Nov 6, 2018

Sean Hannity joins Trump on stage at rally after tweeting he wouldn't

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

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Photo by David Becker/Getty Images.

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Why it matters: The poll notes that only 42% of Democratic primary voters have made up their minds. While Warren underperformed in the first three states, her strong debate performance in Nevada last week may have given her campaign new life.

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Marc Short. Screenshot: Fox News

Marc Short, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, claimed on "Fox News Sunday" that the White House has not received intelligence that Russia is seeking to help President Trump win re-election, calling it "false information" that has been selectively leaked by Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee.

The big picture: Short and national security adviser Robert O'Brien both dismissed reports published in the Washington Post and New York Times last week about a briefing provided by top election security official Shelby Pierson, an aide to outgoing acting director of national intelligence Joseph Maguire.

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Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks in San Antonio last night with his wife, Jane. Photo: Eric Gay/AP

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Driving the news: With 60% of precincts counted (slow, but better than Iowa!), Sanders is running away with 46% of delegates — crushing Joe Biden's 20%, Pete Buttigieg's 15%, Sen. Elizabeth Warren's 10% and Sen. Amy Klobuchar's 5%.