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Trump Thinks He’s His Own Best Messenger. Where Does That Leave Bill Shine?

Category: Political News,Politics

“Donald Trump is an irrepressibly press-savvy, communications-centric president,” Ms. Conway said. Of Mr. Shine, she added that he “has a gut for what sells and an eye for what compels.”

A longtime associate of Mr. Ailes, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Mr. Trump thought he was “getting Roger,” who built Fox with a keen eye for aggressive political strategy, in his hire. But Mr. Shine, according to his critics, has shown little understanding of the conservative media beyond the cable news ecosystem and his former network — the one place where the president does not need much assistance, and where Mr. Shine has few remaining admirers.

Mr. Shine has survived mainly by fulfilling the president’s desire to be in charge of his own messaging.

“He understands really strong personalities,” Mr. Gingrich said, noting Mr. Shine’s past at Fox. “He understands that his job is to operate within the framework of that personality, not to try to change that.”

At 55, Mr. Shine is older than many of the other aides in the West Wing. He is widely described as genial and good humored by his colleagues, several of whom refer to him as an “adult in the room.” He is known as a level presence and, in the words of one senior administration official, is good at “staying in his lane.” Unlike many other White House aides, Mr. Shine tends to avoid matters that are not in his immediate purview.

Exactly what that purview is can be hard to discern. Multiple people close to the White House, for instance, said that the communications office issued no guidance on what points they should make on television after Mr. Trump’s Oval Office address.

According to one senior administration official, Mr. Shine, arriving at the White House, appeared overwhelmed by a fractious West Wing, in part because he was hired by the president after John F. Kelly, his former chief of staff, was unwilling to reassign Mercedes Schlapp, the White House director of strategic communications.


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