Twitter response: Hannity attacked the Trump DOJ for reviewing whether he should testify before a Senate committee.
Fox News commentator Sean Hannity admitted Tuesday on his show that he faced “a lot of animosity” after going on a tweeting spree denouncing the Trump administration.
On Monday, Hannity called the Department of Justice’s review of whether he should testify before a Senate committee “witch hunt” and a “criminal probe”.
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Hannity, the chairman of President Donald Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign, said that his wife, actress Megyn Kelly, was six months pregnant with their third child and that his 19-year-old son, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, had been diagnosed with epilepsy.
On Tuesday night, Hannity acknowledged: “There’s a lot of animosity and people on Twitter, on this side, and the other side.”
The timing of Hannity’s tweets drew attention in a Twitter debate the night before between Hannity’s allies and opponents about his motivations.
Mike Lofgren, a former congressman and Republican communications aide, wrote: “Hi Punditbloggers, I emailed @seanhannity on April 8th to thank him for stepping up to destroy our friendship. I said I’d tell everyone about it. I haven’t heard back. To paraphrase: have you lied to me or told a lie to me?”
Lofgren’s tweet was retweeted by the Randal Radke account, formerly of the White House press office under presidents Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush. He wrote: “Brian Reagan heard what I’d write and killed the tweet.”
The Fox News commentator Brian Burch was more blunt, saying “I no longer have any ‘friendships’ with @seanhannity. He’s the mud ball-throwing, pants-on-fire, reality television swine that I loathe,” referring to Hannity’s tweet on Friday in which he said that presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway “is not your audience”.
Hannity responded: “So I’m guilty of lying then? Nice try. You’re fired.”
Lofgren responded: “I’m laughing at you. It’s 6 months and it’s only been one tweet. By the way, I’m NOT a liar or a Trump apologist.”
On his show, Hannity raised this again: “Whether or not they think that I’m lying or telling the truth, all I’m doing is reporting on stories. When law and order breaks down, life and the livelihoods of real people suffer. They need a truth-teller, whether they’re pro-Trump or not.”
The response on Twitter was some criticism of the potential for Hannity to testify about an investigation into a senior official within the Trump administration. Others expressed a greater concern about the impact of the tweets: a Twitter user called Calvin tweeted: “I have yet to see your show which is probably an understatement. You seem to be prioritizing your own life and bank account over those of the people you serve.”
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Another Trump antagonist, Brit Hume, the former Fox News anchor and political analyst, tweeted that “[O]ver 90% of the time, Hannity is what his audience wants him to be, and that’s not favorable to anybody.”
Previously, Hannity revealed that he had been treated for colon cancer and that the Trump White House had approved of the treatment. In the Guardian, Seamus Hughes, a public policy professor and expert on Trump voters at George Washington University, wrote that Hannity’s comments about Kellyanne Conway “alleging someone else is using her to distract from unrelated matters” were “indeed” a “strange and personally biased attack on the very First Lady”.
On Tuesday, Hannity sent out a message to his radio audience that talked about how a man texted him in “long distance because he’s too upset and wants to know what I’m doing about something, what do you think?”
The radio audience: “Take care of yourself. I’ll never ask you to. No better example in this world of the right side of the line.”