Trump’s work wife: Sean Hannity

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by SueEllenRules!, May 14, 2018.

  1. SueEllenRules!

    SueEllenRules! Soap Chat TV Fanatic

    Message Count:
    1,534
    Trophy Points:
    2,194
    Location:
    Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
    Ratings:
    +652
    Member Since:
    April 2005
    [​IMG]

    Donald Trump and Sean Hannity Like to Talk Before Bedtime
    Life inside the bunker of Fox News’ resident Trumplegänger.

    The call to the White House comes after ten o’clock most weeknights, when Hannity is over. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, Sean Hannity broadcasts live at 9 p.m. on Fox News, usually from Studio J in midtown, where the network is headquartered, but sometimes from a remote studio on Long Island, where he was raised and now lives.

    All White House phone numbers begin with the same six digits: 202-456. Hannity calls the White House switchboard, a number listed publicly, and reaches an operator. The operator refers to a list of cleared callers, a few dozen friends and family members outside the administration who may contact President Donald Trump through this official channel — among them his adult sons, Eric and Don Jr.; private-equity billionaire Stephen Schwarzman; media billionaire Rupert Murdoch; real-estate billionaire Tom Barrack; Patriots owner and also-billionaire Robert Kraft; and Hannity.

    The operator then dials the president, who leaves the Oval Office around 7 p.m. and who, by this point in the evening, is almost always by himself on the third floor of the executive residence (the First Lady reportedly sleeps in a separate bedroom). He tells the operator to put Hannity through.

    Their chats begin casually, with How are yous and What’s going ons. On some days, they speak multiple times, with one calling the other to inform him of the latest developments. 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.

    Trump and Hannity don’t usually speak in the morning, which the president spends alone, watching TV and tweeting. During the first months of the administration in particular, the tweets launched at the beginning of the day landed like b!tchy little grenades directed at the programming and personalities that angered him on MSNBC and CNN. “Early on, usually we could count on the president watching Morning Joe first thing, at 6 a.m.,” one White House official told me. “He’d watch an hour of that. Then he’d move on to New Day for a segment or two. Then he’d move on to Fox.”

    Senior staffers worried about this pattern of behavior: By the time his day was formally under way with the daily intelligence briefing in the Oval Office — scheduled as late as 11 a.m. — the whole world was often thrown off course, wondering whether there were “tapes” of his conversations with a fired FBI director (May 12, 2017, 8:26 a.m.) or if a TV host had been “bleeding badly from a face-lift” at Mar-a-Lago (June 29, 2017, 8:58 a.m.).

    With the hope of calming him down, then–chief of staff Reince Priebus and then–press secretary Sean Spicer began a subtle campaign. “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 bull$h!t from MSNBC and CNN all day,’ ” one former White House official said.

    Like all other ideas, this had the highest chance of implementation if Trump believed he’d thought of it on his own. Priebus and Spicer worked talking points about the network’s high ratings and importance to his base of supporters into conversation until, eventually, it stuck, so that the president’s television consumption is today what the current White House official called “mainly a complete dosage of Fox.” The former official added, “Trump’s someone who loves praise more than he likes hate-watching Morning Joe.

    But the current official acknowledged that it has created a different set of problems: “Sometimes on Fox, a lot of stories are embellished, and they don’t necessarily cover the big news stories of the day. 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.”

    More than most politicians, Trump abides by the Groucho Marx law of fraternization. He inherently distrusts anyone who chooses to work for him, seeking outside affirmation as often as possible from as vast and varied a group as he can muster — but Hannity is at the center. “Generally, the feeling is that Sean is the leader of the outside kitchen cabinet,” one White House official said, echoing other staffers (current and removed). I was told by one person that Hannity “fills the political void” left by Steve Bannon, a statement Bannon seemed to agree with: “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**kin’ clowns at New York Magazine,” he said. The White House official assessed the influence of White House officials and other administration personnel as exactly equal to that of Fox News.

