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A Fox News spokesperson said in a statement Tuesday that the company “does not condone any talent participating in campaign events,” one day after two of the network’s hosts appeared on-stage at President Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Missouri.
“This was an unfortunate distraction that has been addressed,” the spokesperson said Tuesday. It was not immediately clear how the situation had been addressed.
Trump’s campaign had earlier billed Fox News host Sean Hannity as a “special guest” at the rally, The Associated Press reported. However, both Hannity and network representatives denied that he planned to do more than record his show at the rally.
In spite of reports, I will be doing a live show from Cape Girardeau and interviewing President Trump before the rally. To be clear, I will not be on stage campaigning with the President. I am covering final rally for my show. Something I have done in every election in the past.— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) November 5, 2018
He appeared on stage after being called up by Trump minutes after the president took the stage, PolitiFact reported. Fox News host Jeanine Pirro also appeared on stage with Trump, according to the AP.
Still, Hannity insisted Tuesday that he was “100% truthful” when he said before the rally that he would not be on stage.
“When the POTUS invited me on stage to give a few remarks last night, I was surprised, yet honored by the president’s request,” Hannity said. “This was NOT planned.”
He added that when he said Monday that “all these people in the back are fake news,” he was not talking about any of his colleagues at Fox News.
What I said in my tweet yesterday was 100% truthful. When the POTUS invited me on stage to give a few remarks last night, I was surprised, yet honored by the president’s request. This was NOT planned.— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) November 6, 2018
To be clear, I was not referring to my journalist colleagues at FOX News in those remarks. They do amazing work day in and day out in a fair and balanced way and It is an honor to work with such great professionals.— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) November 6, 2018
Network officials have previously rebuked Hannity on at least two other occasions.
“In 2016, he was part of a Trump political video, which Fox said it had not known about in advance and told Hannity not to do so again,” the AP reported. “When Fox found out in 2010 that the Tea Party had advertised that Hannity would be appearing at one of his fundraising rallies, Fox said it had not approved the arrangement and ordered him back to New York.”