REPORT: Trump Aides Believe Bill Shine Scheduled Donald Trump’s SCOTUS Announcement for 9PM to Help Sean Hannity’s Ratings

Aides to President Donald Trump are reportedly peeved with the president’s decision to announce his Supreme Court nominee at 9 pm Monday over concerns the new White House communications director chose the slot to boost Sean Hannity’s ratings.

Vanity Fair’s Gabriel Sherman tweeted Monday afternoon that White House staffers “are annoyed” that Bill Shine, who joined the administration last week, “chose 9 pm hour to help Sean Hannity’s ratings.”

Shine, a former co-president of Fox News who was forced to resign last year over his mishandling of sexual harassment allegations involving Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly, “will serve as Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications.”

“He brings over two decades of television programming, communications, and management experience to the role,” the White House said in a statement on Thursday.

Trump and Hannity have an intimate relationship. In May, it was reported the two men speak every night, with Hannity serving as a sort of therapist and informal adviser to the president.

Shine will be the fifth communications director, filling the position which has been left vacant since Hope Hicks resigned in February.

Hannity joined the president at his Bedminster, New Jersey golf resort over the weekend and urged Trump to nominate Chicago Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Amy Coney Barrett as Justice Anthony Kennedy’s replacement.

Barrett was also a law professor at the University of Notre Dame and served as a clerk to the late Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in 2016 and whom Trump replaced with Neil Gorsuch.

Sherman also reminded followers of Trump’s nomination of Gorsuch, which took place at 8 pm in the East Room of the White House on Tuesday, January 31, 2017.

Hannity’s 9 pm slot is currently the most-watched talk show in the country, with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow coming in a close second.

Trump is renowned for his obsession with television ratings and media exposure and reportedly intended to build suspense over his SCOTUS pick. Trump has tweeted about ratings 343 times since 2010.

On his radio show Monday afternoon, Hannity shared his excitement over Trump’s 9 pm announcement, saying he “kind of likes that it’s right at the start of Hannity and we get to talk about it first.”

There are two other frontrunners for Kennedy’s seat: D.C. Circuit Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh of the United States Court of Appeals, and Raymond Kethledge, a United States Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

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