One of President Trump’s favorite targets is the mainstream cable news media – with one major exception. Trump often praises the coverage he receives from Fox News, sometimes retweeting their anchors and responding to points made on their shows. With his own White House communications team in tumult following the turnover of press secretary Sean Spicer and communications director Anthony Scaramucci in recent months, Trump has turned to an anchor from Fox News – Mercedes Schlapp – to strengthen the image his administration portrays in the public eye.
Mercedes Schlapp, the wife of American Conservative Union chairperson Matthew Schlapp, is expected to join the press team in a high-ranking, but yet unspecified, role, according to sources. Schlapp will join a team headlined by press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and longtime Trump aide but interim communications director, Hope Hicks.
Kellyanne Conway, a popular spokeswoman from the campaign, also often appears on television on behalf of Trump, except in an unspecified position.
Schlapp previously worked as a Spanish language specialist during the George W. Bush administration. Her White House experience and relatively mild political positions endeared her with members of the Trump administration, including Chief of Staff John F. Kelly. Kelly was promoted to maintain order, and replacing bombastic communications director Anthony Scaramucci with the more mild mannered Schlapp would be a step in that direction.
Her positions have been relatively critical of Trump at times. Earlier this summer, she said that she was “perplexed” about his focus on immigration reform rather than tax reform. “If I were part of the White House team, I would say red flag, we need to talk about tax reform today until that bill is signed,” she mused at the time.
Now, it appears that she will have the opportunity to weigh into critical issues and perhaps affect policy decisions moving forward.