CNN Exclusive: New text messages reveal Fox’s Hannity advising Trump White House and seeking direction – ZellaNews


Throughout the logs, Hannity each provides recommendation and asks for direction, blurring the traces between his Fox present, his radio present and the Trump White House.

On the afternoon of Election Day, Hannity texted Meadows at 1:36 p.m. to ask about turnout in North Carolina. Two hours later, Meadows responded: “Stress each vote issues. Get out and vote. On radio.”

“Yes sir,” Hannity replied. “On it. Any place specifically we’d like a push.”

“Pennsylvania. NC AZ,” Meadows wrote, including: “Nevada.”

“Got it. Everywhere,” Hannity mentioned.

The texts additionally present the 2 males debating Trump’s technique to problem the election, complaining about Fox, and plotting about what to do after Trump left workplace — together with probably working collectively.

“You additionally have to spend a minimum of half your time doing enterprise with us,” Hannity texted Meadows on December 12. “And I’m critical. Did u ever speak to Fox. I’ve been at battle with them.”

“I agree. We could make a strong group,” Meadows responded. “I didn’t speak with (Fox News CEO) Suzanne (Scott) as a result of I acquired tied up with pardons however I’ll be sure I join. You are a real patriot and I’m so very happy with you! Your friendship means an important deal to me.”

“Feeling is mutual,” Hannity wrote again.

Hannity didn’t reply to requests for remark from CNN; neither did Meadows or his lawyer. A spokesman for the January 6 committee declined to remark.

Feeding the fraud conspiracies

Initially after the November 2020 election, Hannity gave the impression to be all in with Trump’s false election claims. On November 29, he texted Meadows saying he had his group making an attempt to show election fraud: “I’ve had my group digging into the numbers. There isn’t any means Biden acquired these numbers. Just mathematically unimaginable. It’s so unhappy for this nation they’ll pull this off in 2020. We want a significant breakthrough, a video, one thing.”

Meadows responded, “You’re precisely proper. Working on breakthrough.”

“Ok. Would be phenomenal,” Hannity texted again.

But a number of weeks later, as Trump’s group misplaced courtroom challenges and the wild claims from attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell did not materialize into something greater than false conspiracy theories, Hannity’s tone shifted.
Sean Hannity looks on as President Donald Trump holds a news conference after his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, February 28, 2019.

Hannity checked in with Meadows on December 22, asking him how he was doing.

“Fighting like loopy. Went to Cobb county to assessment course of. Very powerful days however I’ll maintain combating,” Meadows mentioned, referring to the Trump group’s objections to votes from Cobb County, Georgia.

While Hannity by no means appeared to dispute Trump’s false claims in regards to the election itself, he expressed alarm on the techniques of a few of these pushing Trump’s case. Hannity responded to Meadows, “You combating is okay. The fing lunatics is NOT high-quality. They are NOT serving to him. I’m fed up with these individuals.”

By New Year’s Eve, Hannity warned in regards to the fallout if high White House attorneys resigned in protest. Hannity additionally appeared to simply accept the truth that the election was over and the President’s finest plan of action was to go to Florida and interact Biden from there.

“We cannot lose all the WH counsels workplace. I do NOT see January 6 occurring the best way he’s being instructed,” Hannity mentioned. “After the 6 th. He ought to announce will lead the nationwide effort to reform voting integrity. Go to Fl and watch Joe mess up each day. Stay engaged. When he speaks individuals will pay attention.”

Prepping for a Trump interview

Hannity’s text messages to Meadows are of curiosity to the House choose committee, which wrote to Hannity in January requesting an interview. That month, the panel launched a few of Hannity’s texts to Meadows exhibiting his concern about what would occur on January 6, 2021.

After the letter was despatched, Hannity’s lawyer, Jay Sekulow, instructed CNN, “We are reviewing the committee’s letter and will reply as applicable.”

The texts present proof of what many White House and Fox sources claimed throughout Trump’s time in workplace: That Hannity acted as a “shadow chief of workers” whereas additionally juggling radio and TV exhibits. Trump would steadily name into Hannity’s present — and Hannity appeared on stage with the President throughout his last 2018 marketing campaign rally.
Supporters of President Donald Trump watch a video featuring Fox host Sean Hannity ahead of Trump's arrival to a campaign rally in Michigan on October 30, 2020.

While Hannity was fiercely loyal to Trump on-air, his off-air relationship was extra sophisticated. He generally complained about Trump’s conduct and fretted that the President was hurting the Republican Party writ giant.

