White House comms staff are getting snubbed as they hit the job market

  • Departing Trump White House communications staff are getting the cold shoulder from some corners of the job market.
  • One public-relations recruiter has been unable to place candidates, and Trump staff are viewed as lacking credibility.
  • Those who stood up to Trump might find an easier route than those who stood by the impeached president.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Former White House staff can usually walk into top jobs after years of dealing with some of the toughest crises in government. 

But as businesses begin to shun Trump enterprises, the group leaving 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. is already getting the cold shoulder.

Those with less name recognition such as Alyssa Farah, the former White House director of strategic engagement, have been dropping résumés to Hollywood agencies to explore work in the entertainment industry. Farah is also talking about running her own company, according to a person familiar with talks. Farah told Insider in a statement, “I stepped down from my role in the White House in early December. Since then I’ve been advising a number of political, corporate, and campaign clients, including the Georgia GOP during the senate run off.” 

Meanwhile, John Horstman, a special assistant to the president and deputy director of communications, is also looking for jobs in Hollywood. Another special assistant to the president, Carolina Hurley, is also said to be trying to secure a role in the fashion industry.

Read more: Forbes editor warns companies that might hire Trump press secretaries: Magazine will assume everything they say is a lie

Hurley didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment via the White House. Horstman referred calls to the White House.

A financial-industry source said the former CNBC personality Larry Kudlow, the head of the National Economic Council, was holding talks with Newsmax. A Newsmax spokesman said the company did not discuss future hiring. 

Former acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney is said to be in talks with CNBC; the network declined to comment and Mulvaney denied he was in talks. A Fox Business report suggested Mulvaney was on the lookout for a TV contributor position. Mulvaney appeared on CNBC last week to discuss his resignation from his special-envoy position. 

But people from Trump’s orbit are getting a cool reception from various corners.

One public-relations recruiter told Insider they had received inquiries from at least 15 people from the White House looking for jobs. The recruiter took on six people as clients, but none were able to even secure an interview with corporations they had applied to.

“It’s just very hard,” the recruiter said. “You’re supposed to put anyone in front of a job that has the credentials.  Morally, it’s hard for people to want to work with them.” 

This person added: “They’re all very all about themselves with narcissistic attitudes, thinking any company in the country will want to hire me. I listened to one for about 20 minutes, and it was so much baloney, what he was spewing out to me.” 

Forbes Chief Content Officer Randall Lane said he would not recommend hiring any of the four press secretaries for Trump. He told NPR in an interview: “The job of press secretaries sometimes is a lie of omission or it’s a spin. But never have we had, in modern history, an administration where up was down, blue is yellow.” 

One mainstream news network executive told Insider: “We’re not taking people who have no credibility. Very few of them have real value beyond Fox News, OAN, and Newsmax.”

Hilary Rosen, the vice chair of the public-affairs firm SKDK, said to Insider about the prospects of the Trump media team: “None of them are going to be TV commentators anytime soon. They really have a scarlet letter, particularly the most visible ones. There is a perception that companies are most worried about their public reputation, and they are, but really they worry about their employees too. So it’s not worth it to companies to bring on people with a bad reputation to represent the company in any way if it’s going to create employee revolt.”

Read more: 18 top public relations experts CEOs scramble to hire in a crisis

One Hollywood source said many Trump administration executives would shift to right-leaning lobby shops in Washington. Some, but not all, PR agencies expressed caution on hiring too.

BCW, part of the ad giant WPP, told Insider it had a long history of hiring from a variety of administrations and it would continue to do so, but added, “We have no current plans to hire from this administration.” 

Separately, there have been reports about forthcoming books from Kellyanne Conway, first lady Melania Trump, and Ivanka Trump. Calls to a variety of the big book publishers about their status were not returned. Sen. Josh Hawley’s book was canceled by Simon & Schuster after he supported overturning the election results. 

Not everyone is having problems. Kevin Marino Cabrera, the Trump campaign Florida state director, is joining Omnicom’s Mercury Public Affairs team, according to a tweet from him, which has already caused controversy on Twitter. 

Some of those who stood up to President Donald Trump or were critical of his actions might find an easier route than those who stood by the impeached president and are now being shunned by big business.

Two sources said they thought former national security adviser and book author John Bolton was likely to return to Fox News. “A Fox contributor contract is always the golden egg for any conservative-leaning government because it’s often the most money you get for the least work, but there are only a few of these deals to give out. It’s going to be a feeding frenzy,” said one person who said they were familiar with talks between Bolton and Fox. 

A spokeswoman for Bolton did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

A contributor deal at a network can range from $40,000 a year to $1 million depending on the personality, the insider said. Whether anyone on Trump’s media team will land there depends on just how close Fox News wishes to be associated with Trump in the aftermath of his second impeachment. 

“Hope is a cipher but could easily get a deal if she wanted one. Kayleigh may be too buffoonish a figure,” the source added of two of the Trump circle’s biggest names, Hope Hicks and Kayleigh McEnany. Hicks, who was not reachable for comment, was the chief communications officer for Fox before returning to work as a Trump aide.

A Fox News spokeswoman declined to comment, and the White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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