roughly CNN Unique: New textual content messages reveal Fox’s Hannity advising Trump White Home and searching for route will cowl the newest and most present suggestion roughly the world. entrance slowly so that you comprehend skillfully and accurately. will development your information precisely and reliably

All through the logs, Hannity each offers recommendation and asks for route, blurring the strains between his Fox present, his radio present and the Trump White Home.

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.”

“Sure sir,” Hannity replied. “On it. Anywhere particularly we’d like a push.”

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

“Bought it. All over the place,” 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 presumably 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 am severe. Did u ever speak to Fox. I have been at struggle with them.”

“I agree. We are able to make a strong staff,” Meadows responded. “I didn’t speak with (Fox Information CEO) Suzanne (Scott) as a result of I acquired tied up with pardons however I’ll be certain that I join. You’re a true patriot and I’m so very happy with you! Your friendship means an excellent deal to me.”

“Feeling is mutual,” Hannity wrote again.

Whereas Hannity didn’t reply to CNN’s invitation to touch upon his textual content exchanges with Meadows, he appeared to handle the matter Friday night time on his Fox present.

“I am on the Fox Information channel, which is a information channel, however I do not declare to be a journalist, I declare to be a chat present host. However I can produce hundreds of hours of straight information, hundreds of hours of investigative reporting,” Hannity mentioned. “I am upfront about who I’m, I’m a registered conservative. Sure, I voted for Donald Trump, I make no apologies. I give my opinion easy.”

Meadows and his lawyer didn’t reply to CNN, however in accordance with a Friday night time court docket submitting, Meadows maintains that his texts “are devoid of any proof that Mr. Meadows had any information of, not to mention any position by any means in, the untoward occasions on the Capitol.” The submitting additionally states that the January 6 committee has used the texts Meadows has already handed over “to vilify him publicly by way of the media.”

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 staff making an attempt to show election fraud: “I’ve had my staff digging into the numbers. There isn’t a manner Biden acquired these numbers. Simply mathematically inconceivable. It is so unhappy for this nation they’ll pull this off in 2020. We’d like a serious breakthrough, a video, one thing.”

Meadows responded, “You are precisely proper. Engaged on breakthrough.”

“Okay. Could be phenomenal,” Hannity texted again.

However a number of weeks later, as Trump’s staff misplaced court docket challenges and the wild claims from attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell didn’t 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.

“Combating like loopy. Went to Cobb county to evaluation course of. Very robust days however I’ll hold preventing,” Meadows mentioned, referring to the Trump staff’s objections to votes from Cobb County, Georgia.

Whereas Hannity by no means appeared to dispute Trump’s false claims concerning the election itself, he expressed alarm on the ways of a few of these pushing Trump’s case. Hannity responded to Meadows, “You preventing is okay. The fing lunatics is NOT nice. They’re NOT serving to him. I am fed up with these folks.”

By New Yr’s Eve, Hannity warned concerning the fallout if high White Home 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 have interaction Biden from there.

“We will not lose your complete WH counsels workplace. I do NOT see January 6 occurring the best way he’s being informed,” 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 every day. Keep engaged. When he speaks folks will hear.”

Prepping for a Trump interview

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

After the letter was despatched, Hannity’s lawyer, Jay Sekulow, informed CNN, “We’re reviewing the committee’s letter and can reply as acceptable.”

The texts present proof of what many White Home and Fox sources claimed throughout Trump’s time in workplace: That Hannity acted as a “shadow chief of employees” whereas additionally juggling radio and TV exhibits. Trump would continuously name into Hannity’s present — and Hannity appeared on stage with the President throughout his closing 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.

Whereas Hannity was fiercely loyal to Trump on-air, his off-air relationship was extra difficult. He generally complained about Trump’s conduct and fretted that the President was hurting the Republican Occasion writ massive.

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

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

In a single noteworthy textual content, 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 textual content included questions she deliberate to ask Trump.

“Hello the general public desires to know he’ll battle this. They wish to hear a path to victory. & he is in management,” Bartiromo texted at 9:21 a.m. “1Q You’ve got mentioned MANY TIMES THIS ELECTION IS RIGGED… And the info are in your facet. Let’s begin there. What are the info? Characterize what befell right here. Then I’ll drill down on the fraud together with the statistical impossibilities of Biden magic (federalist). Pls be certain that he does not go off on tangents. We wish to know he’s sturdy he’s a fighter & he’ll win. That is now not about him. That is about ????. I’ll ask him about large tech & media influencing ejection as nicely Towards finish I am going to get to GA runoffs & then vaccines.”