    Unlike on Fox & Friends, where Trump learns new (frequently incorrect) information, Hannity acts to transform Trump’s pervasive ambivalence into resolve by convincing him what he’s already decided he believes and what he’s decided to do is correct. After the New Year, Hannity went on air with what he said was “breaking news”: a list of Trump’s accomplishments, which scrolled by on the screen like song titles from an infomercial for Hits From the ’70s. His accomplishments included things like “drafting a plan to defeat ISIS,” signing individual executive orders, and the separate accomplishment of having “signed 55 executive orders.” The former White House official called the trouble caused by Hannity, and Fox more broadly, “a f**ked-up feedback loop” that puts Trump “in a weird headspace. What ends up happening is Judge Jeanine or Hannity fill him up with a bunch of crazy $h!t, and everyone on staff has to go and knock down all the f**king fires they started.”

    But for the most part, policy has taken a back seat on Hannity; regardless of the news of the day, the overarching narrative of the show is the political persecution of Trump, and by extension of Hannity and Hannity’s viewers, at the hands of the so-called deep state and the Democratic Party, and the corrupt mainstream media, a wholly owned subsidiary of both. Everything comes back to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election, a phony, petty diversion from what should be the real focus: prosecuting Hillary Clinton. Hannity admits to advising Trump, but on the air, he’s repeatedly mocked suggestions that he functions as an unofficial chief of staff and criticized the “fake-news media” for not bothering to reach out to him for the truth (a spokesperson for Fox News declined multiple interview requests for this article on Hannity’s behalf). More than any other figure of the right-wing infosphere, Hannity has behaved as if he were an extension of the Trump communications department, his daily stream of assertions serving to prop up Trump and, in real time, define what Trumpism is supposed to be.

    On the phone, he and the president alternate between the “witch hunt!” and gabbing like old girlfriends about media gossip and whose show sucks and who’s getting killed in the ratings and who’s winning (Hannity, and therefore Trump) and sports and Kanye West, all of it sprinkled with a staccato f**k … f**king … f**ked … f**ker. “He’s not a systematic thinker at all. He’s not an ideologue,” one person who knows both men said of Hannity. “He gives tactical advice versus strategic advice.”

    The talks may be more important for Trump than for Hannity in a therapeutic sense, even if it’s nearly impossible to accept what we’re seeing from the president reflects any kind of therapy. “He doesn’t live with his wife,” one person who knows both men said of Trump, explaining that he lacks someone “to decompress” with at the end of the day. When they spoke a few hours before Trump welcomed home the newly freed Americans who’d been held hostage in North Korea, he and Hannity told each other how proud they were, how happy the news made them. “You can’t function without that,” this person said, adding that Hannity “actually likes him” even though “he knows how nuts he is. He’s decided that you’re all in or you’re not.”

    https://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/05/sean-hannity-donald-trump-late-night-calls.html
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
  2. SueEllenRules!

    SueEllenRules! Soap Chat TV Fanatic

    Message Count:
    1,534
    Trophy Points:
    2,194
    Location:
    Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
    Ratings:
    +652
    Member Since:
    April 2005
    Trump, Hannity often speak several times a day: report

    President Trump and Fox News host Sean Hannity often speak on the phone several times a day, according to a new report.

    While it was previously known that Trump and Hannity are friendly and that Trump often watches Hannity's show due to his tweets praising the conservative host for his ratings, New York magazine shares new details that show the extent of their relationship.

    Hannity is reportedly one of a few dozen people who have access to Trump's official phone line, and the two speak on the phone nearly every night after Hannity's show.

    Current and former White House officials familiar with the relationship told the magazine that the conversations help Trump "decompress" at the end of the day.

    One White House official told New York magazine that Hannity's influence on the president "fills the void" left by former chief strategist Stephen Bannon, and that Hannity's influence on the president is on the same level as that of other administration officials.

    Another former Trump official told the magazine that Hannity's show and other Fox News shows, which often praise Trump's accomplishments and back up his view that the Russia investigation is a "witch hunt," put the president in a "weird headspace."

    The official referred to it as a "f---ed-up feedback loop."

    "What ends up happening is Judge Jeanine or Hannity fill him up with a bunch of crazy $h!t, and everyone on staff has to go and knock down all the f---ing fires they started," the official said.

    Hannity also has legal connections to Trump, as it was revealed recently at a hearing that he was a client of Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen. Hannity has denied ever having Cohen on retainer, saying that he consulted him about questions on real estate.

    https://thehill.com/homenews/media/387535-trump-hannity-often-speak-several-times-a-day-report?amp
     

Users Who Have Read This Thread (Total: 2)

Share This Page