Fox News host Sean Hannity has long maintained a close relationship with President Donald Trump, which has drawn criticism from many. In New York Times TV critic James Poniewozik’s forthcoming book, Audience of One: Donald Trump, Television, and the Fracturing of America, the extent of Hannity’s involvement with the White House is once again put under the spotlight.
“Sean Hannity, who fulminated about conspiracies against Trump nightly on Fox, was the most influential White House counselor,” Poniewozik wrote in an excerpt for the book, per Newsweek.
“He basically has a desk in the place,” Poniewozik quotes an unnamed Trump adviser.
Poniewozik also claims that Trump ordered the release of classified information on Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation at the request of Lou Dobbs, Jeanine Pirro, and Hannity.
“It was real that TV personalities — who cast his world in terms of exciting victories and wicked antagonists — were more persuasive to Trump than his own staff,” he writes before claiming that Tucker Carlson has also been an influence on Trump.
Poniewozik highlighted Trump’s decision to push the conspiracy theory that white South African farmers are being targeted and killed, which was pushed by Carlson on Fox News.
Trump’s relationship with Fox News has been deteriorating lately. Per The Inquisitr, he slammed the network in a series of Twitter messages posted on Wednesday in which he accused them of “heavily promoting the Democrats.” He pointed to the appearance of Democratic National Committee (DNC) Communications Director Xochitl Hinojosa and accused host Sandra Smith of letting Hinojosa say whatever she wanted without pushing back on her statements.
Fox News host Sean Hannity "basically has a desk" at White House as president's most influential counselor, Trump adviser says https://t.co/3V5zIvjBMO— Newsweek (@Newsweek) September 5, 2019
Per Mediaite, a Thursday Fox & Friends segment continued to reveal the fractured relationship between Trump and the conservative-leaning network when they took a shot at his decision to funnel military funds into the construction of the border wall. Host Brian Kilmeade admitted that Trump appeared to have abandoned his promise to force Mexico to pay for the border wall. While co-host Steve Doocy was more optimistic, suggesting that Trump might have initially had a plan for getting Mexico to pay for the wall, he admitted that if this was the case, it “did not work.”
The Fox & Friends hosts aren’t alone in their criticism of Trump’s track record on the border wall. Many other outlets have criticized his lack of follow-through and highlight his lack of progress.
In August, Axios asked the Trump administration when border wall construction would begin; they did not receive an answer.