Nicolle Wallace: Hannity Runs Trump ‘Like an Asset’
‘Fox isn’t state-run media,’ the MSNBC host said, ‘the state is run by Fox.’
“With Trump installed as communications director, it only makes sense Fox News personality Sean Hannity is the de facto chief of staff,” Nicolle Wallace said Wednesday afternoon on MSNBC.
That was the former White House communications director for President George W. Bush’s big takeaway from a new Washington Post story that reports Hannity is “one of the few people who gets patched immediately to Trump” when he calls and “basically has a desk in the place.”
“It's all making sense,” she said of the revelation this week that Trump and Hannity share a lot more than just an attorney. Adding her own reporting, Wallace said that Hannity “plays a big role in personnel decisions,” advocating for figures like Anthony Scaramucci and John Bolton.
More than once during the segment Wallace questioned the narrative that Fox News is “state-run TV,” saying, “We should be staring more closely at the White House and saying ‘Fox-run state.’”
When one of her guests, Donny Deutsch, suggested that the symbiotic relationship between Trump and Hannity is “somewhat harmless” because it’s so “transparent,” Wallace pushed back.
“Here's what I think is dangerous,” she said. “The Nunes memo was a huge ratings boon for Fox.” She explained that Trump’s “hand-picked” FBI director Christopher Wray went to House Speaker Paul Ryan and said, “Please for the love of god don't release the Nunes memo. It's incomplete, it’s inaccurate, it brings into question once of the most sacred processes we have, the secret FISA court.”
“This is why I think we get this wrong,” Wallace continued. “Fox isn't state-run media. The state is run by Fox. Sean Hannity needed that story and I think he ran the president like an asset the way people are wondering if the Russians are running the president.”
Hannity not only “fueled” the story, she said, but he also “gave the president encouragement to overrule his brand-new FBI director Christopher Wray.”