Trump & Friends
April 3, 2018

"It's no exaggeration to say that the Fox & Friends anchors and commentators have become de facto policy advisers," Mike Allen writes at Axios, even those Trump hasn't formally hired. Jonathan Swan adds that "Trump not only watches these folks religiously but consults them by phone," and he views Fox News personalities and former judges Jeanine Pirro and Andrew Napolitano "as quasi legal advisers." But few Fox hosts hold more sway over Trump than Fox Business star Lou Dobbs, The Daily Beast reports, "one of the main precursors to Trumpism" and "the #MAGA Socrates to Trump's Plato."

Trump calls Dobbs semi-regularly, tweets about him, and asks White House aides and confidantes if they watched specific Dobbs segments, The Daily Beast says. Dobbs is also "involved in some of the administration's more sensitive discussions."

During the first year of the Trump era, the president has patched in Dobbs via speakerphone to multiple meetings in the Oval Office so that he could offer his two cents, according to three sources familiar with these conversations. Trump will ask Dobbs for his opinion before and after his senior aides or Cabinet members have spoken. Occasionally, he will cut off an official so the Fox Business host can jump in. Dobbs, these sources all independently recounted, has been patched in to senior-level meetings on issues such as trade and tax policy. [The Daily Beast]

A Trump aide tells Allen that Trump watches conservative news outlets — Fox and Sinclair channels — because "those seem to be the only options that aren't chronically negative or personally vicious toward him," but it's a symbolic relationship; Swan calls it "the modern version of call and response: his tweets, their chyrons." This feedback loop has convinced Trump "he's winning his war on media," Axios says, but Swan has a caveat: "The nuance is he still craves mainstream approval, especially from his hometown paper, the NYT. It's the girl he can't get." Peter Weber

May 9, 2017

If you want to meet with President Trump, it helps to be a white man, preferably an executive or a celebrity, according to a massive database of 1,685 individual interactions with the president, which was published Tuesday by Politico.

The database is emphasized as "unauthorized" because the White House has refrained from publicly releasing its visitor logs. "To build a better, completely public visitor log, we compiled not just visits to the White House, but interactions that include in-person meetings with the president at Mar-a-Lago and other venues, appearances at events and documented phone calls with foreign leaders and other politicians," Politico writes.

Of 1,222 people Trump has interacted with since moving to Washington, 79 percent have been men and 80 percent have been white — and over 60 percent are white men. Additionally, 270 of the people Trump has met with are company executives, 250 are Republican politicians, 47 are foreign leaders, and 44 are celebrities, Politico reports.

Because the log also includes the number of meetings Trump is known to have had with each individual, it becomes fairly apparent who Trump is fond of and what his priorities are. For example, while Trump is known to have met with his secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, 22 times since taking office, he's met with Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson just four times. And while Trump has naturally met with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) many times, the log also reveals a fondness for moderate Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who Trump has seen more than any other Democratic senator aside from Schumer.

Explore the entire database here. Jeva Lange

February 2, 2017

Breitbart News editor and alt-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos was on Fox & Friends Thursday morning talking about his canceled Wednesday night speech at the University of California at Berkeley, and commentator Todd Starnes said "free speech for all or no federal money!" UC Berkeley police scrapped the speech, sponsored by the College Republicans club, after a small group of black-clad protesters crashed a peaceful protest and clashed with police. President Trump, it seems, was watching morning TV:

Free speech is an important subject, but it's not clear what Trump is saying. The university did "allow free speech" — both the Yiannopoulos speech and the protest of it — and the only violence it "practiced" was police crowd control when things got rowdy. "We condemn in the strongest possible terms the violence and unlawful behavior that was on display," the university said in a statement many hours before Trump's threat, "and deeply regret that those tactics will now overshadow the efforts to engage in legitimate and lawful protest against the performer's presence and perspectives." UC Berkeley received $370 million in federal research grants in 2015-16. Peter Weber

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