The paperwork prompted outrage from prime Democrats in Washington, together with Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Home Minority Chief Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.). It has additionally sparked discussions inside Democratic circles about icing out the community. The White Home, for its half, sidestepped having Biden sit down with Fox for an interview across the Tremendous Bowl — breaking with custom that the host community of the sport get a one-on-one with the president.
Fox confirmed O’Brien’s departure in an announcement.
“FOX is presently interviewing for our Head of Authorities Relations function and talking with inside and exterior candidates,” spokesman Brian Nick stated. “We want to thank Danny for his years of excellent service to our Firm and need him the very best of luck on his subsequent endeavor.”
O’Brien joined Fox in 2018 as head of its Washington workplace, the place he led the corporate’s legislative, regulatory and coverage agenda and its authorities relations crew. Earlier than that, he served as a world authorities affairs and coverage govt for what’s now GE Transportation.
However it’s his previous roles within the public sector that have made O’Brien’s positioned of employment particularly intriguing.
O’Brien labored on Democratic campaigns for years, earlier than transferring to the Hill to work for former Sen. Robert Torricelli (D-N.J.). He then served as chief of employees in Biden’s Senate workplace from 2003 to 2006, and later held the identical function with Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), along with changing into employees director on the Senate Overseas Relations Committee. When Biden ran for president in 2008, O’Brien was tapped as his coverage director.
At Fox, O’Brien had constructed up an in-house lobbying store that employed extra Democrats (3) than Republicans (1). In 2019, he employed veteran broadcast lobbyist Jamie Gillespie away from the Nationwide Affiliation of Broadcasters, and final 12 months O’Brien recruited a staffer straight from Biden’s West Wing, Carissa Pleasure.
O’Brien is just not the primary Democrat to guide Fox’s D.C. workplace — his predecessor, Chip Smith, helped lead former Vice President Al Gore’s 2000 White Home bid.
And forward of final 12 months’s midterms, Fox stated its company PAC gave roughly evenly to Republicans and Democrats, together with most donations to every occasion’s nationwide committee and Home and Senate marketing campaign arms. Democratic recipients of Fox’s marketing campaign money included a few of Fox Information’ favourite punching baggage, comparable to Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), and a number of other of every occasion’s most susceptible incumbents.
In his new function at QCells, O’Brien will nearly assuredly be engaged on the implementation of one in every of Biden’s legacy legislative achievements as president, the local weather and tax spending invoice handed final 12 months.
Final month the corporate and Biden introduced a $2.5 billion greenback funding for an present QCells photo voltaic manufacturing plant in Georgia that was attributed particularly to the Inflation Discount Act. QCells additionally just lately introduced a partnership with Microsoft, and stated that O’Brien will lead its coverage, communications and sustainability groups as QCells “expands throughout the clear vitality worth chain in the US.”
Daniel Lippman contributed to this report.