for the conservative Washington Times, and that October, he was hired by Fox News as a contributor. [Media Matters, 12/5/16, 6/4/15]

Michael Flynn: National Security Adviser

Flynn Was A Regular Fox Guest, And Presidential Candidates Sought His Advice Because Of His TV Appearances. Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn frequently appeared as a guest on Fox, where he pushed anti-Islamic views. Politico reported that his frequent Fox appearances resulted in several Republican presidential candidates reaching out to him for advice throughout the presidential campaign. Trump named Flynn as his pick for national security adviser on November 18. [Media Matters, 11/18/16]

K.T. McFarland: Deputy National Security Adviser

McFarland Worked As A Fox Analyst For Years. K.T. McFarland, whom Trump named as his deputy national security adviser, was a national security analyst for Fox, where she repeatedly pushed for war with Iran. [Media Matters, 11/26/16; Deadline Hollywood, 11/25/16]

Elaine Chao: Transportation Secretary

Chao Worked As A Fox Contributor After Serving In The Bush Administration. Elaine Chao, Trump’s pick to run the Department of Transportation, was a Fox contributor after serving as President George W. Bush’s secretary of labor. [, 11/29/16]

Andy Puzder: Labor Secretary

Puzder Uses Op-Eds And TV Appearances To Attack Progress For Workers. Fast food CEO Andy Puzder, Trump’s pick for secretary of labor, writes op-eds and makes TV appearances to criticize wage increases and regulations that increase salaries. He has made appearances on Fox News and has written op-eds for The Wall Street Journal, The Hill, and Forbes. [Media Matters, 11/17/16, 5/19/16, 6/24/15]

John Bolton: Potential Secretary Of State Or Deputy Secretary Of State

Bolton Has Been A Fox Contributor For Years. John Bolton, who was reportedly under consideration to be Trump’s secretary of state and is now reportedly being considered for deputy secretary of state, is a longtime Fox contributor who also repeatedly pushed for war with Iran and considered using his TV platform to run for president himself in early 2015. On December 11 and 12, Bolton aided Trump’s efforts to undermine a CIA assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election on Trump’s behalf by repeatedly suggesting the hacking of the Democratic National Committee could be a “false flag operation.” [Media Matters11/16/161/23/15, 12/12/16; NBC News, 12/11/16]

Rudy Giuliani: Potential Secretary Of State

Giuliani Is A Frequent Fox Guest Who Served As A Trump Surrogate. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who has also been considered for the secretary of state position under Trump, served as a media surrogate for Trump during the presidential election and has been a frequent Fox guest for years, where he often made anti-Muslim statements. On December 9, Giuliani reportedly removed himself from consideration for Trump’s secretary of state. [The New York Times11/24/16Media Matters5/11/166/14/16; USA Today, 12/9/16]

Laura Ingraham: Potential Press Secretary

Ingraham Has Been An ABC And Fox Contributor, Founded A Right-Wing News Site, And Hosts A Radio Show. Laura Ingraham has been reportedly under consideration by Trump to serve as his press secretary since November 12. Ingraham is a longtime Fox contributor and talk radio host who has repeatedly singled out Hispanic media outlets and journalists for criticism and ridicule. She was also an ABC News contributor and founded the right-wing news site LifeZette in 2015. [Media Matters, 11/13/16, 4/13/14; Politico, 4/1/15]

Monica Crowley: Deputy National Security Adviser

Crowley Was A Longtime Fox Contributor And Washington Times Columnist. Monica Crowley, who was reportedly being considered for press secretary by Trump, was named his deputy national security adviser for strategic communications on December 15. Crowley was previously a Fox contributor who frequently pushed conspiracy theories on air. She also works as a Washington Times columnist. [Media Matters11/28/16The Hill11/25/16]

Eric Bolling: Potential Commerce Department Hire

Bolling Is A Fox Host. Eric Bolling, who has reportedly been in discussion with the Trump team for a position in the Department of Commerce, currently works as one of the co-hosts of Fox’s The Five. He previously had his own show on Fox Business, and he has frequently pushed racism, anti-Muslim views, and conspiracy theories on Fox and Fox Business. [Media Matters, 11/21/16]

David Clarke: Potential Secretary Of Homeland Security

Clarke Publishes A Radio Podcast And Is A Favorite Fox Guest. Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, whom Trump considered to run the Department of Homeland Security before selecting retired Gen. John Kelly, hosts a podcast for Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze Radio Network, called The People’s Sheriff, and is a regular Fox News guest who often attacks Black Lives Matter and other protest movements. [Media Matters, 11/16/16, TheBlaze, 6/2/15]

Allen West: Potential Pick For A Defense Or National Security Position

West Runs His Own News Site, Online Radio Show, And Is A Fox Contributor. Allen West, a retired lieutenant colonel who performed illegal acts during an interrogation of an Iraqi prisoner and later became a one-term tea party congressman from Florida, told Fox host Brian Kilmeade on Kilmeade’s radio show that he went to Trump Tower on December 12 “and had a really good interview.” He didn’t specify what administration position he was interviewed for, but said that “it is definitely something that relates to defense or national security.” In 2013, West launched an online radio show and was hired as a Fox contributor, and runs his own news site, whose editor-in-chief apologized on December 10 for a meme posted to West’s Facebook page that promoted genocide against Muslims. [Media Matters, 12/12/16; Fox News Radio, 12/12/16; Politico, 1/16/13, 5/17/13; The Daily Beast, 12/12/16; PolitiFact Florida, 10/16/12]

David Martosko: Potential Press Secretary

Martosko Was Conservative Daily Caller’s Executive Editor Before Working For Daily Mail. Politico reported on December 13 that the Daily Mail’s U.S. political editor, David Martosko, has interviewed for a Trump administration position and that his name had been mentioned as a possible pick for press secretary. Before joining the Daily Mail in 2013, Martosko worked as the executive editor for the conservative news site The Daily Caller starting in 2011. During his stint at The Daily Caller, Martosko refused to correct an embarrassing false report about an EPA court brief, then doubled down on the erroneous story with a misleading editor’s note. While working at the Daily Mail, Martosko fell for and reported a false smear by discredited conservative activist James O’Keefe, and pushed the baseless smear that Surgeon General Vivek Murthy is anti-gun. Martosko also serves on the media advisory board of the American Media Institute, which plants stories in major publications and is largely funded by a right-wing dark money group. [Politico, 12/13/16; Media Matters, 9/29/11, 10/20/11, 6/18/13, 3/12/14, 10/19/16]

Kimberly Guilfoyle: Potential Press Secretary

Guilfoyle Co-Hosts Fox’s The Five. Kimberly Guilfoyle, who has reportedly had multiple meetings with President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team about possibly serving as his press secretary, currently works as a co-host for Fox’s 5 p.m. show The Five, and like Trump, has expressed admiration for Putin -- even once calling for him to be president “for 48 hours.” [Media Matters12/15/16]

This item will continue to be updated.