President Donald Trump reportedly calls Fox News host Sean Hannity every night to air grievances, according to a New York Magazine's expose published on Sunday.
The calls take place after 10 pm, once Hannity has cleared his studio following his 9 pm show. According to NY Mag, Hannity calls into the White House switchboard, after which he is connected to the president. Hannity is a member of a select list of "cleared callers" that are granted access to Trump.
Among them are family and friends, including Trump's sons, "private-equity billionaire Stephen Schwarzman; media billionaire Rupert Murdoch; real-estate billionaire Tom Barrack; Patriots owner and also-billionaire Robert Kraft; and Hannity."
NY Mag Olivia Nuzzi wrote that her sources informed her of the president's daily viewing schedule. Trump, she was told, spends his mornings watching TV and tweeting.
"Early on, usually we could count on the president watching Morning Joe first thing, at 6 a.m. 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."
But why Hannity? One source close to the president said that Hannity "fills the political void" formed by the absence of Steve Bannon, one of Trump's chief strategists who resigned last year.
"Generally, the feeling is that Sean is the leader of the outside kitchen cabinet," the source said. Bannon later said in a statement that "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*ckin' clowns at New York Magazine."
NY Mag: “It got to the point that they were just like, ‘We need to get him off these channels and onto Fox & Friend… https://t.co/OIcrQbM5Wu— Evan Rosenfeld (@Evan Rosenfeld)1526326090.0
Another official familiar with Trump acknowledged the trouble Trump's obsession with Fox, and his daily tweets, pose for White House staff. In the Trump White House, damage control is business as usual on a daily basis.
"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."
During their calls, Trump and Hannity bemoan, above all things, the ongoing Russia investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, which just entered its second year. Both Trump and Hannity continue to call the probe a "witch hunt." "He doesn't live with his wife," one Source close to both men said. Because Trump and First Lady Melania don't share a bedroom, the president has no one to whom he can "decompress" at the end of the day, according to the source.
Twitter wasted no time mocking Trump's seeking of Hannity therapy.
EXCLUSIVE VIDEO nightly Trump-Hannity phone time. https://t.co/Na7KtuTcT4— Jesse Ferguson (@Jesse Ferguson)1526267485.0
Both Hilarious & SAD! Trump & Hannity Have a Bedtime Phone Call Most Nights https://t.co/kt0lSL9iYA via… https://t.co/BJprT12UcO— Allan Margolin (@Allan Margolin)1526295316.0
Trump Reportedly Calls Hannity Nightly, Resulting in Long, Playful 'No, You Hang Up First' Arguments— (((Mark Campbell))) (@(((Mark Campbell))))1526305012.0
When Hannity calls Trump, he starts the convo with “What are you wearing?” https://t.co/N7wp6naiOQ— Cattun (@Cattun)1526305886.0
@Rogue_Rep_Voter What I learned from this article is that anyone can call the white house at 10 pm, say they're Han… https://t.co/8OHlTfYQkO— I ❤ Lucy 🌊 (@I ❤ Lucy 🌊)1526268829.0