Vanity Fair: Sean Hannity Has Said Off The Record That Trump Is “Bats**t” Crazy

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“Donald Trump has turned the presidential TV interview into a joke.”

According to Brian Stelter from Vanity Fair, Fox News host and conservative political commentator Sean Hannity, who is known as President Trump’s “shadow chief of staff,” has said “off the record, that Trump is a batshit crazy person.”

  • Trump “has turned the presidential TV interview into a joke. Fox News lets him call in for talk radio-style rant sessions, the length of which are a punch line among rank-and-file Fox staffers who secretly despise him despite working for his media machine,” the report stated.

“When Trump was booked for 8:10, and we had an assignment for 8:40, we didn’t bother writing it, because we knew he’d talk until the end of the hour,” a producer for Fox & Friends reportedly told Stelter.

  • Stelter wrote that “Trump needed Fox to a degree that almost no one understood. He depended on propagandists like Hannity to keep the walls of his alternative reality intact.”
  • When Trump was waiting for his turn on The Sean Hannity Show, “The power imbalance was something to behold: He had the joint chiefs and the cabinet and any number of world leaders at his beck and call. He could talk to any scientist or public health expert he wanted. But when it came to a Fox interview, he was just another caller waiting to be patched into the control room,” the report continued.

Sean Hannity “was the most powerful person at Fox in the Trump age. When people asked who was in charge of the channel, he said, ‘Me.’ And most people at the channel agreed with him,” wrote Stelter.

  • Hannity “played his part masterfully. But his friends told me he was burnt out for long stretches of the Trump presidency. Being the president’s ‘shadow chief of staff,’ as he was known around the White House, could be a thrill, but it was also a serious burden,” Stelter continued.
  • “It’s a powerful thing to be someone’s consigliere,” one of Hannity’s producers said. “I hear Trump talk at rallies, and I hear Sean,” a family friend commented.

However, “Hannity would tell you, off-off-off the record, that Trump is a batshit crazy person,” one of his associates said. Another friend agreed, saying, “Hannity has said to me more than once, ‘he’s crazy.’”

  • Stelter wrote that “Hannity’s commitment to GOP priorities and to his own business model meant he could never say any of this publicly. If one of his friends went on the record quoting Hannity questioning Trump’s mental fitness, that would be the end of the friendship.”
  • Furthermore, “early on in the Trump age,” Stelter continued, “Hannity gained weight and vaped incessantly, which some members of his inner circle blamed on Trump-related stress. ‘If you were hearing what I’m hearing, you’d be vaping too,’ Hannity told a colleague.”

“Trump was a run-on sentence, so prone to rambling that ‘I barely get a word in,’ Hannity told one of his allies.”

  • On a more dangerous note, Stelter reported that “there are dozens of reasons why the United States lagged so far behind in preparations for the pandemic. Some are cultural, some are economic, some are political. But there is no doubt that one of the reasons is the Trump-Fox feedback loop. When the virus silently spread, some of Fox’s biggest stars denied and downplayed the threat.”
  • The contrast between “Fox’s public face and the private ‘resistance’ has existed ever since Trump upended the presidential race five years ago,” the report added. “In all I spoke with more than 140 staffers at Fox, plus 180 former staffers and others with direct ties to the network. Their frustration was palpable. Staffers described a TV network that had gone off the rails...They felt like the news division had been squeezed out in favor of pro-Trump blowhards.”

“Most of the insiders acknowledged that Fox News was always, on one level, a political project, but many said they were shocked by how thoroughly Fox and the GOP had been merged by Trump, Hannity, and a handful of other power players,” Stelter wrote. “A lot of people I spoke to were desperate to talk...I cannot overstate the level of paranoia among Fox employees.”

Read the full report here.


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