Trump, the television president, expands his cast

Ms. Nauert is just one of the faces of television that is now seen in President Trump's White House. And the cast is going to grow.

Television expert Larry Kudlow, best known for his tapping on CNBC, was named on Wednesday as Trump's chief economic adviser. Pete Hegseth, co-host of "Fox & Friends Weekend", is on the short list to become secretary of veterans affairs. John R. Bolton, a former United Nations ambbadador and frequent commentator on Fox News, is being considered a national security adviser.


Following the nomination of President Richard M. Nixon to television correspondent John A. Scali, there was a media uproar. to the role of the ambbadador of the United Nations in 1972.

Bettmann, via Getty Images

The moves are another sign that the dividing line between media and government has been almost erased under Mr. Trump, a former reality star who sees himself as the chief casting agent .

have served as press aides in past administrations, with the task of managing their former colleagues in the media. But Mr. Kudlow's choice crossed a threshold: the elevation of a television star to a position of real influence over the policies that affect millions of Americans.

Perhaps it was inevitable that Mr. Trump, whose worldview is indelibly molded by what he sees on television, would be a president eager to break the fourth wall.

People close to him have said that an important part of his deliberative process is how a decision will be made in the cable news. Where previous presidents courted news personalities, Mr. Trump consults them seeking political and strategic advice from Fox News hosts such as Jeanine Pirro, who was once interviewed for the position of deputy attorney general, and Sean Hannity.

At least three Fox News presenters, Tucker Carlson, Kimberly Guilfoyle and Laura Ingraham, were contacted to join their communications team. Last week, Mr. Trump dined at the White House with Jesse Watters, the co-host of Fox News of "The Five," which is best known for ambush interviews and an offensive video taunting Asian-Americans, so later he apologized. 19659011] Continue reading the main story

Now Mr. Trump is inviting commentators to shape the policy they comment on. Mr. Hegseth, if hired for veteran affairs work, would be in charge of reforming a bureaucracy that administers benefits to millions.

Mr. Kudlow, an enthusiastic advocate of lowering taxes on the rich, is expected to forge an economic policy that, until this week, had the luxury of simply judging from the safe harbor of a television studio.


Heather Nauert, a former host of "Fox & Friends," became a spokeswoman for the State Department last year. This week, she was appointed undersecretary of the department for public diplomacy and public affairs.

Alex Wroblewski / Getty Images

At a time in the Hall of Mirrors on Wednesday, Mr. Kudlow went on television to describe how Mr. Trump was impressed with the way he appeared on television.

"He said:" You're in the air, and he said, "I'm seeing a picture of you," and he said, "Very handsome," Kudlow said during an entertaining interview with his next CNBC, colleagues, he laughed: "So Trumpian!"

Installing the television crowd in this west wing could unfold in unpredictable ways.

The administration sparked an international incident last year after Sean Spicer, his press secretary at that time, repeated an unsupported accusation over the wiretapping of a British spy agency about the Trump campaign, the source: Andrew Napolitano, the television judge and legal badyst of Fox News, who made the claim about "Fox & Friends."

Mr. Napolitano, who also met with Mr. Trump to talk about possible Supreme Court selections, had heard the rumor of a conspiracy theorist known for spreading deceits. Mr. Trump lu ego defended Mr. Napolitano, saying, "All we did was quote a very talented legal mind."

Then came the incident that involved Omarosa Manigault Newman, who made a name for herself as the villain of Mr. Trump "The Apprentice" in 2004 and lasted a year in the administration as communications director of the Public Liaison Office of the White House.

After leaving his post, the presidency of the reality show collided with a real reality show: Ms. Newman joined the cast of "Celebrity Big Brother" and challenged the Trump administration as "so bad".

The White House decided to respond, on live television. "Omarosa was fired three times at 'The Apprentice', and this was the fourth time we let her go," said a press undersecretary, Raj Shah, during a White House report. (As expected, after the swing, the ratings of "Big Brother" increased)


Pete Hegseth, host of "Fox & Friends Weekend", at the Trump Tower in Manhattan in 2016. has been mentioned as a leading candidate to be the next secretary of veterans affairs.

Sam Hodgson for The New York Times

The empty calorie genres of reality shows and cable experts, which fill the hours with a gutted conflict, can be a strange adjustment to the more consistent White House environment. Newman's uproar, in particular, seemed to knock out some of Washington's most balanced commentators.

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"It seems we've reached a level of madness in this White House, and it's hard to take it anymore," said Chuck Todd on MSNBC after Shah's comments.

Mr. The arrival of Kudlow in Washington could cause similar agitation.

The calm attitude of the CNBC host is a catnip for Mr. Trump focused on the image, which chose Mr. Kudlow despite his opposition to the White House authorized tariffs this month. But Mr. Kudlow is more familiar with television lights than with the brightness that comes with public service; his experience in Washington is largely limited to a period of the 1980s as a bureaucrat in the Office of Management and Budget of Ronald Reagan.

His predecessors who led the National Economic Council include Lawrence Summers, former secretary of the Treasury, and Gary D. Cohn, a former president of Goldman Sachs.

In 1972, when Nixon nominated Mr. Scali for his embbady, ​​he was electing someone who had spent a year in the White House as an image consultant. Mr. Scali also played a diplomatic role in the management of the missile crisis in Cuba, acting as a covert liaison between Soviet officials in Washington and the Kennedy administration.

Still, the election of Mr. Scali had its detractors: News of his nomination provoked a New York Times editorial that denounced the "degradation of the United Nations" and asked why Nixon had chosen a "rookie" to occupy a position that was once distinguished by Adlai E. Stevenson. "

Mr. Kudlow offers a new test case of how a television personality can make the transition. But he will have to deal with one of Mr. Trump's peculiar traits: The president often prefers the experts he sees on television to the advisors who work in his west wing.

"He was hired because the president saw him on television," said Alex Conant, a Republican strategist in Washington. "To continue being hired, he will have to continue on television, a lot."

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