Trump Gets Crazy Policy Ideas From Sean Hannity, Fox News

Media Matters has this:

The House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, which enters a new phase with public hearings before the Intelligence Committee, is primarily a story about his corrupt abuses of power in seeking to coerce a foreign government to investigate his political opponents. But it also illustrates perhaps the greatest impact yet of the nexus between Fox News, the president, and federal policy.

Trump’s deep enmity for Ukraine reportedly dates back to fall 2017 and apparently baffled some White House aides who were confused about its source. But the likely explanation is quite simple: The president learned to hate Ukraine by watching Fox.

In summer 2017, the White House was threatened by reporting that during the 2016 presidential campaign, top Trump advisers, including the president’s son Donald Trump Jr. and son-in-law Jared Kushner, had colluded with Russians intent on supporting his election.

In an effort to push back on this reporting, Hannity used his Fox program to promote the bogus narrative that the “real collusion” during the 2016 election had been between Hillary Clinton and Ukraine. He obsessed over purported “Ukrainian election collusion” in a dozen monologues over the course of the summer of 2017, coverage that on at least one instance caught the eye of Trump, who regularly watches Hannity’s program and reportedly talks to him on the phone about it frequently.

Hannity’s coverage seems to have predisposed Trump to hate Ukraine, setting the stage for the abuses of power that followed.

The Daily Beast’s Matthew Gertz:

For more than a year, I’ve studied this Trump-Fox feedback loop, the president’s habit of live-tweeting his favorite shows on the right-wing cable news network. I’ve tracked several hundred of the president’s often hyper-aggressive tweets back to particular segments on Fox News and its sister network, Fox Business, that caught the president’s eye.

Everyone has a theory about Trump’s hyper-aggressive early morning tweetstorms. Some think they are a deliberate ploy the president uses to distract the press from his administration’s potential weaknesses, or to frame the public debate to his liking. Others warn his rapid shifts from one topic to another indicate mental instability.

But my many hours following the president’s tweets for Media Matters for America, the progressive media watchdog organization, have convinced me the truth is often much simpler: The president is just live-tweeting Fox, particularly the network’s Trump-loving morning show, Fox & Friends.

It’s no secret, of course, that the president likes to tweet about what he sees on TV. Thanks to diligent reporting from the White House beat, we know Trump often watches several hours of cable news each day via the “Super TiVo” he had installed at the White House. And journalists at CNN, the Washington Post, New York magazine, among others, have compiled lists of Trump tweets they believe were inspired by Fox.

But here’s what is shocking: After comparing the president’s tweets with Fox’s coverage every day since October, I can tell you that the Fox-Trump feedback loop is happening far more often than you think. There is no strategy to Trump’s Twitter feed; he is not trying to distract the media. He is being distracted. He darts with quark-like speed from topic to topic in his tweets because that’s how cable news works.

Here’s what’s also shocking: A man with unparalleled access to the world’s most powerful information-gathering machine, with an intelligence budget estimated at $73 billion last year, prefers to rely on conservative cable news hosts to understand current events.  –


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