It’s official. The most aggressively biased Fox News propagandists are acting as Donald Trump’s primary advisors on the question of a “national emergency” to fund his precious vanity wall, as well as a host of other issues. In a Rose Garden address, the President cited the entire primetime roster on Fox News when asked about which conservative voices shape his views.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who has been paying attention. Trump is known to consult his “braintrust” at Fox News frequently, even in nightly phone calls with Sean Hannity before bedtime. In fact, it was Hannity who gave the order for Trump to declare a national emergency in the first place. So when Trump stepped out onto the White House lawn to announce that he would sign the bipartisan congressional bill to fund the government – despite the fact that it contained no money for a wall – he answered an inquiry about the right-wing pundits he is known to rely on without hesitation or shame (video below):
Kelly O’Donnell, NBC News: Mr. President, could you tell us to what degree some of the outside conservative voices helped to shape your views on this national emergency?Trump: Look, I would talk about it. Look, Sean Hannity has been a terrific, terrific support of what I do. Not of me. If I change my views he wouldn’t be with me. Rush Limbaugh, I think he’s a great guy. He can speak for three hours without a phone call. Try doing that sometime. For three hours he speaks. He’s got one of the biggest audiences in the history of world. I mean this guy is unbelievable.”
Of course, Hannity would withdraw his support if Trump didn’t continue to advance the same radically rightist views that Hannity holds. That’s the whole point. And it’s why Trump doesn’t change his views. He fears losing Hannity’s support, and that of the Fox News Deplorables who are glued to him and the rest of the network’s crackpots. And it’s predictable that Trump admires Limbaugh’s ability to ramble on incoherently for hours on end. It’s a “skill” that they share. Then Trump continued:
Trump: They don’t decide policy. In fact, if I went opposite…I mean they have somebody, Ann Coulter, I don’t know her. I hardly know her. I haven’t spoken to her in way over a year. But the press loves saying Ann Coulter. Probably if I did speak to her she’d be very nice. I just don’t have the time to speak to her. I would speak to her. I have nothing against her. In fact I like her for one reason. When they asked her like right at the beginning, ‘Who’s gonna wing the election? Donald Trump.’ And the two people that asked her that question smiled.
So Trump doesn’t know Ann Coulter. Well, except for his admission that he has spoken to her during his presidency. And the fact that she has appeared with him at his rallies. And he claims that she is one of his conservative critics, but then cites her prediction that he would become president as the one reason he likes her. Then he went on:
Trump: Laura’s been great, Laura Ingraham. Tucker Carlson’s been great. I actually have a couple of people on CNN that have been very good. I have some on MSNBC the other day. They did a great report on me. I say ‘Where the hell did that come from?’ I think it was the only one in over a year.
And there you have it. Trump filled in the rest of the Fox News primetimers, all of whom he praised as being “great” because they are such constantly slobbering sycophants. As for the MSNBC segment, he actually tweeted about that last week, but included a video clip that was deceitfully edited to cut out the criticism and to make it appear as if it was wholly positive.
Trump’s speech was predictably deranged as he stumbled from one topic to another without any connecting logic. It was a smorgasbord of his unhinged rants that are familiar to anyone who has seen him at his cult rallies. He even did a childish, sing-song style bit about how he expects the legal challenges to his emergency declaration to go down. This performance was, in fact, sufficient to justify the reported considerations by former FBI official, Andrew McCabe, to remove Trump from office via the 25th Amendment for being mentally unfit to serve. But then, we already knew that.
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Asked about to what extent "outside conservative voices" are influencing him, Trump says, "Sean Hannity has been a terrific, terrific supporter of what I do… Rush Limbaugh, I think he's a great guy. For 3 hours, he speaks. He's got one of the biggest audiences." pic.twitter.com/0V11Ke5VEb
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 15, 2019