“The president sees him (Hannity) as an incredibly smart and articulate spokesman for the agenda,” former deputy Trump campaign manager David Bossie told the Washington Post, confirming what many have suspected: Fox News appears to have an active and important role in the functioning of the current administration.
From tweets to phone calls, over Sean Hannity’s show, to the Mueller probe, the popular Fox News host seems to have developed a deep, mutually beneficial relationship with the president. Other White House staffers, both former and current, have shared their thoughts and experiences with the Washington Post. They all agree on one thing: Sean Hannity is Donald Trump’s shadow chief of staff.
Robert Costa, Sarah Ellison, and Josh Dawsey wrote the following.
“For a president who feels, intensely, that he is under siege, Hannity offers what he prizes: loyalty and a mass audience.”
As a former reality television star, the president seems to be very media-driven and focused on improving his image. Perhaps that is why Hannity appears to be such a close confidant. While some White House staffers who talked to the Post preferred to remain anonymous, former deputy Trump campaign manager David Bossie openly asserted that “during the heat of the campaign when relationships are forged, he (Hannity) was always there, offering good advice, in person and on television,” explaining the Fox News host’s deep involvement in the mechanisms, policies, and decision-making processes within the Trump administration.
This was confirmed by another staffer, who claims Sean Hannity is an integral part of President Trump’s inner circle, sharing that privilege with Blackstone chief executive Stephen Schwarzman, veteran investor Carl Icahn, and First Lady Melania Trump. Those three, he said, may be the only others on that list.
Two days ago, the New York Times reported that during a hearing at a Lower Manhattan Courtroom this Monday, Sean Hannity was named as a client of President Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen.
The host’s relationship with the president, according to staffers, works both ways. Hannity, the most watched cable program in the United States, averaging 3.2 million viewers in the first quarter of 2018, according to the NYT, is influenced by the POTUS himself.
White House staffers told the Washington Post that the host regularly brainstorms show ideas with Mr. Trump. Once off the phone, the president reportedly tends to quote the host in conversation with White House advisers.
This relationship, however, did not develop overnight. It took a decade for it to blossom into what it is today. The two became friendly even before Mr. Trump became the president; the host would make frequents trips to Trump Tower to interview Donald, according to a Hannity producer.
Sean Hannity “basically has a desk in the place,” one adviser confirmed. Neither Hannity nor White House officials have responded to requests for comment yet.