Hannity has mentioned he isn’t a journalist, and Fox doesn’t maintain him to conventional journalistic requirements. He is extra akin to a GOP activist and entertainer, like a few of his fellow Fox hosts. In addition to Hannity, Fox’s Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson, Maria Bartiromo and Brian Kilmeade all despatched messages to Meadows as effectively.

A spokesperson for Fox didn’t reply to a request for remark.

In one noteworthy text, Bartiromo messaged Meadows on the morning of November 29, lower than an hour earlier than she was set to conduct Trump’s first interview since Election Day. The text included questions she deliberate to ask Trump.

“Hi the general public needs to know he’ll struggle this. They wish to hear a path to victory. & he is in management,” Bartiromo texted at 9:21 a.m. “1Q You’ve mentioned MANY TIMES THIS ELECTION IS RIGGED… And the details are in your aspect. Let’s begin there. What are the details? Characterize what passed off right here. Then I’ll drill down on the fraud together with the statistical impossibilities of Biden magic (federalist). Pls be sure he would not go off on tangents. We wish to know he’s sturdy he’s a fighter & he’ll win. This is now not about him. This is about ????. I’ll ask him about massive tech & media influencing ejection as effectively Toward finish I’ll get to GA runoffs & then vaccines.”

Fox's Maria Bartiromo

At 10:12 a.m., Trump referred to as into Bartiromo’s present, “Sunday Morning Futures.” Her line of questions mirrored a lot of what she specified by the text message.

“Thank you for speaking with us within the first interview since Election Day,” Bartiromo mentioned. “Mr President, you’ve got mentioned many occasions that this election was rigged, that there was a lot fraud. And the details are in your aspect. Let’s begin there. Please undergo the details. Characterize what passed off.”

The committee beforehand launched texts from each Kilmeade and Ingraham expressing alarm over the assaults on the Capitol and its impact on Trump’s legacy. Tucker Carlson seems in just one alternate within the Meadows text logs, when he was making an attempt to talk to Meadows whereas prepping for his present on November 17.

“Sorry I missed you. I used to be writing the present. Figured it out I believe, however I respect it,” Carlson wrote.

The logs additionally present there have been dozens of journalists from different organizations who texted with Meadows throughout this time interval. In distinction to Hannity’s messages, these reporters have been steadily seeking the White House chief of workers’s affirmation of breaking information or making an attempt to safe an interview with Trump.

Meadows acquired texts from reporters with the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, Politico, Bloomberg, NBC, ABC, ZellaNews and CNN, amongst others.

‘I’m starting to really feel down’

As the returns have been coming in on Election Night, Hannity pinged Meadows to share a tweet about early vote totals out of North Carolina, a state that was essential to Trump’s reelection hopes. “Will we maintain??” Hannity requested Meadows.

“We are nonetheless good,” Meadows wrote again.

Every week later, Hannity checked in once more to see how Meadows was “holding up.”

“I’m doing effectively. Working across the clock. We are going to struggle and win,” Meadows mentioned.

“You actually suppose it is doable,” Hannity responded. “I’m starting to really feel down. To (sic) a lot disorganization. We want Jim to entrance the messaging. Someone that is credible.”

“Arizona now down simply 12813. Still ballots to rely,” Meadows wrote again. “Very disorganized however I’ve been busting heads yesterday and in the present day. Let NOT your coronary heart agonize my good friend.”

Fox's Sean Hannity

Hannity and Meadows’ texts underscore the insular results of the correct-wing media echo chamber, the place little if any correct details about the election outcomes was capable of break by way of.

In November and early December, Hannity’s present typically amplified Trump’s election lies. Guests together with then-White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany made close to-nightly appearances to sow doubt in regards to the election outcomes and stoke assist for doomed authorized challenges. “We will comply with the details,” Hannity claimed on his December 2 program, sooner or later after Trump’s lawyer normal, William Barr, declared there was no proof of widespread election fraud.

But in his texts with Meadows, Hannity sounded resigned to the truth that the election was over.

“Texas case could be very sturdy. Still a Herculean climb. Everyone is aware of it was stolen. Everyone,” Hannity wrote on December 8. “I vacillate between mad as hell and unhappy as hell. Wtf occurred to our nation Mark.”

Meadows responded, “So upset to see what we allowed to occur.”

“Honestly we expect alike. That’s one other dialogue,” Hannity wrote again.

‘I’ve been at battle with all of them week’

The text messages additionally make clear Hannity’s tensions with Fox. The Trump-aligned channel infuriated the previous President by calling Arizona for Biden on Election Night.

On December 6, Meadows despatched Hannity an article about then-Fox host Chris Wallace (who has since been employed by CNN) interrupting Trump’s HHS Secretary Alex Azar when Azar referred to as Biden vice chairman as a substitute of president-elect.

