Sean Hannity campaigns for Trump after saying he wouldn't

Cheryl Sanders
November 7, 2018

Fox News responded to Fox anchor Sean Hannity's appearance at a "Make America Great Again" rally on Monday night, in which Hannity appeared onstage with President Donald Trump.

Initially, Hannity and the network said that Hannity would simply air his show from the rally venue in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and follow that with an interview with Trump.

Observers accused Hannity, Fox News' biggest star, of campaigning for the president as he ostensibly represented a network of journalists.

Fox, controlled by Trump ally Rupert Murdoch and often praised by the president, said it was wrong for one of its journalists to become part of a political event.

Fox News resisted Monday when the Trump campaign had advertised to its followers that Hannity would appear as a "special guest" at the Missouri rally, saying Hannity was only there to cover the event. But Fox News addressed the incident on Election Day, calling it "an unfortunate distraction".

Fox said it had not approved the arrangement, and ordered Hannity back to his NY studio for the evening. "The White House-Fox News nexus has rarely been as evident as tonight in Cape Girardeau", said Philip Rucker, White House bureau chief at The Washington Post, on Twitter.

"People throughout the company think a new line was crossed", one employee of the network told CNN.

Fox had previously announced that Hannity would be at the election-eve rally and interview Trump before it starts.

New claim: 'When POTUS invited me on stage to give remarks last night, I was surprised, yet honored by the president's request.

Hannity appeared on the podium with the president and delivered brief remarks.

She did not immediately add any clarification about how the network "addressed" the events, but Hannity tweeted soon after about his participation.

Hannity's rally appearance was not broadcast on Fox.

"They do incredible work day in and day out in a fair and balanced way", he said on Twitter. It came after Hannity's prime-time show aired from the rally site, during which he pleaded with viewers to vote Republican on Tuesday to support Trump, and his opening monologue echoed a campaign slogan seen on signs at the arena: "Promises made, promises kept". There has also been a close connection between its staff and the White House, with former Fox News executive Bill Shine taking on the role of communications director earlier this year.

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