President Trump and Fox News anchor Sean Hannity are apparently a lot closer than they already seemed to be. According to a Washington Post report published Tuesday, the two men talk on the phone numerous times every week giving each other mutually beneficial advice.
Hannity is one of the few people who is immediately connected directly to Trump when he calls the White House, a clear indicator of what a big influence the TV host has on the president. Some aides have reportedly gone as far as to call Hannity the “unofficial chief of staff.”
Their conversations usually take place after Hannity gets off the air either in the mornings or at night.
Over a dozen White House aides and friends of Trump and Hannity told The Post that common topics of discussion are what Trump should tweet and what Hannity should talk about on his show. Trump has gone out of his way to promote Hannity’s show on Twitter multiple times, proving that he’s aware that he and his agenda will be presented in the best possible light.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 19, 2018
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 12, 2018
The relationship between the two men grew strong during the 2016 campaign and has continued to grow stronger since Trump took office. Hannity has been a consistent defender of Trump, regardless of what the issue is. He has been particularly dedicated to attempting to discredit the Russia investigation looking into whether Trump colluded with the foreign power to sway the election in his favor.
“The bottom line is, during the heat of the campaign when relationships are forged, he was always there, offering good advice, in person and on television,” said David Bossie, former deputy Trump campaign manager. “The president sees him as an incredibly smart and articulate spokesman for the agenda.”
Given that Trump hates the media, his closeness to Hannity and his willingness to encourage people to watch his program further shows that Fox News might as well be a state-run network at this point.