Behind Trump's as-seen-on-TV presidency

This is an awfully chaotic end to year two of the as-seen-on-TV presidency.Yes, the as-seen-on-TV pre...

Posted: Dec 24, 2018 5:09 PM
Updated: Dec 24, 2018 5:09 PM

This is an awfully chaotic end to year two of the as-seen-on-TV presidency.

Yes, the as-seen-on-TV presidency. President Donald Trump used to like what he saw when he tuned in. The medium advertised him as a billionaire on "The Apprentice" and helped him connect with the millions of Americans now known as his "base."

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But nowadays, when he watches from the White House, he gets angry. He vents on Twitter and sometimes takes specific actions as a result.

On Sunday Trump moved up Defense Secretary James Mattis' departure by two months because he was mad about the news coverage of Mattis's resignation, according to reporting by CNN's Barbara Starr and others.

Earlier, CNN's Jim Acosta reported that Trump "hates" Mattis's blistering resignation letter, but "hates the coverage more."

"The thing that makes Trump angry is the conventional wisdom -- repeated in coverage of the secretary's departure -- that Mattis was one of the 'adults in the room' in place to serve as a check on the president's impulses," Acosta said.

Trump has also been watching coverage of the partial government shutdown and his decision to withdraw troops from Syria -- and using Twitter to respond.

"News reports concerning the Shutdown and Syria are mostly FAKE," he claimed on Saturday.

Watch television, read stories, react on Twitter -- that's been a well-established pattern of the Trump presidency. He hires people from television and fires people based on what he hears on TV.

It's been apparent in recent days that criticism from right-wing media outlets contributed to Trump's decision to demand border wall funding and force a partial shutdown.

"He initially seemed to be moving toward compromise, and was then pulled back to the right by conservative media," Vox's Dara Lind, whose beat is immigration, said on Sunday's "Reliable Sources."

The opinions of hosts like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity weigh heavily on the president's mind. The Washington Post reported earlier this year that some aides referred to Hannity as the "shadow" chief of staff.

And these personalities -- many of whom were at White House holiday parties earlier this month -- know they have the president's ear. Jeanine Pirro used her Fox show on Saturday night to speak directly to the president.

"I would like to direct my open to the President of the United States," she said. "Mr. President, I understand the pressure that you are under from every side, but the wall at our southern border is a promise that you made, ran on, got elected on and must keep."

She concluded the monologue by "pleading" (her word) to "get it done," meaning, get the wall funding.

"This is your moment, just do it," she said.

The New York Times reported on Saturday that Trump is spending "ever more time in front of a television, often retreating to his residence out of concern that he is being watched too closely."

The story depicted Trump as paranoid and isolated, and his cable TV consumption "has actually increased in recent months."

His tweets about TV shows have become more specific, with fawning quotes from his supporters. He sometimes includes the Twitter handles of Fox fans like Hannity and Pete Hegseth. At the same time, he trashes Fox's rivals, including CNN.

The as-seen-on-TV presidency includes close aides that came from the TV universe.

Just this year, former Fox News co-president Bill Shine joined the White House as deputy chief of staff for communications. Fox commentator John Bolton became Trump's national security adviser. CNBC's Larry Kudlow became director of the National Economic Council.

Toward the end of the year, Trump nominated former Fox host Heather Nauert to be US ambassador to the United Nations. Nauert has been the State Department spokeswoman for the past year and a half.

Several others, like Hegseth and Pirro, have been in the mix for other administration jobs in the past, according to news reports.

Trump introduced Pirro at a pre-midterms rally by saying "She's my friend and she's your friend, Justice Jeanine."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 735999

Reported Deaths: 13486
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1007151752
Lake54249977
Allen40946680
St. Joseph36335553
Hamilton35829408
Elkhart28844443
Tippecanoe22475219
Vanderburgh22367397
Porter18946311
Johnson18067381
Hendricks17317315
Clark13036192
Madison12762339
Vigo12501249
LaPorte12086215
Monroe11957172
Delaware10755187
Howard10001218
Kosciusko9466117
Hancock8373142
Bartholomew8098156
Warrick7799155
Floyd7690178
Grant7098174
Wayne7072199
Boone6745101
Morgan6611140
Dubois6166117
Marshall6111112
Cass5876105
Dearborn583178
Henry5785105
Noble565984
Jackson503773
Shelby494396
Lawrence4602120
Gibson437192
Harrison436672
DeKalb430585
Clinton428453
Montgomery425889
Whitley398739
Huntington394480
Steuben391057
Miami383968
Knox372890
Jasper372649
Putnam363760
Wabash355380
Adams342755
Ripley340770
Jefferson331881
White317754
Daviess298399
Wells292081
Decatur285992
Fayette282162
Greene280585
Posey272034
LaGrange268970
Scott267554
Clay261347
Washington242132
Randolph242081
Spencer232931
Jennings230949
Starke219354
Fountain213946
Sullivan212242
Owen203356
Jay197830
Fulton196040
Carroll190420
Orange184754
Perry184637
Rush174025
Vermillion170044
Franklin168535
Tipton163445
Parke146716
Pike135634
Blackford135132
Pulaski117445
Newton108934
Brown102641
Crawford101415
Benton99014
Martin89515
Warren82615
Switzerland7948
Union71410
Ohio57111
Unassigned0417

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1091623

Reported Deaths: 19528
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1268061406
Cuyahoga1132982134
Hamilton804211211
Montgomery518231015
Summit47606955
Lucas42618792
Butler38548585
Stark32661909
Lorain25199486
Warren24390300
Mahoning21795588
Lake20846371
Clermont19880240
Delaware18608133
Licking16488212
Fairfield16327200
Trumbull16196468
Medina15379266
Greene15143244
Clark14096299
Wood13168189
Portage12966206
Allen11740232
Richland11433199
Miami10713220
Wayne8923214
Columbiana8881229
Muskingum8831133
Pickaway8596121
Marion8561136
Tuscarawas8509245
Erie7958155
Hancock6944128
Ashtabula6904172
Ross6876156
Geauga6741148
Scioto6444102
Belmont5978168
Union575448
Lawrence5590102
Jefferson5583151
Huron5462120
Sandusky5380122
Darke5374126
Seneca5311122
Washington5228109
Athens520858
Auglaize494986
Mercer481585
Shelby470293
Knox4513110
Madison439363
Putnam4301101
Ashland426590
Fulton426469
Defiance424697
Crawford3993107
Brown397557
Logan383276
Preble381398
Clinton374163
Ottawa369081
Highland356862
Williams343475
Champaign335358
Guernsey317653
Jackson314152
Perry295950
Morrow287239
Fayette283550
Hardin271964
Henry270366
Coshocton266157
Holmes2625101
Van Wert244263
Adams240053
Pike238634
Gallia236749
Wyandot232155
Hocking216462
Carroll192448
Paulding174340
Meigs145540
Noble134137
Monroe132542
Harrison109637
Morgan108823
Vinton84915
Unassigned02
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