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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.com

 

Trump is deeply lonely, and Sean Hannity suffers from insomnia, according to recent New York magazine reporting. Both men seethe with anger. So, in a way, it makes sense they talk nearly every night.

What makes no sense, however, is that someone who dropped out of college to become an AM talk show host is now considered the “leader” of Trump’s shadow Cabinet, a powerful group of outside advisers who he constantly turns to for advice.

And, yes, lots of those shadow, or “kitchen,” Cabinet members work at the chronically hateful Fox News.

“Generally, the feeling is that Sean is the leader of the outside kitchen Cabinet,” one White House official told New York magazine.

The results? Trump is often rattled by the hateful Fox News rhetoric, which often seems to instantly become translated into U.S. policy.

In March, after spending his Easter holiday weekend at Mar-a-Lago, hanging out with a number of radical, anti-immigration Fox News players that included Hannity and Jeanine Pirro, Trump promptly unfurled a Tweet hate storm on the subject, which unfolded over days.

“What ends up happening is Judge Jeanine or Hannity fill him up with a bunch of crazy shit, and everyone on staff has to go and knock down all the fucking fires they started,” says one White House source.

Hannity’s grip on Trump only seems to have tightened this year, as Trump retreats further into a Fox News cocoon. Last year, when dealing with the intricacies of the Iran nuclear deal, Trump reportedly called Hannity for insights.

He did this same this winter while the two plotted the release of the GOP’s so-called Nunes Memo, which turned out to be a political flop. (As noted in February, it’s highly doubtful that Trump and Hannity’s nightly — and sensitive — calls are being conducted on secure lines.)

Hannity’s utter devotion to Trump, which comes in the form of utterly fawning interviews, is often warmly repaid. Just last month, for example, Trump urged his 50 million Twitter followers to tune into a special night of Hannity programming on April 11.

Meanwhile, Trump remains obsessed with using Fox News hosts as advisers.

Earlier this year, Trump summoned his then-Veterans Affairs secretary David Shulkin to the White House for a meeting. Trump quickly stunned Shulkin by dialing up a “Fox & Friends” host and putting him on speakerphone so the TV talker could lend his advice.

It’s the blind leading the blind.