Sean Hannity Is Donald Trump's 'Unofficial Chief of Staff,' Aides Say of Fox News Host: Report

Fox News host Sean Hannity appears to be acting as an unofficial chief of staff for President Donald Trump, who sources say speaks with the TV host several times a week and quotes him in conversations with aides.

It was revealed Monday that Hannity, who has long been a cheerleader for the president, is also a client of the president's personal lawyer Michael Cohen, who is currently under criminal investigation over his business dealings, the Justice Department has confirmed. In addition to sharing a lawyer, and what appears to be a close personal friendship, Trump uses Hannity as a sounding board for ideas, a litmus test for what his base thinks, and a de-facto adviser, sources told The Washington Post. The Daily Beast has previously reported frequent phone conversations between the president and the TV host.

One person familiar with the relationship between Hannity and Trump said the pair speak several times a week. Trump himself has also alluded to having conversations with Hannity—telling his Twitter followers about a "big show" from Hannity ahead of its airing, suggesting the pair had spoken ahead of time about the content of the show.

Big show tonight on @seanhannity! 9:00 P.M. on @FoxNews

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 12, 2018

Hannity appears to tick an important box for Trump as a person he can speak with outside of his White House staff. According to The Post's sources, the president feels he is able to call Hannity when he is fed up with his staff, something journalist Michael Wolff alluded to in his tell-all book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House. Wolff wrote that on a regular basis Trump would spend his evenings in bed "with a cheeseburger, watching his three screens and making phone calls—the phone was his true contact point with the world—to a small group of friends, who charted his rising and falling levels of agitation through the evening and then compared notes with one another."

Sources told The Post that Hannity was among a select number of people the president speaks with as an equal. "There is a small group of people who Trump speaks with who truly don't have to be obsequious," one Trump ally told the news outlet. "Sean is one of them."

Hannity and Trump also frequently espouse the same views, with the president reportedly quoting the Fox News host to his aides. Hannity has recently used his show to launch attacks on those the president is unhappy with, including former FBI chief James Comey and Special Counsel Robert Mueller.