Every night the phone rings for Fox News host Sean Hannity from the White House. While the first lady is in her own bedroom down the hall of the executive residence, the bromance between the two men is glowing through the phone as they gush over the president’s latest coverage on the network.
A shocking expose in New York Magazine revealed Sunday the many sources that are intimately aware of the relationship the two men share and how it has crafted the communications strategy for the White House.
“White House staff are aware that the calls happen, thanks to the president entering a room and announcing, ‘I just hung up with Hannity,’ or referring to what Hannity said during their conversations, or even ringing Hannity up from his desk in their presence,” the report outlined.
Early on in the Trump presidency, the morning was spent flipping from cable news shows like MSNBC’s Morning Joe to CNN’s New Day, which ultimately lead to rage tweeting and an entire day’s plans thrown out onto the White House lawn.
“It got to the point that they were just like, ‘We need to get him off these channels and onto Fox & Friends or else we’re going to be chasing down this crazy-train bullshit from MSNBC and CNN all day,’” one former White House official told New York Magazine.
Thanks to former chief of staff Reince Priebus and press secretary Sean Spicer, however, the team was able to move the president to Fox News. The result has been a happier and more blissfully benighted Trump less likely to ignite World War III after a Chris Cuomo quip. That’s not to say that there aren’t other problems.
“Sometimes on Fox, a lot of stories are embellished, and they don’t necessarily cover the big news stories of the day,” explained the current White House official. “When they cover the smaller stories, if that gets the president riled up, then that becomes an issue. Whenever he tweets, all of us do a mad dash or mad scramble to find out as much information about that random topic as possible. We’re used to it in a lot of ways, so it’s part of our morning routine.”
To make matters worse, Trump doesn’t trust anyone willing to work for him. Instead he flocks to his phone, begging for outsiders to confirm he’s right. At the center of those on speed dial, however, is Hannity.
“Generally, the feeling is that Sean is the leader of the outside kitchen cabinet,” another White House official told New York Magazine.
“Sean Hannity understands the basic issues of economic nationalism and ‘America First’ foreign policy at a deeper level than the august staff of Jonathan Chait and the f*ckin’ clowns at New York Magazine,” Bannon replied.
A White House official explained it as the influence of administration officials are essentially equal to Fox News.