In a recent interview with Donald Trump Jr., Fox News’ Sean Hannity appeared to accept at face value Trump Jr.’s explanation for meeting with a Russian lawyer who he believed had scandalous information about Hillary Clinton.
Furthermore, before the interview, Hannity strangely spent portions of his segment indicting mainstream media outlets that he said have overblown the President Donald Trump administration’s connections with Russia.
The New York Times recently reported that Donald Trump Jr. had met with Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer who expressed that she might have incriminating evidence related to Hillary Clinton. When the meeting commenced, Veselnitskaya allegedly shifted the focus of the discussion to issues related to adoption between the United States and Russia rather than providing any of the controversial information promised in her emails.
When Hannity asked Trump Jr. why he accepted the meeting, he explained, “Someone has information on our opponent. You know, things are going a million miles an hour.” He added, “I had been reading about scandals that people were probably underreporting for a long time, so maybe it was something that had to do with one of those things.”
Although the contents of the meeting itself may not be particularly controversial, Trump Jr.’s willingness to meet with a lawyer tied to the Kremlin is deeply alarming and unprecedented. And Hannity’s unwillingness to squarely condemn the act while simultaneously dismissing other media outlets as “fake news” displays Fox News' blatant inability to report on the truth.
Hannity defended Trump Jr. by asserting that similar situations which have received little media attention took place on the Democratic side as well. He specifically referenced a Politico article which asserted that a Democratic National Convention researcher dug up information about former campaign manager Paul Manafort through sources at a Ukranian embassy.
But as The Washington Post points out, that comparison doesn’t hold up. While the DNC controversy involved isolated individuals in Ukraine, we know that the Russian meddling in the 2016 election goes all the way to the top of the Kremlin.
Hannity has remained a steadfast supporter of the Trump administration, even when faced with evidence which contradicts his most central beliefs about the president. Although its argument lacks depth and nuance, broadly attacking the mainstream media is the only defense that Fox News has left.
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