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Fox News host Sean Hannity joined President Trump on stage at a campaign rally in Missouri last night, despite tweeting that reports he would be doing so were incorrect.

What happened:

  • On Sunday, Axios published a story that said Hannity and talk show host Rush Limbaugh would join the president at the rally in Missouri as special guests, as announced in a campaign press release.
  • On Monday, Axios updated the story after Hannity tweeted that he was set to do a live show from Missouri and interview Trump before the rally. He stated, "To be clear, I will not be on stage campaigning with the President." A Fox News spokesperson confirmed Hannity's tweet.
  • On Monday night, Hannity joined Trump onstage and called the reporters in the back of the room "all fake news." He added that he had "no idea" that Trump was going to invite him onstage.

What they're saying:

  • Fox News spokesperson: "FOX News does not condone any talent participating in campaign events. We have an extraordinary team of journalists helming our coverage tonight and we are extremely proud of their work. This was an unfortunate distraction and has been addressed.” 
  • Hannity: "What I said in my tweet yesterday was 100% truthful. When the POTUS invited me on stage to give a few remarks last night, I was surprised, yet honored by the president’s request. This was NOT planned. And to be clear, I was not referring to my journalist colleagues at FOX News in those remarks. They do amazing work day in and day out in a fair and balanced way and it is an honor to work with such great professionals."
  • A senior Fox News employee reportedly told CNN, "People throughout the company think a new line was crossed." Another employee said, "We were all told that Hannity was going to interview the president, but no one that I spoke with expected what happened last night. I'm aghast as are a number of other people."

Go deeper

UN poll: Most see climate change as global emergency amid pandemic

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg (C) fronts a Fridays For Future protest at the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm in September. Photo: Jonathan Nacksrtrand/AFP via Getty Images

64% of people from around the world say climate change is a global emergency, a United Nations poll published Wednesday finds.

Why it matters: It's biggest global survey on climate change ever conducted, with some 1.2 million participants from 50 countries — including the U.S. where 65% of those surveyed view climate change as an emergency.

Collins helps contractor before pro-Susan PAC gets donation

Sen. Susan Collins during her reelection campaign. Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

A PAC backing Sen. Susan Collins in her high-stakes reelection campaign received $150,000 from an entity linked to the wife of a defense contractor whose firm Collins helped land a federal contract, new public records show.

Why it matters: The executive, Martin Kao of Honolulu, leaned heavily on his political connections to boost his business, federal prosecutors say in an ongoing criminal case against him. The donation linked to Kao was veiled until last week.

How cutting GOP corporate cash could backfire

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Companies pulling back on political donations, particularly to members of Congress who voted against certifying President Biden's election win, could inadvertently push Republicans to embrace their party's rightward fringe.

Why it matters: Scores of corporate PACs have paused, scaled back or entirely abandoned their political giving programs. While designed to distance those companies from events that coincided with this month's deadly siege on the U.S. Capitol, research suggests the moves could actually empower the far-right.