CBS hires former Trump chief of staff as contributor

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CBS News is taking heat for hiring a former Donald Trump administration official.

The network announced it had hired Mick Mulvaney, who held various roles within the Trump administration, as a contributor.

While it’s not uncommon for ex-administration staffers for all parties to seek out contributor deals with networks, for which they are typically paid, critics say Mulvaney’s history of manipulating information makes him unfit to appear on a news network, even in a contributor role.

Mulvaney served in the Office of Management and Budget as well as acting White House chief of staff and U.S. Special Envoy for Northern Ireland during Trump’s time in office. He is also the co-founder of the House Freedom Caucus, one of the most conservative blocs in Congress, from during his time as a South Carolina senator.

He showed up on CBS News Streaming Network Tuesday, March 29, 2022, for his first appearance as a contributor where he was introduced as “a former Office of Management and Budget director.”

Mulvaney is controversial because he made high profile statements downplaying the COVID-19 pandemic, including a time when he called the virus the “media hoax of the day” in February 2020.

He also allegedly sold off as much as $550,000 in securities the same day in March 2020 Trump declared the economy was “doing fantastically” on Fox’s right leaning commentary channel even as the stock market tanked in the coronavirus pandemic’s early days.

Mulvaney also made statements supporting Trump’s alleged attempted scheme to withhold aid from Ukraine’s military in exchange for damaging information on Joe Biden’s family.

He also penned an op-ed that ran in The Wall Street Journal headlined “If He Loses, Trump Will Concede Gracefully.”

That material obviously did not age well as Trump struggled to maintain power after losing the 2020 election by spreading a myriad of falsehoods, claims of fraud and, ultimately, encouraging his supporters to storm the U.S. Capitol as Congress was certifying the election for Joe Biden — which resulted in the infamous January 6 insurrection.

Multiple media watchers questioned what expertise or context Mulvaney can bring to CBS, especially given his history as an unreliable source of information.

Like most networks, CBS News typically pays contributors or analysts for appearing on air. Contracts vary widely in value and often guarantee the contributor a minimum of appearances. Contributors can appear in one-on-one interviews with anchors or hosts, as part of panels or sitting for taped interviews used in longer form packages.