But, according to aides, something more superficial is also driving President Trump’s affection for the Republican senator. Trump likes how Cotton handles himself on the Sunday shows.

“[Trump] respects [Cotton] on policy, he loves his advice, and he loves him on TV,” a senior White House official told The Daily Beast.

According to sources close to the president, Trump enjoys watching how Cotton handles himself in TV interviews and in dealing with the press more generally. And though those assets aren’t particularly valuable for a prospective CIA director, they do carry incredible weight in how Trump evaluates his political peers and potential allies.