CBS staff backlash after network hired Trump chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and news head said they need more GOP voices on air: ‘We know the Republicans are going to take over, most likely, in the midterms’
- CBS staff members said they’re embarrassed about the network’s hire of Mick Mulvaney, a former White House Chief of Staff in the Trump Administration
- The hire comes after CBS brought in Trump’s former National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and fellow former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus
- In a leaked recording obtained by The Washington Post, CBS News co-President Neeraj Khemlani told staff that the network needed more Republican voices
- Khemlani said the diversity was needed as he expects Democrats to wipeout in the coming 2022 midterm elections
- Mulvaney’s hiring appears to have drawn controversy due his confrontations with reporters during his tenure from January 2019 to March 2020
CBS faced internal backlash for hiring former President Donald Trump‘s chief of staff as a paid on-air contributor as a news head claimed that the network needed to hire more Republican‘s in preparations for an expected sweep in the midterm elections.
Mick Mulvaney, who previously bashed CBS reporters and other journalists for harping on anti-Trump stories during his tenure in the administration, joined the network this week following the hires of Trump’s former National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and fellow former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.
The hires come as The Washington Post reported that CBS News co-President Neeraj Khemlani recently told staff that Republican voices were needed on the network as he expects Democrats to wipeout in the 2022 midterms.
‘If you look at some of the people that we’ve been hiring on a contributor basis, being able to make sure that we are getting access to both sides of the aisle is a priority because we know the Republicans are going to take over, most likely, in the midterms,’ Khemlani said in a leaked recording obtained by the Post.
‘A lot of the people that we’re bringing in are helping us in terms of access to that side of the equation.’
CBS confirmed the new hiring practice in a statement, saying: ‘CBS News is continuing to build up its roster of contributors on both sides of the aisle ahead of the midterms and the 2024 election.’
However, CBS employees speaking under the condition of anonymity because they’re not authorized to comment on the recent hires said many in the company were frustrated and embarrassed by Mulvaney coming on staff.
Mick Mulvaney (above), a former White House Chief of Staff in the Trump Administration, has joined CBS news as an on-air contributor. He made his first appearance on Tuesday
The hire has drawn backlash from CBS staff who called it embarrassing. Mulvaney (right) had previously lashed out at reporters while working for Former President Donald Trump
CBS News co-President Neeraj Khemlani (above) was said to have told staff members that the company needs to bring in more Republican voices as he expects the GOP to make sweeping victories in the coming 2020 midterm elections
‘I know everyone I talked to today was embarrassed about the hiring,’ on Employee told the Post.
‘Everyone is baffled,’ another employee added.
A senior CBS News producer simply connected Mulvaney’s hiring to the 74.2 million Americans who voted for Trump in 2020, suggesting that the company couldn’t risk loosing out on potential viewers.
After he joined the company on Tuesday, Mulvaney said in a statement: ‘Looking forward to working with CBS News. We need more intelligent conversation in this country, and CBS is working hard to provide that.’
While the hires of McMaster, who was brought in earlier in March, and Priebus, who was hired in 2020, brought little protest from the company, Mulvaney appeared to draw more ire due to his previous staunch defense of Trump.
In February 2020, Mulvaney accused journalists of trying to ‘bring down the president,’ as reports and questions grew regarding the coming coronavirus pandemic.
He also defended the Trump administration’s decision to withhold military aid from Ukraine and told reporters to ‘get over it’ when they asked if Trump had sought a quid pro quo from Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden in 2019.
Mulvaney also slammed reporters for worrying that Trump would not participate in a peaceful transition of power despite the former president’s continued insistence that the 2020 presidential election was stolen.
CBS had previously hired Trump’s Former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus (left) in 2020 and Former National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster earlier in March
Mulvaney made his first official appearance as a contributor on Tuesday morning where he was introduced as ‘a former Office of Management and Budget director, with anchor Anne-Marie Green failing to mention which administration Mulvaney worked for.
Following the segment, the company’s standards department sent out a memo telling staff: ‘as we introduce these folks, we must always identify relevant background and biographical information,’ including what administration a guest worked for, according to the Post.
CBS News’ latest hiring practice follows CNN’s hires last year of former White House Communications Director Alyssa Farah Griffin. CNN had also hired Chris Wallace, who left his popular position at Fox News to join the company’s new CNN+ streaming service.