US Fox star Sean Hannity is one of Donald Trump's fiercest defenders -- here's how he and the president became close

Screenshot/Fox News
  • Sean Hannity was revealed to be the mysterious third client of Donald Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen.
  • It’s not the first time Hannity and Trump have been linked.
  • Hannity has delivered unwavering support for Trump for years, while Trump has helped Hannity soar to the best ratings in cable news.

Fox News opinion host Sean Hannity was revealed on Monday to be one of the clients of Michael Cohen, the attorney for President Donald Trump, several news outlets reported.

Monday’s revelation wasn’t the first time Trump and Hannity have been linked. The pair have been close for years, well before Trump announced his candidacy for the presidency.

In fact, Trump and Hannity have benefited from each others’ platforms immensely – Hannity lent unwavering support to Trump when other news outlets were critical of him, while Trump’s frequent appearances on Hannity’s show boosted Hannity to some of the highest ratings in cable news.

Look inside the relationship of Trump and Hannity to see how what they first bonded over and how close they remain today:


Before he was president, Trump was a frequent guest on Fox News. His friendship with Hannity seems to have formed around 2011, when Hannity gave Trump airtime to promote a conspiracy theory that President Barack Obama wasn’t born in the United States.

Screenshot/Fox News

Source: Fox News


A year later, in 2012, Hannity revealed on his show that he advised Trump not to run in that year’s presidential election as an independent candidate.

Screenshot/Media Matters for America

Source: Media Matters for America


Throughout Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, the candidate found a safe haven in Hannity’s show, where he was shielded from the critical press coverage he received on other networks.

Screenshot/Fox News

Hannity has defended a number of Trump’s most controversial incidents, his boasts about being sexually aggressive with women, and his racially-charged attacks against a Mexican-American federal judge and NFL players who kneeled during the national anthem.

Screenshot/Fox News

Source: Fox News


Their relationship has become so close that Hannity is a de facto Trump adviser. In October, the Los Angeles Times reported that Trump often calls Hannity after the host’s nightly show.

Source: Los Angeles Times


In February, reports emerged that Hannity had advised Trump to release a controversial memo by Rep. Devin Nunes that fuelled conspiracy theories about the FBI’s Russia investigation, even though the FBI advised against releasing it and neither Trump nor Hannity had read the memo.

Source: The Washington Post


Hannity’s unwavering support of Trump earned him higher viewership than any other cable news show for months, although he was recently surpassed by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.

Twitter/Sean Hannity

Source: Forbes


Observers consider Hannity’s relationship to a sitting president highly unorthodox. ‘He’s talking for four hours a day. He’s got social media. He’s empowered by his new status at Fox, this massive institution of Republican power,’ media history expert Nicole Hemmer told The New York Times.

Screenshot/Fox News

Source: The New York Times


Hannity has made the most of his status in the Trump orbit, including appearances at Trump-owned golf courses with local Republican politicians.

Twitter/George Bennett

Source: George Bennett


Meanwhile, Trump frequently tweets about upcoming appearances on Hannity’s evening show.

Mark Abadi/Business Insider

Hannity told The New York Times his support for Trump makes him ‘more honest’ than mainstream reporters who hide their biases.

Source: The New York Times


And their close relationship is mutually beneficial. ‘Hannity’s a numbers guy, Trump’s a numbers guy. He thinks there’s nothing worse than bad numbers, and he knows Hannity’s got his finger on the pulse,’ a friend of Hannity’s told The Times.

Getty ImagesSean Hannity.

Source: The New York Times

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