Fox News Host Sean Hannity used Trump phraseology, referring to the New York Times as “fake news,” to defend himself against a report from that outlet claiming that he is an “out-of-office” adviser to the president.
A report Saturday evening described Hannity as a confidant deployed by Trump to jump to his defense regardless of how his “controversial behavior in public” may be perceived.
People close to the president said Hannity continually urges him to “focus on keeping pledges like repealing the Affordable Care Act,” according to the report.
Hannity was quick to respond to the article via a flurry of tweets. The Fox News host accused the Times of colluding with Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, called the media outlet “fake news” and, in reference to the recent intelligence investigations involving former Obama national security adviser Susan Rice, facetiously asked if he had been “surveilled and unmasked” by the National Security Agency.
A report earlier this month said Rice requested on numerous occasions the “unmasking” of the identities of Trump campaign officials listed in raw intelligence reports.
Maggie Haberman, White House correspondent for the New York Times and co-author of the article that linked Hannity to Trump, responded to Hannity’s tweets saying the article was “hardly critical” of him and that she reached out to Fox News public relations and they didn’t seem to have a problem with it.
Hannity continued his Twitter rampage saying all of his conversations should be private and that the Times has no idea what they’re talking about because he refuses to communicate with the news outlet.
Glenn Thrush, the other co-author of the Times article, also responded to Hannity, saying he once witnessed a Republican elected official preparing for an interview when he got an email from Hannity offering political advice.