UPDATED with more details: Out on the cable hustle just hours after his exit as White House Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus went on CNN today for his first interview since President Donald Trump made the news public via Twitter from Air Force One. The decision to grant the first interview to CNN was all the more striking as Fox News Channel is usually the landing spot for Trump staffers, surrogates and the President himself. Trump and his administration have been frequently critical of the Jeff Zucker-run cable newser, labeling its reporting “fake news.”
Fox News says Priebus will appear on Hannity tonight at 10 PM ET. Host Sean Hannity had announced earlier in the day on his radio show that Priebus was coming on.
Long under siege and seemingly on borrowed time after Trump hired Anthony Scaramucci as his Communications Director, which prompted the exit of Priebus ally Sean Spicer, Priebus told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that he resigned Thursday evening.
In the immediate fallout of Priebus’ exit, it looked like the former RNC chairman would be going on Hannity first in his initial post-White House interview. Replaced by current Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly after the shortest tenure as White House Chief of Staff in modern times, he was on the Hannity-hosted show just last week.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) July 21, 2017
“It has been one of the greatest honors of my life to serve this President and our country,” Priebus said in his formal statement today before the CNN sit-down. “I want to thank the President for giving me this very special opportunity. I will continue to serve as a strong supporter of the President’s agenda and policies. I can’t think of a better person than General John Kelly to succeed me and I wish him God’s blessings and great success.”
Priebus told Blitzer that he would stay on to transition in Kelly, who begins his new role Monday.
Priebus’ blood was in the water after a highly charged and profanity filled interview with the New Yorker yesterday by Scaramucci. The communications boss made it very clear he thought “f*cking paranoid schizophrenic” Priebus was going to “resign” soon.
On CNN, Priebus refused to answer questions about the Scaramucci outburst, or questions about whether he was forced to resign. “I’m not going to get into the mud on that,” he told Blitzer when asked about Scaramucci.