Consulting people without formal roles in his administration is not unusual for Trump, and several of these people are media figures. I have compiled a list of unofficial advisers (and possible advisers) from the media, along with what we know about their relationships with the president.
The Times reported in April that “the media mogul Rupert Murdoch is on the phone every week, encouraging Mr. Trump when he's low and arguing that he focus on the economy rather than detouring to other issues. … The president's relationship with Mr. Murdoch is deeper and more enduring than most in his life, and the two commiserate and plot strategy in their phone calls, according to people close to both.”
The Newsmax chief executive is a longtime friend of Trump's. The Washington Post dubbed him a “Trump whisperer” in an article last week and reported that “he converses regularly with Trump and White House officials, and says he has given the president advice on everything from health-care reforms to China relations to fake news. On more than one occasion this year he has stirred controversy by inserting himself into conflicts among Trump's staff.”
Trump and the Fox News star are famously close. Hannity served as an informal adviser to Trump during the presidential race and said on air on election night that he had spoken with Trump three times that day. Hannity even appeared in a campaign ad — a move that Fox News, despite its high tolerance for advocacy by commentators, told him not to repeat.
Last fall, Hannity shot down speculation that he might take a job in the Trump administration. Nevertheless, he still has the president's ear, if the latest Times report is any indication.
The former House speaker was in the running to be Trump's vice president and remains an informal adviser, providing input on matters as prominent as immigration and as mundane as the civil service system. Gingrich has parlayed his understanding of Trump into a new book, fittingly titled “Understanding Trump.”
A year has passed since Trump fired Lewandowski as his campaign manger, but the separation was never complete. First as a CNN analyst and now as a contributor to the One America News Network, Lewandowski has remained an informal adviser. He was spotted inside the White House last month, and the president has considered rehiring Lewandowski, according to multiple reports. Lewandowski has said he is open to rejoining Team Trump.
The Times last month confirmed an earlier report by Infowars that Trump was considering the co-host of “The Five” on Fox News as a possible replacement for White House press secretary Sean Spicer. Guilfoyle then fueled speculation by publicly expressing interest in the job and telling viewers that the president had called her to discuss his decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate change accord. More recently, however, Politico reported that Guilfoyle is not interested in becoming press secretary.
White House officials recently approached the conservative radio host about taking over as press secretary. Ingraham has publicly played down her interest, but she touted her closeness to Trump and his team in November, when she was originally under consideration.
“I've known Donald for a long time, and I know most of the guys who are going to be in the White House with him,” she said at the time. “Steve Bannon is a good friend, an old friend. … Kellyanne [Conway] I've known for, gosh, 15, 20 years. Something like that. They're old friends. Dave Bossie is an old friend.”
Roger Stone (?)
The Infowars personality was a formal adviser to Trump early in the campaign and continued to lend advice in an informal capacity after splitting during the GOP primary. Now, the status of his relationship with the president is in dispute. CNN reported last month that Stone advised Trump to fire James B. Comey as FBI director. Trump responded by tweeting that he has not talked to Stone “in a long time.”
Stone, however, has told The Washington Post and other news outlets that he and Trump still talk politics occasionally.
Alex Jones (?)
The Infowars founder has claimed on multiple occasions that the president calls him on a semi-regular basis. We know that Trump has praised Jones's “amazing” reputation, but Jones has a distant relationship with the truth, so it is possible that his relationship with Trump is not any closer.
Ann Coulter (?)
The conservative commentator told The Washington Post in August 2015 that before Trump began his White House campaign, he “asked for, and received, an advance copy of my book, and he told me . . . that he’s read the book cover to cover.” The book, “Adios, America,” might as well have been the script for Trump's immigration policy. It is unclear, however, whether Trump is still following Coulter's advice. The author has voiced her frustration about the president's lack of progress on deportations and construction of a wall along the border with Mexico.
This daily Trump melodrama is worth it ONLY if he’s really going to build the wall, cut off Muslim refugees and deport illegals.— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) June 16, 2017