Trump turns on Hannity over Capitol riot texts: ‘I disagree with Sean’

Donald Trump has lashed out at one of his staunchest supporters, Sean Hannity, after more of the Fox News host’s Capitol riot texts were revealed to the public.

On Tuesday, the US House committee investigating last year’s insurrection sent Mr Hannity a letter asking him to voluntarily testify. In that letter, which the committee made public, it quoted a text that Mr Hannity allegedly sent to Mr Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, and the pro-Trump congressman Jim Jordan.

“Guys, we have a clear path to land the plane in 9 days,” Mr Hannity wrote just four days after the riot. “He can’t mention the election again. Ever. I did not have a good call with him today. And worse, I’m not sure what is left to do or say, and I don’t like not knowing if it’s truly understood. Ideas?”

After that text became public, Mr Trump lashed out at Mr Hannity.

“I disagree with Sean on that statement and the facts are proving me right,” the former president told CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins through a spokesperson.

It was not immediately clear which part of the text Mr Trump disagreed with, or which “facts” he felt had vindicated him. Ever since he lost last year’s presidential election, Mr Trump has relentlessly misinformed his supporters that the election was stolen. Of the several Republican-backed “audits” that have reexamined the results, none have produced evidence of the widespread voter fraud that Mr Trump alleges.

The Independent has reached out to Mr Trump’s spokesperson for comment.

In its letter, the House committee said Mr Hannity appeared to have “advance knowledge” of Mr Trump’s plans for 6 January, when Congress was scheduled to certify Joe Biden’s election victory.

“It also appears that you were expressing concerns and providing advice to the president and certain White House staff regarding that planning,” the committee wrote to Mr Hannity. “You also had relevant communications while the riot was underway, and in the days thereafter. These communications make you a fact witness in our investigation.”

The letter also quotes another text, sent by Mr Hannity to Mr Meadows on 31 December, 2020.

“We can’t lose the entire WH counsels office,” the Fox News host wrote, referring to the White House Counsel’s Office. “I do NOT see January 6 happening the way he [Mr Trump] is being told.”

The text appears to indicate that Mr Hannity knew something the public didn’t – that members of the White House’s own legal team were threatening to resign if Mr Trump went ahead with certain plans to refuse the election results.

Mr Hannity has not yet said whether he will comply with the House committee’s request.

A spokesperson for Fox News pointed The Independent to a statement from Mr Hannity’s counsel Jay Sekulow, who told Axios: “If true, any such request would raise serious constitutional issues including First Amendment concerns regarding freedom of the press.”

The Independent has reached out to Fox News for further comment.

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