President Donald Trump and Bill Shine have had several serious discussions in recent days about him becoming the next communications director, a source with knowledge of the situation tells CNN.
Trump and Shine are expected to make a final decision on the position Wednesday, the source added, and Shine will likely accept if formally offered the job.
Shine was the co-president of Fox News who stepped down last year after he was criticized for the way he handled sexual harassment claims at the network.
Shine is good friends with Sean Hannity, the Fox News prime-time host who is close with Trump. They often attend events together and have known each other for more than two decades.
A person familiar with the matter told CNN that Hannity had been pushing Shine for the position of White House communications director behind the scenes “big time” over the last several months.
He has been in talks several times about taking this position — most recently in March, as reported by CNN.
Neither the White House nor Shine immediately responded to a CNN request for comment.
Shine joined Fox News at the network’s inception in 1996 as producer of “Hannity & Colmes.” He earned the trust of Roger Ailes, the late CEO and executive chairman of Fox News and became his right-hand man. Following Ailes’ departure from Fox News amid a sexual harassment scandal, Shine was named co-president of the network.
Shine, however, was also ultimately forced out of Fox News in 2017 after being ensnared in the network’s sexual harassment scandal. Shine was never accused of harassment himself, but questions arose over how much he knew about the sexual harassment allegations against Ailes, and whether he took all the proper actions at the time. He denied wrongdoing.
Throughout the Trump administration, the communications director position has been famously tough to fill. Jason Miller stepped down before the President was even inaugurated. Mike Dubke left after three months. An embattled Sean Spicer briefly held the title along with being press secretary. Anthony Scaramucci came and went in 10 days, with a profanity-laced tirade in between. Then Hope Hicks got the job because chief of staff John Kelly wanted to define her portfolio, though she was still seen as a surrogate Trump family member.
Since Hicks left in March, the position has languished at a time when the communications shop has fallen into disarray. One official described it as “the most derided and unprofessional” department in the White House, and it became a source of controversy in May after a staffer made an off-color joke about Sen. John McCain, who has brain cancer, during a daily communications meeting, which has since been scrapped.
By Kaitlan Collins and Oliver Darcy, CNN