Fox News Channel held talks with Kayleigh McEnany, the former White House Press Secretary whose performance in the role earned sharp criticism, about a possible position at the cable-news outlet, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Those conversations have yet to bear fruit. “Kayleigh McEnany is not currently an employee or contributor at Fox News,” the Fox Corporation-owned network said in a statement Tuesday.
Fox and McEnany held talks after the 2020 election, this person says, but paused them for a reason that was not discussed. The network remains open to hiring McEnany, who first came to wider prominence as a contributor at CNN in the run-up to the nation’s 2016 election. While McEnany’s routine use of press conferences at the White House to insult reporters while not answering many questions in direct fashion has resulted in many detractors, Fox News executives “do not condone cancel culture,” this person said.
McEnany’s potential relationship with Fox News Channel came to light when Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, an organization that probes corruption and conflict of interest in government, examined McEnany’s termination financial disclosure report and published the information it found.
Fox News has worked with other Trump-era press aides, hiring former Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders as a contributor in August of 2019. Sanders was criticized in much the same way that McEnany has been. Sanders recently announced a bid to run for the gubernatorial seat in Arkansas. Fox News typically severs its relationship with contributors who seek political office, and has done so with Sanders.
McEnany, a Harvard Law School graduate, has worked for Fox News in the past. She was a production assistant assigned to “Huckabee,” the now-defunct Fox News program hosted by former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee that ran on Fox News between 2008 and 2015.