Things that make you go hmmmmm...
Fox News host Sean Hannity, like many other allies of former President Donald Trump, urged then–White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to get Trump to call off his supporters during the Jan. 6 Capitol siege, according to text messages Meadows turned over to the House Jan. 6 committee. A new batch of Meadows texts obtained by CNN gives a broader picture of the role Hannity and other Trump allies played before and after Jan. 6.
Hannity was among the most frequent correspondents in the 2,319 text messages Meadows turned over to the Jan. 6 committee, CNN reports. On Election Day, for example, Hannity texted Meadows in the afternoon, asking if North Carolina was "gonna be okay." Meadows wrote back, urging Hannity to tell his radio show listeners: "Stress every vote matters. Get out and vote."
"Yes sir. On it," Hannity responded. "Any place in particular we need a push?"
That's not how journalists, even openly partisan opinion hosts, are supposed to interact with the White House, CNN's Dana Bash notes. "In past years, Fox News has attempted to set some boundaries for its on-air personalities," especially Hannity, The Washington Post reports. But these text messages "suggest that Hannity saw himself as part of the broader pro-Trump campaign apparatus on Election Day."
"Throughout the logs, Hannity both gives advice and asks for direction," which was a common theme throughout Trump's presidency, CNN reports. Former White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham recounted in January that "there were times the president would come down the next morning and say, 'Well, Sean thinks we should do this,' or, 'Judge Jeanine thinks we should do this.'"
"When you look at these messages, if this is what Meadows turned over willingly to the Jan. 6 committee, you have to wonder what's in the rest of the documents, because these are so damning," said CNN's Jamie Gangel. Meadows withheld more than 1,000 messages from the Jan. 6 committee, claiming executive privilege, the committee said in a court filing Friday.