Olivia Nuzzi writes:
“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.”
The Trump-Hannity bromance was viewed as a sort of talk therapy for the president, even if it never translates into how Trump runs the executive branch.
“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.'”
“With Hannity,” Suebsaeng and Cartwright noted, “Trump hasn’t always restrained himself until his friend was out of the room. Ahead of one of the president’s closing rallies before the midterm elections this month, the 2020 Trump campaign announced Hannity would be appearing onstage with Trump as a ‘special guest.'”
This is so true
— nadia boctor (@Egypxican) November 15, 2018
That appearance, prior to which Hannity said he “will not be on stage campaigning with the president,” caused a firestorm at Fox News when Hannity and Jeanine Pirro took the stage with Trump at a rally and directly engaged the audience – by praising Trump.
Fox News swiftly tried to distance itself from the obvious conflict of interest caused by one of its reporters giving Trump a pre-election boost.
Here is Hannity: https://t.co/guWtYVyThx
— Kevin Davis (@kevindavis338) November 15, 2018
“Fox News does not condone any talent participating in campaign events,” Fox said in a statement. “We have an extraordinary team of journalists helming our coverage tonight, and we are extremely proud of their work. This was an unfortunate distraction and has been addressed.”
One senior administration official interviewed for The Daily Beast said Trump “did not care” about the optics and insisted Hannity take the stage anyway.
That’s all he knows, use you until you are no longer useful in his mind then turn on you
— Jason Garson (@JasonJiants) November 15, 2018
With Trump, it’s about what he wants, the rest is always someone else’s problem.