Speed Reads

Me I'm a Part of Your Circle of Friends

Trump aides and friends say Sean Hannity 'basically has a desk' in the White House

The news that Sean Hannity was Michael Cohen's mysterious third client was met with gasps in a federal courtroom Monday, but Hannity has been an increasingly deep part of President Trump's circle of friends and advisers for a decade. Now, more than a dozen friends, advisers, and associates of Trump and Hannity tell The Washington Post, the president and the Fox News pundit are closer than ever, talking on the phone several times a week, their conversations touching on news Hannity should cover, tweets Trump might send, aides he might fire, and Trump's frustration with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

Hannity is "one of the few people who gets patched immediately to Trump," the Post says, and a veteran Trump ally said that Hannity is part of "a small group of people who Trump speaks with who truly don't have to be obsequious," along with Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman, Carl Icahn, and first lady Melania Trump. Advisers reportedly refer to Hannity as Trump's "shadow" chief of staff at times, equal to actual Chief of Staff John Kelly in influence — especially when Trump is annoyed with Kelly — and one presidential adviser says Hannity is in contact with Trump so frequently "he basically has a desk in the place."

Hannity played a part in attorney Jay Sekulow joining Trump's legal team, and Hannity has repeatedly but unsuccessfully urged former Fox News co-president Bill Shine to take a job at the White House. You can read more about Hannity's relationship with Trump, his sons, and other members of the Trump orbit at The Washington Post.