- The Fox News host Sean Hannity on Thursday backpedaled on a rant against a bombshell New York Times report that said President Donald Trump last summer tried to fire Robert Mueller, the special counsel leading the FBI’s Russia investigation.
- After railing against The Times’ report, Hannity appeared to concede that it was accurate after a Fox News correspondent published a story describing a source as confirming some of the report’s details.
The Fox News host Sean Hannity came out swinging on his program Thursday night in response to a New York Times report that said President Donald Trump ordered the firing of Robert Mueller in June, one month after Mueller was chosen to oversee the FBI’s Russia investigation as the special counsel.
The Times report said Trump backed down when the White House counsel, Don McGahn, threatened to resign over the order and argued that Mueller’s firing would “have a catastrophic effect” on the Trump administration.
“They’re trying to change the story,” Hannity said of the Times report. “At this hour, The New York Times is trying to distract you.”
Hannity continued: “And our sources, and I’ve checked in with many of them – they’re not confirming that tonight. And the president’s attorney dismissed the story, and says, ‘Nope, no comment. We’re not going there.’ And how many times has The New York Times and others gotten it wrong.”
Though Hannity opened the floor for commentary from his guests Sebastian Gorka, a former Trump aide, and Herman Cain, a 2012 Republican presidential candidate, they instead discussed the news that the FBI was unable to save thousands of text messages exchanged between two former members of Mueller’s team found to have been critical of Trump.
The Fox News correspondent Ed Henry published a story on Thursday night describing a source as confirming some of the details in the Times report.
Later in the segment, Hannity appeared to concede The Times’ reporting was accurate.
“All right, so we have sources tonight just confirming … that yeah, maybe Donald Trump wanted to fire the special counsel for a conflict,” the Fox News host said. “Does he not have the right to raise those questions?
“You know, we’ll deal with this tomorrow night,” Hannity said, before discussing a high-speed police chase in Arizona.
Watch an edited clip of Hannity’s Thursday program:
Sean Hannity: The New YorkTimes is trying to distract you. They say Trump tried to fireMueller, but our sources arenâ¬”t confirming that!
Sean Hannity, minutes later: Alright, yeah, maybe our sourcesconfirm Trump wanted to fire Mueller. But so what? Thatâ¬”s hisright. Anywho… pic.twitter.com/yUIt7Un56d
— Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) January 26, 2018