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Lara Trump joins Fox News as a paid contributor

  • NEW YORK TIMES / JANUARY 20
                                Eric Trump and his wife Lara, arrive to hear then President Donald Trump speak to supporters at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, before boarding Air Force One for his last time as President.

    NEW YORK TIMES / JANUARY 20

    Eric Trump and his wife Lara, arrive to hear then President Donald Trump speak to supporters at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, before boarding Air Force One for his last time as President.

Fox News just hired a Trump. But not Donald.

Lara Trump, the daughter-in-law of former President Donald Trump, is joining the cable channel as a paid on-air contributor, the network announced today. The move was not exactly a surprise, as Lara Trump acknowledged during a morning appearance on “Fox & Friends.”

“I sort of feel like I’ve been an unofficial member of the team for so long,” Trump told the show’s co-hosts, Steve Doocy, Ainsley Earhardt and Brian Kilmeade. “Over the past five years, I would come there so often that the security guards were like, ‘Maybe we should just give you a key.’”

Doocy, Earhardt and Kilmeade welcomed their new colleague with an on-air round of applause.

Trump, who is married to the former president’s son Eric, was a frequent guest on Fox News during the 2020 campaign, when she served as a surrogate for her father-in-law. Recently, Trump floated the possibility of running for a U.S. Senate seat in North Carolina, her home state. Today, she told “Fox & Friends” that she had not “officially made a decision, but hopefully sometime soon.”

She is the second member of Donald Trump’s inner circle to join the Fox News payroll in recent weeks. Kayleigh McEnany, the former White House press secretary, signed on earlier this month as a contributor.

If Lara Trump does pursue a run for public office, Fox News policy would require that she and the network cut ties. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, another close ally of Donald Trump who served as his press secretary, joined Fox News as a contributor in September 2019 after leaving the White House. The network terminated her contract in January after she announced that she would run for governor of Arkansas.

During her appearance today, Lara Trump criticized the Biden administration for its handling of immigration policy and offered “100% complete credit” to her father-in-law for this year’s national vaccine rollout.

Her hiring was the latest example of the revolving door between Fox and Donald Trump’s circle.

Larry Kudlow, a former CNBC anchor who directed Trump’s National Economic Council, was hired by Fox in January. He has since debuted a weekday Fox Business program and regularly appears as an analyst on Fox News.

Previously, Heather Nauert, a former “Fox & Friends” anchor, and John Bolton, a Fox News commentator, accepted roles in Trump’s administration. So did Bill Shine, a former Fox News co-president, who served as Trump’s deputy chief of staff. Kimberly Guilfoyle, a former co-host of “The Five” on Fox News, worked as a top official on Trump’s 2020 campaign and is dating the former president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr.

When Bolton appeared on Fox News in March 2018 shortly after being named Donald Trump’s national security adviser, he appeared briefly confused about his status at the network. “I think I still am a Fox News contributor,” he told anchor Martha MacCallum.

“No,” MacCallum replied. “You’re not.”

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