Heather Nauert and Fox News Deny She Was Paid By Network While She Worked for State

Heather Nauert and Fox News Deny She Was Paid By Network While She Worked for State

EDITOR’s NOTE: This article and headline have been updated to reflect both Fox News’ and Heather Nauert’s denials that she received a salary from the network while she worked for the State Department. CREW has also since released a statement addressing the issue and pulled their post on Nauert’s salary.

Another day, another Donald Trump appointee with some dicey financial conflicts.

The guilty party this time is Heather Nauert, the one-time Fox News broadcaster who left the network in early 2017 to serve as a spokeswoman for the State Department. Nauert left that position in March of 2019 after withdrawing her name from consideration to succeed Nikki Haley as Ambassador to the United Nations.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) announced Wednesday that, according to a termination financial disclosure report Nauert filed at that time, she was paid $167,000 by 21st Century Fox between January 1, 2018 and her official end date at the State Department, which was March 31 of this year. On the report, she classified this money as “salary.”

“If Nauert’s termination financial disclosure report is correct, the salary payments are problematic because the White House gave her an ethics waiver that authorized her to meet, interview, and communicate with 21st Century Fox employees,” CREW wrote. But that waiver was predicated on Nauert not having any sort of financial relationship or interest in the company.

“Nauert’s receipt of salary from the media giant would, however, have constituted a continuing financial relationship with and ‘financial interest in’ the company,” CREW wrote. “Her disclosure as it currently reads suggests that she was representing the government in meetings with 21st Century Fox while continuing to receive a salary from the company.”

CREW also noted that Nauert had never “disclose[d] any employment agreements or arrangements in her termination or other financial disclosure reports that might explain the payments” and announced it has filed a Freedom of Information Request with the Office of Government Ethics to see if it can learn more about the payments.

Nauert, meanwhile, took to Twitter to vehemently deny that she was ever paid by the network during her time at State, citing a clerical error.

“This is false,” she wrote Wednesday afternoon. “I NEVER received salary from 21st Century Fox while employed by State Dept. This story is based on a preliminary draft with a clerical error. The FINAL CERTIFIED report, available to anyone, makes it clear that I NEVER received salary from Fox while working for govt.”

A Fox News spokesperson also confirmed to Contemptor that “she was not paid a salary in 2018 or 2019,” indicating the last time she was paid was 2017.

After Nauert and Fox News released their statements, CREW took their post on Nauert down and issued the following statement on Twitter:

“CREW’s post was written based on publicly available financial disclosure documents certified by Ms. Nauert,” the statement read. “CREW followed up with State to request any revisions or final certifications of the document, and State indicated ‘with respect to Ms. Norby (Nauert), the termination report was the final report.'”

“At the time of publication, there was no other publicly available document. Following publication, Ms. Nauert has made an amended version public. With the information provided in the new version, we have pulled the post down as it no longer reflects the information contained in the newest version of the report.”

Gary Legum

Gary Legum has written about politics and culture for Independent Journal Review, Salon, The Daily Beast, Wonkette, AlterNet and McSweeney's, among others. He currently lives in his native state of Virginia.