The Trump administration-Fox News feedback loop is poised to get a little tighter, following multiple reports that the president plans to nominate former Fox News personality Morgan Ortagus to serve as the State Department’s new spokesperson.
While the president hasn’t officially named Ortagus yet, the announcement seems imminent, with Fox telling CNN that as of her last appearance on Thursday Ortagus was no longer a paid contributor to the network.
If named, Ortagus would replace Heather Nauert, herself a former Fox News host, as the State Department’s official mouthpiece. As a State Department official Ortagus would bring some qualifications to the role, having served as an intelligence analyst for the Treasury Department during President Barack Obama’s administration. Ortagus is also an active duty U.S. Army reservist.
Nauert was named as Trump’s choice to replace Nikki Haley as UN Ambassador last year, until she withdrew her nomination in February, when it was reported she had employed an immigrant who was not authorized to work in the U.S. as a nanny.
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In February, another Fox News personality, former reporter Lea Gabrielle, was named as Special Envoy and Coordinator for the State Department’s Global Engagement Center, which “[leads] the U.S. government’s efforts to counter propaganda and disinformation from international terrorist organizations and foreign countries.”
During her time at Fox, Ortagus praised Trump’s foreign policy in Afghanistan, and once insisted that then-First Lady Michelle Obama should “just smile and be helpful to Melania Trump,” rather than comment on the newly elected Trump administration.
Currently, State Department deputy spokesman Robert Palladino has been conducting the department’s briefings. Shockingly, he has never worked at Fox News.