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Trump spoke with Veteran Affairs Secretary David Shulkin last week following reports that he used taxpayer money to pay for his wife to accompany him on a trip to Europe.
According to Axios, Shulkin met with Chief of Staff John Kelly first before speaking with the president. During that meeting, where they discussed legislation to reform the Veteran Affairs health care system, Trump called up a host of his favorite show.
Shulkin was “surprised” when Trump dialed in Fox & Friends host Pete Hegseth to get his opinion, Axios reports.
The Hegseth call put Shulkin in an awkward spot, according to those sources. Hegseth competed for Shulkin’s job and favors more aggressive reform for the VA. Trump talks to Hegseth regularly and enjoys watching him on Fox and Friends.
Trump’s fondness for the Fox News morning talk show is well known. Many of the president’s tweets each morning are often traced back to conversations that Fox & Friends hosts are having.
While Trump has denied repeatedly that he spends his morning watching cable news—despite several reports to the contrary—the president has tweeted several times about interviews on the program and hyped interviews his family members are giving.
Last year, Trump tweeted four consecutive clips from the show.
You can read more about Trump’s call with Hegseth and Shulkin here.
Andrew Wyrich is a politics staff writer for the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the internet. Andrew has written for USA Today, NorthJersey.com, and other newspapers and websites. His work has been recognized by the Society of the Silurians, Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).