“Doing this to strive and get scores won’t work in the long term and I’m uncertain it’s even a brief time period successful technique,” Meadows wrote.

Hannity responded with a jab at Fox and a suggestion about what Meadows ought to do after leaving the White House: “I’ve been at battle with all of them week. We will speak wen I see u,” Hannity wrote. “Also if this does not finish the best way we would like, you me and Jay are doing 3 issues collectively. 1- Directing authorized methods vs Biden 2- NC Real property 3- Other enterprise I talked to Rudy. Thx for serving to him.”

Hannity expressed his frustrations once more a number of days later, telling Meadows that he had made a marketing campaign advert.

“I used to be screaming about no advertisements from Labor Day on,” Hannity wrote on December 8. “I made my very own they by no means ran it. I’m not pointing fingers. I’m annoyed.”

In his guide, “Frankly, We Did Win This Election,” reporter Michael Bender reported that Hannity had scripted an advert for the Trump marketing campaign, which then paid Fox greater than $1 million to run. But in response to Bender, the advert solely ran one time. When Bender’s guide was revealed final 12 months, Hannity denied writing a Trump marketing campaign advert.

On December 11, Meadows requested Hannity to ship him the cellphone variety of Suzanne Scott, the Fox News CEO. “I can name by way of switchboard however that makes it a much bigger deal,” Meadows mentioned.

The subsequent day, as Hannity pitched Meadows about working for Fox, he additionally supplied an insightful window into how he views Trump. Hannity texted, “I actually really feel sorry for our good friend. He’s by no means had a days peace. On the opposite aspect of this, he is uncovered a really darkish aspect of the swamp that is far worse than I ever imagined and I’m not significantly optimistic for the long run.”

‘The seats are slipping away’

By mid-December, each Hannity and Meadows have been involved in regards to the two Senate run-offs in Georgia that may determine management of the chamber in 2021. By that time, Trump had began his harsh assaults on Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp for certifying the state’s election for Biden.

Hannity and Meadows additionally started planning for after the Trump administration, discussing how Trump may vogue a comeback bid and how Meadows may work in opposition to the Biden administration.

“These 2 senate seats are slipping away. Kemp is a complete fool,” Hannity wrote on December 12.

Hannity argued that Trump ought to make the Senate race about him.

“He has to make this about him. I’ll make a take care of you, If you (elect) 2 R’s to the senate, I’ll run once more in 2024,” Hannity wrote of Trump. “Make it about him. 2 of the worst candidates I’ve ever seen.”

“The seats are slipping away,” Meadows responded. “I agree that he has to offer some hope for the long run. Connect the long run to those candidates.”

Meadows continued, “Additionally. I believe we arrange a bunch of administrative attorneys, with a communication arm that fights election legal guidelines in each state and struggle Biden actions every single day, beginning on Jan 20. ACLU filed over 400 lawsuits in opposition to Trump administration. We have to do the identical. I believe I can elevate round 10 million {dollars} to rent a group to verify the struggle continues and prepares the best way for 2024.”

‘He cannot point out the election once more. Ever.’

As January 6 approached, Hannity expressed his concern about what would transpire. He texted Meadows on January 5, “Im very fearful in regards to the subsequent 48 hours. Pence strain. WH counsel will depart.”

On January 6, after the Capitol was breached by pro-Trump rioters, Hannity was one among plenty of individuals texting Meadows urging Trump to intervene. “Can he make a press release. I noticed the tweet. Ask individuals to peacefully depart the capital,” Hannity texted Meadows at 3:31 p.m.

“On it,” Meadows responded.

Later that night, after Trump had despatched one other tweet attacking Vice President Mike Pence, Hannity expressed extra alarm to Meadows, “Wth (What the hell) is occurring with VPOTUS.”

In the January 6 aftermath, Hannity sounded a glum word to Meadows as many Republicans seemed to forged Trump out of the social gathering. Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell gave a ground speech on January 19 saying the mob was “provoked” by Trump, prompting Hannity to share the video with Meadows. “Well that is as dangerous as this may get,” Hannity texted.

Hannity spoke to Trump a number of days after January 6. The name didn’t go effectively, Hannity wrote in a bunch text to Meadows and GOP Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio. Hannity mentioned he wished Trump by no means to discuss the 2020 election once more, however that Trump was unwilling, and Hannity appeared at a loss for what to do subsequent.

“Guys, we’ve a transparent path to land the airplane in 9 days. He cannot point out the election once more. Ever,” Hannity wrote. “I didn’t have an excellent name with him in the present day. And worse, I’m undecided what’s left to do or say, and I do not like not figuring out if it is really understood. Ideas?”

Neither Meadows nor Jordan appeared to reply.

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