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October 23, 2018

You may not need political experience to work in this White House, but a background in MMA could be helpful.

On Feb. 21, the same day families of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting victims were visiting with President Trump, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Corey Lewandowski, Trump's first campaign manager, got into a physical altercation, six people with knowledge of the scuffle told The New York Times on Monday. The fight took place outside the Oval Office, and Secret Service agents had to get involved after Kelly grabbed Lewandowski by the collar and attempted to push him up against a wall, people familiar with the incident told the Times.

It started when both men were meeting with Trump, and Kelly was critical of Lewandowski, saying he was making money off of Trump's name, the Times reports. Kelly was also unhappy with Lewandowski for going on television and discussing how he'd handled the situation with Rob Porter, the former White House staff secretary accused of domestic abuse by his two ex-wives. Lewandowski did not get physical, people with knowledge of the matter told the Times, and while he still visits the White House, aides make sure he doesn't go near Kelly.

Kelly, a retired four-star Marine Corps general, became chief of staff last year. Last week, it was reported he got into a screaming match with National Security Adviser John Bolton over immigration, and Anthony Scaramucci, the onetime White House communications director turned interpretive dancer, blasted Kelly on Sunday's Meet the Press, saying he "hurt the morale inside the place" and "has hissy fits." Read more about Kelly's temperament, and what his supporters have to say about it, at The New York Times. Catherine Garcia

July 5, 2018

Bill Shine, former co-president of Fox News, is the new deputy chief of staff in the White House communications office, President Trump announced on Thursday.

Shine has already been working at the White House for several days, reports CNN, additionally serving as an assistant to the president. The former cable news executive was reportedly pushed out of the company last year over his handling of the Roger Ailes sexual harassment scandal, but has reportedly remained close with Fox News star Sean Hannity, a close friend of Trump's.

The White House statement touted Shine's "two decades of television programming, communications, and management experience." Summer Meza

June 7, 2018

Jeanine Pirro, a Fox News host, former prosecutor, and judge, has reportedly been hounding President Trump's staffers in the hopes of getting a job in the Justice Department.

Politico reports that Trump once floated the idea of making her the attorney general, something that aides and staffers say Pirro has latched onto. Over the last 18 months, she's "repeatedly" reached out regarding the possibility, also discussing an appointment as deputy attorney general or a nomination for a federal judgeship.

Not all the aides are taking it seriously, reports Politico, but Trump is at least somewhat interested given her loyalty to his presidency and administration. Pirro often fiercely defends Trump on-air, and battles with guests who criticize his policies. She has called Attorney General Jeff Sessions "the most dangerous man in America," slamming his lack of loyalty to Trump. The president has known Pirro for decades, and is interested in her combative style and frequent agreement with his views. Read more at Politico. Summer Meza

June 1, 2018

National Security Adviser John Bolton handpicked a chief of staff who has repeatedly argued that American Muslims who observe shariah should have their citizenship revoked and be deported.

Bolton announced this week that Fred Fleitz would be his chief of staff at the National Security Council, a decision that the Southern Poverty Law Center called deeply alarming given Fleitz's past work "propagating wild conspiracy theories" that "stoke a climate of fear and violence against American Muslims."

Fleitz co-authored a 2015 report titled "The Secure Freedom Strategy: A Plan for Victory Over the Global Jihad Movement." It argued that following Islamic law should be considered "legal premises for deportation and stripping of American citizenship." The Atlantic says the report was part of a longstanding pattern from Fleitz, who was vice president of the Center for Security Policy, an organization that says American Muslims who observe shariah are embracing a "totalitarian political program" as dangerous as Nazism.

The report Fleitz worked on additionally claimed that "over 80 percent" of mosques in the U.S. are "shariah-adherent," which the report deemed to mean subversive of U.S. law and possibly violent. Mosques that appear to pose a threat "should be treated accordingly," the report said. The fierce Islamophobia in the organization that Fleitz helped lead has sparked many advocacy groups to denounce his appointment to the NSC, reports The Washington Post, especially given the organization's repeated claims that American Muslims are seeking to overthrow the U.S. Constitution with Islamic law. Read more at The Atlantic. Summer Meza

March 23, 2018

At this rate, the next time you turn on Fox News it might just be an empty set or this guy, since all of the on-air personalities are being poached by President Trump.

On Thursday, Trump announced that John Bolton, a Fox News analyst and George W. Bush administration alumnus, will be replacing National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, and another frequent guest on Fox News, Joseph diGenova, just signed on to be part of Trump's legal team. We already know Trump watches Fox & Friends like it's his job, but he sometimes changes the channel, as shown by his recent hiring of conservative CNBC contributor Larry Kudlow as director of the National Economic Council.

It makes sense for Trump to pluck people his base is familiar with, Fusion TV host Alicia Menendez told CNN. "If you love the president, if you love Fox News, then his hiring from Fox validates Fox's credibility and it also validates the president's great taste, right?" she said. "It works both ways." Why stop there, though? Trump should turn to network television to start filling positions — make nemesis Alec Baldwin his body double, replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions with Judge Judy, put the kids from Riverdale in charge of homeland security, and let Young Sheldon take over NASA. Catherine Garcia

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