Ex-Trump spokesperson joins Sinclair Broadcasting

boris epshteyn

Boris Epshteyn, the combative former White House spokesperson, has joined the conservative local news operator Sinclair Broadcasting Group.

Sinclair announced Monday that it had named Epshteyn "chief political analyst." In that role he will be appearing across the 173 television stations Sinclair owns, operates or provides services for across the country.

"Over a year ago, we made a commitment to provide additional political content that goes beyond the podium to provide a true point of difference with additional context," Scott Livingston, Sinclair's vice president of news, said in a statement. "We understand the frustration with government and traditional institutions. Mr. Epshteyn brings a unique perspective to the political conversation and will play a pivotal role in our mission to dissect the stories in the headlines and to better inform and empower our viewers."

In 2016, Sinclair struck a deal with Trump's presidential campaign to offer better coverage in exchange for more access to the candidate, according to a report from Politico. As part of the deal, Sinclair agreed to broadcast their Trump interviews without commentary. Livingston defended the decision at the time, saying that other outlets had made similar deals with other candidates in the past and that the company's promise "was to give all candidates an opportunity to voice their position and share their position with our viewers."

Epshteyn served as a spokesperson on Trump's campaign and then as an official in his White House press office, where he was tasked with booking surrogates for media appearances. Epshteyn, who frequently appeared on cable news himself, was also known for contentious exchanges with network producers.

Politico detailed one incident earlier this year when Epshteyn got into a fight with a Fox News booker after he was interviewed about Trump's ban on travelers and immigrants from seven Muslim-majority nations. "Am I someone you want to make angry?" Epshteyn told the booker, according to the report.

Epshteyn quietly left the White House in March. The White House did not offer an explanation for his departure.

In a statement Monday, Epshteyn said, "I am honored and grateful to be joining the distinguished and extremely talented team at Sinclair Broadcast Group. I greatly admire Sinclair's mission to provide thoughtful impactful reporting throughout the country. I look forward to contributing my voice to the ongoing dialogue with the American people."

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