Recently, President Trump was in the middle of a meeting with embattled VA Secretary David Shulkin to discuss possible ways to fix the agency when he suddenly picked up the phone and dialed a host at Fox & Friends:
“Trump surprised Shulkin by dialing in Fox & Friends host Pete Hegseth on speaker phone to get his opinion of the legislation.
“Trump talks to Hegseth regularly and enjoys watching him on Fox & Friends.”
Shulkin and the VA are one front in an ongoing fight for who will control the agenda for the Trump administration. To date, Fox News has been winning the turf war.
And this wasn’t a one-time occurrence, according to insiders.
Last week, as the Stormy Daniels scandal engulfed the White House, Trump reached out ad invited Fox host Jesse Watters — whose wife is divorcing him because he had an extramarital affair with a younger woman — to join him for dinner. No doubt the two had a great time; Watters has been accused of racism and sexism since his tenure at the right-wing news network.
Another favorite of the president: Fox host Jeanine Pirro, who hosts a weekly show where she regularly suggests that Special Counsel Robert Mueller and senior FBI leaders need to be arrested for daring to investigate Trump.
But perhaps Trump’s most trusted adviser is yet another Fox News personality:
The Daily Beast reports that as the controversial memo from House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) was about to be released, the president asked college drop out Sean Hannity for advice on the matter:
“According to three sources with knowledge of their conversations, Trump has been in regular contact with Hannity over the phone in recent weeks, as the Fox News prime-time star and Trump ally has encouraged the prompt release of a controversial four-page memo crafted by Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee. Hannity has gone to the wall to push for the public release of the memo.”
Big mistake. The memo turned out to be a dud and backfired on the administration.
Hannity and other Fox hosts keep up a constant drumbeat suggesting that the president should fire Mueller and disband the Russia investigation before it implicates Trump or members of his family. They also eagerly support every decision or pronouncement that comes from the White House.
As Trump prepares for a planned meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who will he consult next? He clearly has a need to hear only opinions that reinforce his own biases. And that could prove catastrophic if allowed to continue.
Shulkin, on the other hand, may not be head of the VA for much longer:
“[The VA Secretary] has cut off communication with about a half dozen key people at the VA. They include Press Secretary Curt Cashour, Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs John Ullyot, Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Legislative Affairs Brooks Tucker, senior adviser Jake Leinenkugel, and a senior adviser at the Veterans Health Administration Camilo Sandoval. And now, his relationship with the White House is more frayed than ever.”
Here’s a report on how Fox News helped to create the rise of Donald Trump:
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