Nearly the entire political class is bought and paid for by special interests. Those interests are comprised of wealthy individuals, corporations, super PACs, among other things. It’s a reality that we despise but understand is just a part of politics. You just hope that the interests of the few line up with the voters who also support the candidate. That is not always the case though, hence why there has been a national revolt against the political class that culminated with the election of Trump. One of his biggest selling points is that he claims to have zero special interests donors. From the traditional sense of the term “donors”, yes President Trump does not have people who have paid to control him. Trump is largely motivated by the populist will of the American people, but they are not the only ones. Trump is really controlled by the conservative media.
The conservative media didn’t hand Trump a check and say we are supporting you if you do this, this, and this. They simply used their respective platforms to influence millions of people to vote for Trump and against Clinton. In return, Trump has kept the promises he has made to those people because of the constant threat of these media titans turning against him. You’ve probably heard the phrase, they are holding his feet to the fire to fulfill his promises.
Take for instance Drudge Report, created by Matt Drudge, was one of the most influential media outlets in the campaign. Drudge tweets out that he is concerned about the appearance of a “slowing down” of momentum to passing tax reform, one of the major promises made on the campaign. Literally days after this tweet, Trump comes out and says that tax reform will be coming in the next couple of weeks. This is the kind of influence that Drudge has on Trump. He has the power to call Trump out when he doesn’t feel like Trump is staying true to his word and puts him back on track.
You can take a look at the favors Trump has paid to other notable supporters in the media. In exchange for giving Trump good press coverage, people like Steve Bannon were appointed to the highest levels of Trump’s administration. Sean Hannity, a popular radio show host, was rewarded with exclusive insider access to the White House and the president himself. Sean was granted the opportunity to interview Trump in the White House one on one. Sean can also talk with Trump personally more than most.
Trump listens to the advice of many of these conservative media titans. I believe they have played a key role in educating Trump on how to deal with the Left. It’s been reported that Trump talks to Alex Jones of Infowars occasionally. Mike Pence has been on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show a few times and Trump happens to be a longtime friend of Rush.
It’s very clear who holds the most influence on Trump. You could say the American voters that voted for Trump do, but really it is people like Drudge, Bannon, Hannity, Limbaugh, etc who embody those voters. These surrogates are the key to implementing conservatism back into our government.