Donald Trump may constantly dismiss CNN and other networks as “fake news,” but it’s clear that he is a fan of Fox News … at least if two of his dinner guests this past week are any indication.
On Monday, the president hosted his old friend and former adviser Sebastian Gorka at the White House, along with another Fox favorite: Jesse Watters.
“According to a White House official and two other sources familiar with the meeting, President Trump invited Gorka and Watters because ‘he couldn’t get enough of them on TV,’” The Daily Beast reported.
The exact wording of that endorsement should be taken with a grain of salt, but there’s no doubt that Trump and at least Gorka go way back. The latter was the deputy assistant to the president for the better part of 2017 before resigning as part of a power struggle, just one week after Steve Bannon also left.
Watters seemed to be enjoying his newfound status as a White House insider. The “Watters’ World” host tweeted an image of a White House dinner menu signed by Trump.
“To Jesse, you are great!” the inscription read. Fellow journalist Sharyl Attkisson teased Watters about the president’s choppy signature. “So — you got an autograph from a heart monitor? 🙂 Just kidding; well done,” she posted in response.
Normally, who the president dines with wouldn’t be the most noteworthy topic in the world. However, the meeting fueled speculation that Trump may be building bridges to conservative allies who could have a place in his administration or next campaign.
Both Gorka and another former Trump staff member, Corey Lewandowski, “had West Wing meetings with Mr. Trump,” according to The Wall Street Journal.
Lewandowski’s influence may have waned since the 2016 campaign, but he has apparently been working behind the scenes as a Trump ally.
He was named the senior member of the “America First Action” super PAC back in August.
“Lewandowski has maintained close ties to Trump since being fired from the campaign last June,” The Daily Caller reported at the time.
Are there more staff surprises in store for the White House?
“He has been seen visiting the White House and traveled with Trump on Air Force One last month. There had been some speculation that Lewandowski would join the White House in some capacity, but those plans never materialized.”
Similarly, Gorka has stayed in contact with Trump even after leaving the administration. The president apparently has kept up on his former adviser’s opinions on various issues.
“Trump continues to see Gorka often on Fox, often on Hannity, and to tell associates how much of a kick he gets out of watching Gorka on cable news,” The Daily Beast stated.
Despite the dizzying shakeups among the president’s staff, there’s no denying that Donald Trump assembled a talented — though fiery — team to help him win in 2016 against overwhelming odds.
This recent dinner could mean nothing, but it also might be a sign that the president is “mending fences” and looking forward to the upcoming midterm strategy and the 2020 objective of staying in the White House.
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