While it remains unclear whether Christine Blasey Ford will testify or even appear at a proposed Senate hearing about her allegation that Brett Kavanaugh assaulted her when they were high school students, the Trump administration has an all-star team prepping their Supreme Court nominee for questioning, including the man who allegedly helped sweep widespread abuse and harassment under the rug at Fox News.
As the Washington Post’s Josh Dawsey reported last night, Bill Shine, who’s now the White House communications director, has been involved in the faux-grilling of Kavanaugh:
Shine should be an old pro at this game. His hiring came as something of a surprise even for the Trump administration; he had previously been ousted as co-president of Fox News over the network’s widespread mishandling of sexual misconduct allegations against some of its top talent. His demise at the network finally came in May 2017, after Shine was named in at least four lawsuits brought against the network over alleged sexual harassment and racial discrimination.
In those lawsuits, Shine was accused of knowing about the abuse and doing nothing. Former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros, who also sued the network, accused Shine and other executives of bugging her phone and reading her email to “emotionally torture” her for saying Bill O’Reilly had sexually harassed her. (Shine has denied all of these claims.)
After his hiring by the administration in July, a senior Fox News executive called it “extraordinary” that the president “could hire someone like this.”
“This is someone who is highly knowledgeable of women being cycled through for horrible and degrading behavior by someone who was an absolute monster,” the source told BuzzFeed.
So it’s no wonder that Trump and company would want Shine front and center, training Kavanaugh on how to answer the slew of uncomfortable questions due to come his way. He knows this script by heart.