'Fox & Friends' Co-Host Pete Hegseth Passed Over for Trump Cabinet

Pete Hegseth - Fox And Friends at FOX Studios on March 21, 2016  - Getty-H 2018
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Hegseth said he was "proud to be under consideration" for Veterans Affairs Secretary.

President Donald Trump is, by all accounts, a huge fan of the Fox News morning show Fox & Friends. But, when it came time to pick someone to replace the veterans affairs secretary he ousted this week, David Shulkin, Trump decided against Fox & Friends weekend co-host Pete Hegseth.

For weeks, as speculation mounted that Trump would get rid of Shulkin, Hegseth's name had been bandied about as a top candidate for the post. Hegseth is a veteran, has strong ideas about how the VA should be reformed, and is a confidant of the president. In the end, though, Trump picked his personal doctor — Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson — for the job.

On Fox & Friends Thursday morning, co-host Brian Kilmeade asked Hegseth if he was "surprised" to not have gotten picked.

"My name was out there, just like some others," Hegseth said. "I was proud to be under consideration. Grateful any time you be thought of to serve. But the president's going to bring in the people he thinks are going to be in the best position to fix that agency."

Hegseth then endorsed Jackson for the job, saying he "has the type of stature, the ability" to right the ship at the VA.

Last week, Trump picked Fox News contributor John Bolton to replace H.R. McMaster as national security advisor. He also recently tapped CNBC contributor Larry Kudlow to be his top economic advisor.

CNN reported on Wednesday that Hegseth "appears to lack the support of traditional veterans service organizations," while other outlets reported that he would have faced difficulty during a Senate confirmation process.