POLITICS

Former Trump Administration Official Will Serve As Analyst Rather Than Editor At CNN

Sarah Isgur Flores was the leading spokeswoman at the Justice Department under former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Sarah Isgur Flores, a former Trump administration official hired by CNN last month, will serve as a political analyst and not as a political editor, as was previously announced.

Flores, who worked as the primary spokeswoman at the Justice Department under former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, announced her title change in a tweet on Friday.

“I will go to CNN as a Political Analyst instead,” she wrote. “Will start next month on air and on line.”

A CNN spokesperson on Friday confirmed the announcement to HuffPost and said Flores “will not be in a coverage coordinating role.”

“We can confirm that when Sarah came to us and proposed her role be adjusted to a political analyst instead, we agreed, and we look forward to her starting in that role,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson told HuffPost in February that Flores would coordinate the network’s online and TV reporting on the 2020 election cycle. The spokesperson said she would not cover the Justice Department, but did not immediately reply to a question about whether her other prior work could present a conflict of interest with the network’s political coverage.

CNN received heavy criticism, including from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), over Flores’s hiring.

“Sorry, didn’t get the latest memo after 1,000 experienced + qualified journalists of all stripes were let go w/o warning a few weeks ago and still looking for work,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote in a scathing tweet. “Are we still pretending that hires like these are evidence of a meritocracy?”

CNN later said that Flores would actually be one of several editors helping coordinate its election coverage.

Now it appears Flores will merely serve as an analyst, forgoing an editorial role altogether.

Flores has no journalism background but has worked for years as a Republican political operative. Some of her recent roles before working for the Trump administration included acting as deputy campaign manager for Carly Fiorina’s presidential campaign, deputy communications director at the Republican National Committee, Election Day operations manager for Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign and political director of Texans for Ted Cruz.

Her jump from the Trump administration to CNN is notable, given the president’s stated antagonism toward the network. Trump has repeatedly referred to CNN as “fake news” for its critical reporting on his administration and frequently spars with Jim Acosta, the network’s chief political correspondent.

On Wednesday, CNN’s Anderson Cooper accused Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen of engaging in “Orwellian” tactics, referring to the dystopian totalitarian state conjured in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story indicated Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is a Republican.

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