Chris Cuomo Calls Sean Hannity ‘Without Question the Most Powerful Person in the Media’

“What he says, the president does,” Cuomo tells his guest GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz

CNN anchor Chris Cuomo paid homage to his primetime rival Sean Hannity on Thursday, telling a guest that he considered the Fox News host to be the most powerful voice in all media today.

“Sean Hannity has been a friend to me and he’s incredibly persuasive and powerful,” Cuomo said. “I would argue he is without question the most powerful person in the media because what he says, the president does.”

“Not vice versa,” Cuomo added. “We’ve never seen that before.”

Cuomo’s guest, Florida GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz, said the relationship between the two men was more complicated than how Cuomo was portraying it, but did not dispute the close bond between the two, which has been widely reported.

“I’ve bared witness to interactions where they’ve had exchanges and robust discussions and they bounce ideas off of each other,” Gaetz said. “I think it’s good that we have a president that bounces ideas off of a lot of different people. He’s not just stuck in the cocoon of the West Wing. He seeks advice from all over the country.”

Trump and Hannity are known to speak regularly and the president has been a frequent guest for interviews when he is looking to get his message out on national television. Hannity has even appeared with Trump at campaign events and taken part in jeering of his colleagues in the national press corps.

In the past Trump has shown himself to be extremely sensitive to criticism from Hannity and other right wing media talkers like Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter. Last month’s government shutdown — the longest in U.S. history — came after fierce criticism in conservative media that Trump could not sign a funding bill that did not provide money for the wall.

Though President Trump is expected to sign a funding compromise on Friday to keep the government open, he has been urged by Hannity and others to declare a national emergency to secure funding for his long promised border wall. Such a move is almost certain to be challenged in court.

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