President Trump tweeted about some of his most-discussed topics on Monday morning: the wall that he wants to erect along the Southern border, leaks to the media and, of course, “Fox & Friends.”
Since his inauguration, the president has @mentioned or retweeted the @foxandfriends Twitter account 105 times — roughly twice per week, on average. For perspective, here's how that total stacks up against some of Trump's other favorite subjects.
There are striking comparisons here. Trump tweets about “Fox & Friends” three times more often than the wall and four times more often than leaks. He loves to boast about the stock market's performance but has done so on Twitter only half as frequently as he has tweeted about Fox News's morning show.
The chart above underrepresents the frequency with which Trump refers to “Fox & Friends” on Twitter. In many other tweets, the president has not mentioned the program by name but has appeared to be responding to segments he saw on TV.
On Monday, for example, Trump tweeted criticisms of Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) and former CIA director John Brennan after “Fox & Friends” aired video clips of both men. Trump also tweeted that Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) “may someday be recognized as a Great American Hero for what he has exposed” after “Fox & Friends” host Ainsley Earhardt told Nunes in an interview that “to a lot of Republicans, you're a hero because you're exposing the wrongdoings.”
In a “Saturday Night Live” skit over the weekend, “Trump” (Alec Baldwin) similarly tweeted a remark by “Earhardt” (Heidi Gardner). Baldwin's Trump character also referred to “Fox & Friends” as his daily intelligence briefing in a sketch that satirized the special relationship between the president and his beloved show.
Trump's tweets go beyond thanking “Fox & Friends” for favorable coverage; they indicate that the program's hosts and guests sometimes influence his thinking on policy, such as when he suddenly seemed to second-guess his support for a federal surveillance program last month, after commentator Andrew Napolitano looked straight into the camera and said, “Mr. President, this is not the way to go.”
What is truly notable about this dynamic is that the president seems totally unashamed of it. After being mocked on SNL for parroting “Fox & Friends,” Trump might have tried (for a while, at least) to avoid playing into the joke. Instead, he went right back to tweeting about the show on Monday.