- Screenshot/Fox News
- New York Magazine reported Fox News host Sean Hannity and President Donald Trump talk on the phone most nights.
- Hannity is one of the most influential figures in the Trump administration without a formal White House role, according to Trump aides.
President Donald Trump and Fox News host Sean Hannity talk on the phone most nights, according to a report from New York Magazine that goes inside the president’s close relationship with the television personality.
Hannity reportedly calls the White House general number, where operators see he’s on a list of cleared callers, and they put him through on a line that goes directly to Trump. From there, the two reportedly alternate between discussing the “witch hunt” special counsel investigation and trading media gossip.
Current and former White House staffers spoke to the magazine anonymously, and Fox News declined an interview request on Hannity’s behalf. The White House didn’t comment.
They apparently always speak at night, and NYMag described their conversations as a sort of therapy for Trump, since it gives him the opportunity to “decompress”, sources told the magazine. Beyond being an industry colleague, a source said Hannity “actually likes” Trump and “knows how nuts he is.”
The direct line from Fox News to Trump begins in the morning when he tunes in to Hannity’s colleagues on”Fox & Friends” starting at 6 a.m. Trump is a self-proclaimed fan of the show, further evidenced through his tweets that often coincide with their coverage.
In April, Trump called in to “Fox & Friends” to deliver a lengthy rant about his Veterans Affairs pick who had to withdraw his nomination, the Russia investigation, Stormy Daniels, North Korea, and Kanye West.
A White House aide told NYMag that staffers encouraged the president to stick to Fox in the mornings instead of “hate-watching” CNN and MSNBC, since shows on those networks often spurred bombastic tweets that left them scrambling.
Hannity has been described as a “shadow” chief of staff, and the report identifies him as one of the most influential figures in the Trump administration who doesn’t have a formal role in the White House.
As Trump’s presidency has gone on, the two’s close relationship has blossomed on- and off-air after Trump’s frequent guest appearances on Fox News continued through his campaign, election, and presidency.
It was also revealed last month that Hannity was a previously secret client of Trump’s longtime personal attorney, Micheal Cohen, a relationship Hannity was criticized for not disclosing on his show since Cohen is weathering a criminal investigation and civil lawsuits.