It really looks like Trump purged 46 US Attorneys because Fox News told him to

Fox News/YouTube

On Friday, US President Donald Trump asked for the resignation of 46 US attorneys, all appointed by President Obama.

By Saturday, 45 had resigned, and the President fired the 46th, US attorney in Manhatten Preet Bharara.

The step of firing a huge swathe of government officials appointed by the other party is not unprecedented.

During the Clinton administration, the Attorney General Janet Reno removed 93 Republican US attorneys in rapid succession.

The Bush Junior and Obama administrations also removed partisan appointments but over a more gradual length of time.

So while Trump's action is relatively routine, his motive appears less than so.

Critics believe the sudden flurry of activity regarding political appointees came about because a Fox News host suggested it.

Not in a head to head with the President, or through a formal policy recommendation that weighed up media pressure.

Fox's Sean Hannity said it here:

And it came out here:

At 10pm, on Thursday 9 March 2017, Sean Hannity called on the administration to 'purge' the 'saboteurs' and 'clean house'.

Less than 24 hours later, at 8pm on Friday 10 March, the Associated Press broke the news that Attorney General Jeff Sessions had called for the resignations of the 46 US attorneys.

Trump is already well known as a fan of the network's news.

Fox is one of the few accounts the Twitter president follows, and White House staffers have claimed he spends much of his time watching Fox's rolling news channel.

Trump is not the first president to keep one eye on the TV.

President Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-1969) had televisions screens installed in the Oval Office.

Yet as far as history can tell, it'd be difficult to prove Johnson was taking policy direction from Walter Cronkite.

HT GQ, New York Times

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