Laura Ingraham doesn’t want to be just another flack.
The popular conservative radio talk show host is willing to accept the position of White House press secretary in Donald Trump’s administration, but she wants a bigger title, a role in policymaking and a seat at the decision-making table with the president, according to a source familiar with the discussions.
It’s not yet clear how Ingraham, a regular on Fox News who boosted Trump’s anti-establishment candidacy throughout the campaign, would mesh with the rival power centers that currently define Trump’s inner circle. On one pole is Breitbart publisher and senior adviser Steve Bannon, who represents the rejection of the Republican establishment, and on the other is the outgoing RNC chairman and incoming chief of staff Reince Priebus, who represents the continued influence of the Washington insiders on Trump, and a connection to House Speaker Paul Ryan.
Trump’s inner circle is also tossing around the possibility of Fox News analyst Monica Crowley as press secretary. The longtime Trump believer, who describes herself as a “happy warrior” in her Twitter bio, was an early advocate for Trump. Back when he announced his seemingly quixotic presidential bid in June of 2015, Crowley warned on Fox News not to underestimate the real estate mogul. Last June, she penned an article for the Washington Times, entitled “How Donald Trump is resurrecting the ‘great, silent majority.’”
Ingraham has made no secret of her interest in the press secretary gig, a high-profile position that could put her in front of the White House press corps —and in front of the cameras —every day. Ingraham, a Fox News contributor and former Supreme Court clerk, is against same-sex marriage and was a supporter of Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. during the campaign – a ban he has softened on since clinching the Republican nomination last May.
“I would say it’s not broad enough,” Ingraham said on her radio show in December of 2015.
Ingraham has confirmed that her name is in the mix and hinted, in her public comments addressing the speculation, that she wants a role in shaping the Trump agenda. But she apparently wants a title that elevates her beyond just dominating the spin cycle.
“It’s a big decision, but I’m at the point where, if my country needs me, and if I can do something to actually, you know, advance the Trump agenda, which is stuff I have written about now for 15 years, with trade, immigration and just renewing America, then I obviously have to seriously consider that,” she told Fox’s Tucker Carlson.
For now, the public-facing communications team is made of campaign spokesman Jason Miller and RNC spokesman Sean Spicer. The duo are currently in charge of the transition team’s daily press calls and are also said to be in the mix of potential podium picks. The team is also considering other names that have yet to be made public, a source familiar with the transition team’s conversations said.
A Fox News spokeswoman referred POLITICO to Ingraham’s own recent comments about her potential official government post on the news channel. Ingraham and the Trump campaign also did not respond to requests for comment.
If Crowley instead gets the job, it would be another example of an early Trump believer being rewarded with a White House position. On Fox News, Crowley argued during the campaign that questions about Hillary Clinton’s health were legitimate for Trump to raise, and she herself questioned Clinton’s honesty about her medical conditions after her public collapse at the 9/11 Memorial (Clinton released a doctor’s note that said she had walking pneumonia, and recovered within days).
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