CNN host Brian Stelter on Sunday offered a scorching assessment of President Trump’s close relationship with Fox News chief propagandist Sean Hannity, describing a relationship that he said is both highly unprecedented and “weird.”
“When Hannity’s off the air he gossips with Trump and gives advice about who to hire,” Stelter said on CNN’s “Reliable Sources.” “So let’s just underscore how weird this is. No TV host has ever had this kind of relationship with a U.S. president before.”
Stelter then expanded his criticism to include Fox News as a whole, saying that the conservative network’s support for Trump signals a sort of “merger between a culture-war TV station and a culture-war president.”
“No network has ever propped up a president quite like this before. Sure, Obama had big fans on MSNBC, but there wasn’t this kind of coordination. No one ever thought Keith Olbermann was Obama’s ‘shadow chief of staff.’ But that’s how some Trump advisers describe Hannity.”
“This is new and it’s weird, and we shouldn’t get used to it,” he added.
Trump reportedly talks to Hannity on a regular basis and to consult with him on decisions such as hires within his administration.
The president often tweets previews of Hannity’s Fox News show and has hired multiple Fox News employees to his administration.
Just Last week, Trump hired the network’s former co-president, Bill Shine, to lead the White House’s communications team. Heather Nauert, the State Department’s chief spokeswoman, is also a former Fox News host.
Watch Stelter’s take on the Trump-Fox relationship:
"No TV host has ever had this kind of relationship with a US president before … Sure, Obama had big fans on MSNBC, but … no one ever thought Keith Olbermann was Obama's 'shadow Chief of Staff'": @BrianStelter on the relationship between Trump and Fox's Hannity pic.twitter.com/C46vYLryA8
— Reliable Sources (@ReliableSources) July 8, 2018