Fox News and talk radio show host Sean Hannity is a known ally and supporter of President Donald Trump, often using his various media platforms to offer praise or even policy advice for the president.
When talking to a listener who called into his radio show Tuesday afternoon, Hannity said he expects the president to fire special counsel Robert Mueller and end the investigation into Russian election interference "sooner rather than later," potentially after Hurricane Florence passes. Given Hannity and Trump reportedly talk so regularly that some White House staffers, according to The Washington Post, have dubbed the conservative media personality the president's unofficial chief of staff, it remains to be seen whether Hannity is offering the president his personal advice or if he's simply expressing wishful thinking.
A listener posed the question to Hannity of whether Trump can and should put an end to the Mueller investigation since there have been no crimes brought against him.
Multiple former Trump aides and associates have pleaded guilty to crimes stemming from Mueller's investigation, in addition to his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort being convicted. Dozens of Russian nationals and Russian intelligence officers have been indicted for their roles in election meddling. The crimes allegedly committed by the former Trump aides and associates were not directly related to election interference and were mostly related to campaign finance violations, tax and bank fraud and taking money from foreign governments.
"Listen, I think all of that's going to happen," Hannity said about whether he thought Trump would end the investigation and fire Mueller. The transcript and audio of a portion of Hannity's Tuesday radio show was published by Media Matters for America. "I think it's going to happen sooner than later."
Hannity went on to explain that he believed Trump would not make such a move around the anniversary of 9/11 and with Hurricane Florence barreling toward the Carolinas as a Category 4 storm.
"But afterwards, I would expect that he will do that," Hannity said.
It's unclear what knowledge, or lack thereof, Hannity is using to make his prediction.
Phone calls between Hannity and Trump are frequent occurrences, discussing everything from Hannity's show to Trump's frustration with the Mueller investigation and to what the president should tweet, according to more than a dozen friends, advisers and associates of Trump and Hannity who told The Washington Post in April.
The Daily Beast also reported in February that the pair had frequent phone conversations about whether the president should release a controversial GOP memo by Congressman Devin Nunes that was critical of both the FBI and Justice Department.
It was revealed the two men even shared the same attorney at one point, Michael Cohen, who has since pleaded guilty to eight charges of campaign finance violations and tax and bank fraud that also stemmed from Mueller's investigation.
"The bottom line is, during the heat of the campaign when relationships are forged, [Hannity] was always there, offering good advice, in person and on television," former deputy Trump campaign manager David Bossie told The Post. "The president sees [Hannity] as an incredibly smart and articulate spokesman for the agenda."