Fox News host Sean Hannity is a big supporter of President Trump, as any casual observer of his many media outlets (cable news, Twitter, radio) is well aware. But it seems the two men are chummy off-air as well. According to a new exposé, Trump and Hannity chat every night, apparently with the F-word featuring prominently in their conversations.
Olivia Nuzzi reported at New York magazine that Hannity is one of just a handful of pre-approved White House callers — essentially, he can phone the president just about any time and be reliably put through to Trump himself. Often, Hannity calls after he wraps up his evening Fox News program, which means he and the president get their gossip on after 10 p.m.
Nuzzi also wrote that Trump and Hannity aren't at all prim and proper in their banter. The two are "gabbing like old girlfriends," with the conversation "sprinkled with a staccato f*ck... f*cking... f*cked... f*cker," according to Nuzzi.
That may come as a surprise for some listeners of Hannity, who know the host as the same man who routinely opens his radio show with a Bible verse — "Let not your heart be troubled," from John 14. It might be less of a surprise to learn Trump throws down the F-word, considering his documented comfort with the term.
Hannity and Trump's friendship is well-established. During Trump's 2016 election campaign, Hannity was a dependable defender of the aspiring Republican candidate. But as Mark Abadi outlined for Business Insider, the Hannity-Trump relationship predated the president's foray into official politics. It was on the Fox host's show Hannity that Trump often peddled his conspiracy theory that President Barack Obama had not been born in the United States, and was ergo not a legitimate POTUS.
Abadi also pointed out that Hannity's role as unofficial advice-giver to Trump is also not new. The media personality bragged that he had told Trump not to run as an independent candidate in the 2012 election.
And both during and after his election, Trump has been given plenty of comfy interviews on Fox News in general, Hannity's show in particular. As The New York Times pointed out in 2017, the cable news host — of an at least somewhat news-related program — opened a Pennsylvania rally with Trump by goading a cheering crowd on with the question, "Is he going to win Pennsylvania in 2020, too?”
Then in November, The New York Times ran a profile piece on Hannity entitled "How Far Will Sean Hannity Go?" The Times' Matthew Shaer pointed out that after the release of the now-infamous Access Hollywood tape — on which Trump can be heard bragging about grabbing women "by the pussy" — Hannity still refused to come down hard on Trump. Hannity called Trump's comments "locker room" banter that may have been wrong, but was in no way deserving of the immediate and intense backlash it triggered.
Hannity even went so far as to compare Trump to the biblical King David, regarded by Christians as one of the holiest people to have ever lived. "King David had 500 concubines, for crying out loud!” Hannity told one of his show's panelists. (Where Hannity pulled his "500" number remains a mystery. According to Thought Co., David had eight wives and 10 known concubines.)
Friend and fellow Fox News alumnus Geraldo Rivera told The Times that "Hannity steadied the whole of conservative politics during those crucial times," calling the host a "shield" for the president.
Trump has been known to prize and reward loyalty, so it is highly likely Hannity's longtime devotion to the president — before and after his election — explains why the Fox News host now has easy access to (and apparently nightly phone chats) with Trump.