Sean Hannity urged White House aides to end ‘stolen election talk’ around Trump in text messages after Jan 6

Andrew Feinberg
Washington, DC
Thursday 20 January 2022 18:29
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Fox News hosts including Sean Hannity texted Mark Meadows during Capitol riot begging for Trump to take action

Fox News host Sean Hannity sent a post-Capitol riot text message to then-White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany urging her and other top aides to then-president Donald Trump to stop “stolen election talk” and keep “crazy people” away from him.

Mr Hannity’s 7 January message laid out what Ms McEnany called a “playbook” for conversations with Mr Trump during his final days in office.

The first two points in the playbook were revealed by House January 6th select committee chair Bennie Thompson in a letter requesting ex-White House adviser (and former first daughter) Ivanka Trump to appear before the nine-member panel.

The first step advised by Mr Hannity was to have “no more stolen election talk” around Mr Trump.

The second was to advise the president that “impeachment and the 25th amendment” — two ways Mr Trump could be removed from office before the final two weeks of his term were up — were “real” and warn him that “many” of his aides would quit the administration.

In response, Ms McEnany replied: “Love that. Thank you. That is the playbook”.

Mr Thompson’s letter also revealed that Mr Hannity advised Ms McEnany that it was “key” for “no more crazy people” to be permitted to meet with Mr Trump for the balance of his term.

The then-White House spokesperson responded: “Yes 100%”.

The newly-revealed text messages are the second set of advisory missives from Mr Hannity and other Fox News personalities to prominent Republicans in Mr Trump’s orbit on and after the day of the worst attack on the Capitol since the 1814 Burning of Washington.

Last month, the select committee revealed that Mr Hannity sent a 10 January message to Ohio Representative Jim Jordan in which he advised that Mr Trump “can’t mention the election again”.

The messages are relevant to the committee’s request for Ms Trump to give evidence because — according to Mr Thompson — the panel “would like to discuss this effort after January 6th to persuade President Trump not to associate himself with certain people, and to avoid further discussion regarding election fraud allegations”.

Mr Hannity is just one of the Fox News personalities who has been revealed to have communicated with top Trump administration officials during or after the 6 January Capitol riot.

As the violence was unfolding that day, then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows recieved a message from The Ingraham Angle host Laura Ingraham begging Mr Meadows to have Mr Trump “tell people to go home”.

“This is hurting all of us. He is destroying his legacy,” she wrote.

Another Fox personality, Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade, urged Mr Meadows to “please get him [Mr Trump] on TV” because the riot was “Destroying everything you have accomplished”.

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