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By Dareh Gregorian
White House communications director Bill Shine has resigned and will become a senior adviser to President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign, officials announced Friday.
Shine, a former top executive at Fox News before he resigned amid sexual harassment scandals there in 2017, has worked in what’s become a high-turnover position in the White House since last July.
“Serving President Trump and this country has been the most rewarding experience of my entire life,” Shine said in a statement. “To be a small part of all this president has done for the American people has truly been an honor. I’m looking forward to working on President Trump’s re-election campaign and spending more time with my family.”
He tendered his resignation Thursday night and Trump accepted, officials said. The resignation is effective almost immediately — a White House official told NBC News that Friday is Shine’s official last day.
Trump said in a statement that “we will miss him in the White House, but look forward to working together on the 2020 Presidential Campaign, where he will be totally involved.”
Shine’s resignation came just days after The New Yorker reported on Trump and his administration’s unusually close relationship with Fox News, which is still paying out Shine’s multimillion-dollar contract, including a $8.4 million severance payment.
Shine was the network’s co-president, but stepped down after it emerged in lawsuits that he’d helped cover up allegations of sexual harassment.
Shine, 55, has kept a low profile in the White House. The New York Times, citing administration sources, reported in January that Trump had become frustrated with the negative press coverage he’d been getting during Shine’s tenure.
A White House official told NBC News the president believes he’s his own best communicator.”
Shine notably did not accompany the president to Vietnam last week for his high-stakes summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Shine’s wife, Darla Shine, also made headlines last month for mocking a measles outbreak in California.
No replacement for Shine was immediately named. He was the fifth White House communications director in the less than two years of the Trump administration. The others have been Sean Spicer, Mike Dubke, Spicer again, Anthony Scaramucci and Hope Hicks. Hicks is now the chief communications officer of 21st Century Fox, which like Fox News, is owned by Rupert Murdoch.
Trump’s 2020 campaign manager, Brad Parscale, said he was excited to have Shine aboard.
“He is a gifted communicator, strategic thinker and brings a wealth of experience from cable news and the White House,” Parscale said in a statement. “The president’s re-election effort just got stronger.”