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Thursday, March 15, 2018

The Fox and Friends administration

by digby

Don't say he didn't warn us

On Ring of Fire with Sam Seder, we've been joking for weeks that Trump was going to end up staffing his administration entirely with Fox News personalities.

Uhm, well ..
Who's next? What's next? While Wednesday was a wee bit quieter than Monday and Tuesday, there were numerous stories about further White House shakeups to come. "We are told that there could be a 'bloodbath,' if not tomorrow, then Friday at the latest," Fox's John Roberts reported on "Special Report." (Earlier in the day, Roberts was spotted heading to a lunch with VP Mike Pence. Maybe this is a complete coincidence, but the lunch had other W.H. reporters buzzing.)

Roberts also affirmed reporting by other outlets that H.R. McMaster could be replaced by John Bolton -- who is currently a Fox News contributor.

Earlier in the day, another cable news commentator, CNBC's Larry Kudlow, was confirmed as Trump's pick to replace Gary Cohn...


Kudlow has been a mainstay of CNBC for almost 30 years. Naturally his first TV interview about the new job was with CNBC's "Closing Bell."

"I didn't know" the announcement was happening on Wednesday, Kudlow said. "I wasn't watching TV this morning. The president called and he said, 'It's out.' Cuz I don't think he was intending to put it out til tomorrow or Friday. I said 'Oh.' He said, 'You're on the air.' He said, 'I'm looking at a picture of you. Very handsome.' So Trumpian!"

--> CNBC president Mark Hoffman wished Kudlow well in a memo...

"Trump TV is a pipeline for Trump hires"

Chris Hayes on "All In" Wednesday night: "Trump TV is a pipeline for Trump hires..." He pointed to Fox host turned State Dept spokeswoman Heather Nauert's new promotion: "Despite having zero prior experience in diplomacy, Trump just installed Nauert as the acting undersecretary of the state for public diplomacy... In less than a year, Nauert has gone from 'Fox & Friends' to No. 4 at the State Department."

NYT's James Poniewozik tweeted: "I guess I owe President Trump an apology for all the remarks I made about how much time he spent watching cable TV, when in fact he was vetting future top advisers..."

Brian Lowry emails: The latest hirings/promotions invite the question: Has any president ever put more stock in people who opine on television? The closest analogy I can think of is professional football and basketball coaches, who tend to go back and forth between providing color-commentary/analysis and actual sideline gigs...

And the chaos continues...

On Wednesday Axios quoted an anonymous W.H. official saying "this is the most toxic working environment on the planet." The WashPost's Josh Dawsey tweeted that "officials have begun betting pools of sorts among each other on who's getting ousted next." He added: "Lot of people who are usually in the know are not in the know." So take the leaks with grains of salt...

Hegseth next?

CNBC's Jim Cramer had the scoop about his co-worker Kudlow earlier this week. Now there's this: Fox contributor and Townhall editor Katie Pavlich says "Trump is expected to fire VA Secretary David Shulkin and is strongly considering replacing him" with Pete Hegseth, co-host of "Fox & Friends Weekend."

These aren't the first. Remember, he hired K.T. McFarland direct from Fox as his deputy National Security Adviser.

Could you ever have imagined something like this? It is insane.

*That report was from CNN's Brian Stelter's news letter.