CNN announced Thursday it has hired former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe as a contributor after the network criticized other networks for hiring former Trump White House press secretaries Sean Spicer and Sarah Sanders.
Some news: CNN announces Andrew McCabe has been signed as a contributor.
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) August 23, 2019
Earlier this week, it was announced Spicer would join ABC for the upcoming season of hit show “Dancing with the Stars,” and Sanders would be joining Fox News as a contributor.
Brian Stelter, CNN’s chief media correspondent and host of the network’s “Reliable Sources,” took issue with those hires, saying it was unfair for two former White House aides to cash in on their stardom with big television contracts.
“How should ex-White House officials be treated when they spend months misleading the public, then seeking positions of fame and privilege?” Stelter said on Twitter.
Wrote this about Spicer and ABC last night, now it applies to Sanders and Fox too: How should ex-White House officials be treated when they spend months misleading the public, then seek positions of fame and privilege?
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) August 22, 2019
Never mind that McCabe, who has displayed open public disdain for Trump, has had his own shaky history with the truth.
Serving as acting FBI director after James Comey was fired in May 2017, McCabe was fired last year after lying to the bureau’s inspector general at least four times related to abuse of power at the agency while he was in charge. It was revealed that McCabe was involved in spying on the Trump campaign and in efforts to derail the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails while at the bureau. In February, McCabe admitted to discussing a coup with top national security officials to remove Trump from office.
After being let go from the FBI, McCabe went on a media tour to criticize Trump, repeatedly bashing the president at each opportunity.
It is not uncommon for former White House officials to land lucrative television contracts after leaving their posts in government.
A former White House communications director under President Bill Clinton, George Stephanopoulos is now the chief anchor and political correspondent for ABC News. CNN’s Jim Sciutto, who is now an anchor and the chief national security correspondent for the network, used to work in the Obama administration.
Other CNN hires include Josh Campbell, who used to work for Comey and now covers law enforcement and national security, and Jen Psaki, a contributor for the network who used to serve as the White House communications director for President Barack Obama. James Baker, who also used to work for the FBI, is now a CNN legal analyst.
It is especially common for former White House press secretaries to pursue television. Dana Perino, the press secretary for President George W. Bush, is now a host on Fox News. Jay Carney, who served in the role for President Obama, signed a contract with CNN afterward. Josh Earnest, Obama’s later press secretary, went to work for NBC News and MSNBC. Robert Gibbs also joined MSNBC after leaving the role in the Obama White House.