Kimberly Guilfoyle, the former first lady of San Francisco and current Fox News host, is in talking with the Trump administration about White House press secretary jobs, she said in an interview with the Bay Area News Group on Monday night.
Guilfoyle said the idea of her taking the job or another press role in the White House has been “raised by a number of people” in the Trump administration, although she declined to go into specifics.
She noted that she’s regularly in touch with members of the administration in the course of her job.
“I’m a patriot, and it would be an honor to serve the country,” Guilfoyle said. “I think it’d be a fascinating job. It’s a challenging job, and you need someone really determined and focused, a great communicator in there with deep knowledge to be able to handle that position.”
The 48-year-old Guilfoyle is a former San Francisco and Los Angeles prosecutor who was married for four years to former San Francisco mayor and current Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom. The two separated in 2005 when she moved to New York to start a career in television. She’s now one of the co-hosts of the Fox News show “The Five.”
She was originally considered for press secretary during the presidential transition, but the job went to Sean Spicer, the former spokesman for the Republican National Committee.
Now, with rumors boiling in Washington, D.C., about a broad shakeup to Trump’s press team following a drumbeat of controversies, Guilfoyle’s name has resurfaced. The New York Times reported on Friday that Trump had suggested Guilfoyle for the press secretary job in conversations with political allies.
“I think it’d be a fascinating job.”
— Kimberly Guilfoyle on joining President Trump’s communications team
If she joined the administration, Guilfoyle could come aboard amid other changes at the press office. In an interview with Fox News released over the weekend, Trump floated the possibility of canceling the daily press briefings and just releasing written statements, or holding a personal news conference every couple of weeks.
On her show last week, Guilfoyle — while not mentioning anything about herself — said she thought “there is room for improvement with the roll-out” by the press team, citing the furors over the travel ban and the firing of FBI Director James Comey.
“If you want to be successful and do communications with President Trump, you have to be someone who he actually wants to spend a little bit of time with,” she said on the air. “You’ve got to insist on getting in front of POTUS, talk to him, and have like five, six minutes with him before you go out there and take the podium, and otherwise you’re driving blind.”
“It has to be somebody with a very close relationship, where there’s trust there, there’s inherent loyalty, someone who’s been there from the beginning,” she added.
As part of an interview in her office at Fox News headquarters that she agreed to several weeks ago, Guilfoyle said she thought she had that kind of relationship with Trump. She’s said she’s known Trump and his family for more than a decade — they first met at charity events when she moved to New York around 2004 to start a TV career.
“I think I have a very good relationship with the president,” Guilfoyle said. “I think I enjoy a very straightforward and authentic, very genuine relationship, one that’s built on trust and integrity, and I think that’s imperative for success in that position.”
The White House did not respond Tuesday morning to a request for comment about the speculation over Guilfoyle.
“Sean Spicer is a very nice man and a patriot.”
— Guilfoyle on the man she’s rumored to soon replace
During the presidential campaign, Guilfoyle conducted several on-air interviews with Trump. Her son, Ronan, also went to school with Trump’s granddaughter Kai, the daughter of Donald Trump Jr. and his wife, Vanessa.
Guilfoyle said she couldn’t speculate about what she would do differently if she became press secretary, but she emphasized the importance of “being on message, being very well prepared … making sure that everybody’s on the same page.”
“Sean Spicer is a very nice man and a patriot; he’s dedicated himself to this public service,” she said. “Very tough position he’s in — I wish him the best, and I know he puts a lot of effort into it.”
After the news about the possibility of her joining the White House came out, Newsom, a vocal opponent of Trump, messaged Guilfoyle about the possibility of her becoming press secretary, she said: “He was cracking up… he’s like, ‘Oh my goodness, you’re a rockstar, you’d be fantastic, but oh man.’ He was teasing me.
“If I had to go after him, I would, but I’d be fair,” she joked about Newsom. The two are still close friends, she said.
Newsom declined to comment through a spokesperson.
If she was offered and took the job, Guilfoyle could expect a huge pay cut, and she’d have to uproot her life from New York to Washington. But she said that wouldn’t be a problem.
“I’ve never been someone who’s motivated by financial interests,” she said. “I really don’t think of that in terms of any obstacle — if you’re passionate about it and you feel like you have a calling for anything in life.”
What she would miss most, Guilfoyle said, were her Fox News co-workers, whom she described as a “surrogate family.”
“I really love what I do, and this job is tough to beat,” she said. “At the same time, life is exciting and it’s about different chapters in your life, so I’m excited about the future.”