“The ultimate slap in the media’s face.” That’s how some describe President-elect Donald Trump tapping Billy Bush as Press Secretary (Quote).
Bush was at the center of the controversy surrounding Trump’s treatment of women (NY Times). The scandal almost upended Trump’s campaign and it cost Bush his job as co-anchor of the “Today” Show (NBC).
The Trump transition team has not confirmed nor denied that Bush is being looked at for the post. But Bush has been in talks with Trump’s Chief Strategist Steve Bannon’s organization (FOX News). Other contenders include Laura Ingraham (CNN), FOX News Host Monica Crowley (the Hill) and the self described “most fabulous supervillain on the internet,” Milo Yiannopoulos (WashPost).
The selection of Bush however, could help Trump unify the GOP. Billy Bush is related to both George W. and H.W. Bush as well as Gov. Jeb Bush (McClatchy). Hard feelings still linger between the Bush family and Trump following their nasty primary battle (the Atlantic). One observer said, “bringing Billy on board would be an olive branch to entire the (Bush) family (Quote).”
If true, the move may be working. Around the time this story first broke, the Miami Herald published that ‘Jeb Bush likes what he’s seeing growing in the Trump administration (Sunshine State News).’
Others describe this potential pick as the President-elect showing disdain for the media. Trump has said that the media has treated him “very unfairly” (This Week). Choosing someone from the entertainment world to address “hard news” reporters would send a not-so subtle message that the new administration doesn’t respect them.
Regardless of who is Press Secretary, the Trump administration will not have the traditional relationship with the press. Instead, Trump prefers to go around the news media and address the American people directly via social media (Fortune).
Like Trump, Bush has been described as a “polarizing figure” (WashPost). His short tenure as co-anchor on the “Today” Show was not without controversy. Bush got into a heated debate with “Today” weatherman Al Roker on the air (USA Today). While the confrontation made for entertaining television, it was a departure from the light and “fun” theme the “Today” Show has presented for decades.
Representatives for Bush have have not released a statement on if he’s been offered the job. However, they have confirmed that Bush is selling his Chelsea townhouse purchased a short time ago (NY Post). The Press Secretary would need to have to live in the DC area.
An official announcement could come by the end of the year.