The Jan. 6 select House committee on Thursday revealed text messages that show Fox News host Sean Hannity played a more direct role in crafting the Trump administration's response to the attempted insurrection than previously known.
The committee included the texts in a letter requesting testimony from Ivanka Trump, a former adviser to her father's administration. And like texts from Hannity that had already been revealed by the committee, the latest batch clearly underscores the critical role Fox News — through one of its most popular hosts — played in misrepresenting the reality of the Jan. 6 attack. These messages appear to show, yet again, that Hannity was aware of Trump’s culpability in the attack even as he used his show to spin lies claiming Democrats were responsible.
According to the committee, Hannity sent multiple texts to White House officials and lawmakers following the coup attempt, including anxious warnings to staffers as well as instructions on how Trump should publicly react to the attack and how officials should restrain him in the lead-up to President Joe Biden's inauguration.
In an exchange one day after the attack, Hannity gave former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany guidance on how to approach a conversation with Trump, according to the committee.
“1 — No more stolen election talk,” Hannity texted McEnany, according to the committee.
“2 — Yes, impeachment and the 25th amendment are real and many people will quit,” he reportedly added. According to the committee, McEnany responded: “Love that. Thank you. That is the playbook. I will help reinforce.”
Hannity also reportedly told McEnany it would be “key” to keep Trump away from certain people. “No more crazy people,” he wrote, according to the committee.
“Yes, 100%,” McEnany reportedly responded.
And that wasn’t the end of Hannity’s play-calling. The committee shared an anxious text he allegedly sent to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, on Jan. 10, cautioning them that Trump was on precarious footing.
“Guys, we have a clear path to land the plane in 9 days," Hannity reportedly wrote. "He can’t mention the election again. Ever. I did not have a good call with him today. And worse, I’m not sure what is left to do or say, and I don’t like not knowing if it’s truly understood. Ideas?”
If you had any remaining doubt that Fox News was firmly in the Trump administration’s clutches, Hannity’s frantic texts attempting to advise members of the administration should fix the confusion. He was literally in the palm of their hands.
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