Is President Obama Trying To Influence Donald Trump Through Television?

11.21.16 1 year ago 3 Comments

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In the final weeks before the election, Roger Ailes scourge Gabriel Sherman penned a revealing profile of the Donald Trump presidential campaign’s last moments for New York magazine. Of particular interest to journalists and comedians alike was a passage in which Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway revealed a rather interesting — albeit indirect — method for communicating with her boss: “A way you can communicate with him is you go on TV to communicate.” No, seriously. Trump was so bad at taking advice from his own paid advisers, but such “an avid cable-news viewer,” that Conway and the eventual President-elect’s many counselors and surrogates went on various programs to deliver his own talking points to him.

Trump’s television-watching habits are old news at this point. After all, he has already begun making appointments to his administration, so his penchant for skimming CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and others is the least of the country’s many worries. At least until you consider the fact that Trump will be the President of the United States come January 20, 2017, but old habits like channel surfing will be difficult to cull. Maybe that’s why whenever reporters have asked President Obama about his successor in numerous press conferences since, the former crafts his answers in the most diplomatic ways.

In other words, Obama may already be doing what Trump mentioned during the pair’s brief joint remarks to the press last Thursday. “I very much look forward to dealing with the president in the future,” said the president-elect, “including counsel.” Sources with knowledge of the meeting later told The Wall Street Journal Obama “plans to spend more time with his successor than presidents typically do,” since Trump and his team “seemed surprised by the scope” of the job. According to statements given at three different events during the past week, it seems the president’s next gig as unofficial presidential adviser has already begun.

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