Fox's Maria Bartiromo

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

“Thanks for speaking with us within the first interview since Election Day,” Bartiromo mentioned. “Mr President, you have mentioned many instances that this election was rigged, that there was a lot fraud. And the info are in your facet. Let’s begin there. Please undergo the info. Characterize what befell.”

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 trade within the Meadows textual content 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 feel, however I admire 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 continuously searching for the White Home chief of employees’s affirmation of breaking information or making an attempt to safe an interview with Trump.

Meadows acquired texts from reporters with the New York Occasions, Washington Publish, Wall Road Journal, Related Press, Politico, Bloomberg, NBC, ABC, CBS and CNN, amongst others.

‘I am starting to really feel down’

Because the returns have been coming in on Election Night time, 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’re nonetheless good,” Meadows wrote again.

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

“I’m doing nicely. Working across the clock. We’re going to battle and win,” Meadows mentioned.

“You actually assume it is doable,” Hannity responded. “I am starting to really feel down. To (sic) a lot disorganization. We’d like Jim to entrance the messaging. Somebody that is credible.”

“Arizona now down simply 12813. Nonetheless ballots to depend,” Meadows wrote again. “Very disorganized however I’ve been busting heads yesterday and at the moment. Let NOT your coronary heart fret my pal.”

Fox's Sean Hannity

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

In November and early December, Hannity’s present usually amplified Trump’s election lies. Visitors together with then-White Home press secretary Kayleigh McEnany made near-nightly appearances to sow doubt concerning the election outcomes and stoke help for doomed authorized challenges. “We are going to observe the info,” Hannity claimed on his December 2 program, at some point after Trump’s lawyer common, William Barr, declared there was no proof of widespread election fraud.

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

“Texas case may be very sturdy. Nonetheless a Herculean climb. Everybody is aware of it was stolen. Everybody,” 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.”

“Truthfully we predict alike. That is one other dialogue,” Hannity wrote again.

‘I have been at struggle with all of them week’

The textual content 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 time.

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 known as Biden vice chairman as an alternative of president-elect.

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

Hannity responded with a jab at Fox and a suggestion about what Meadows ought to do after leaving the White Home: “I have been at struggle with all of them week. We are going to speak wen I see u,” Hannity wrote. “Additionally 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 Actual property 3- Different 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 adverts from Labor Day on,” Hannity wrote on December 8. “I made my very own they by no means ran it. I am not pointing fingers. I am pissed off.”

In his ebook, “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. In response to Bender, the advert ran solely on one present, Hannity’s. When Bender’s ebook was printed final yr, 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 Information CEO. “I can name by way of switchboard however that makes it an even bigger deal,” Meadows mentioned.

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

‘The seats are slipping away’

By mid-December, each Hannity and Meadows have been involved concerning 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 might trend a comeback bid and the way Meadows might 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 am going to make a take care of you, If you happen to (elect) 2 R’s to the senate, I am going to 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 longer term. Join the longer term to those candidates.”

Meadows continued, “Moreover. I feel we arrange a gaggle of administrative attorneys, with a communication arm that fights election legal guidelines in each state and battle Biden actions daily, beginning on Jan 20. ACLU filed over 400 lawsuits in opposition to Trump administration. We have to do the identical. I feel I can increase round 10 million {dollars} to rent a staff to ensure the battle 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 nervous concerning the subsequent 48 hours. Pence stress. WH counsel will go away.”

On January 6, after the Capitol was breached by pro-Trump rioters, Hannity was one in all a lot of folks texting Meadows urging Trump to intervene. “Can he make an announcement. I noticed the tweet. Ask folks to peacefully go away 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 going on with VPOTUS.”

Within the January 6 aftermath, Hannity sounded a glum observe to Meadows as many Republicans regarded to forged Trump out of the social gathering. Senate GOP Chief Mitch McConnell gave a flooring speech on January 19 saying the mob was “provoked” by Trump, prompting Hannity to share the video with Meadows. “Nicely that is as unhealthy as this will get,” Hannity texted.

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

“Guys, we’ve got 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 a great name with him at the moment. And worse, I am undecided what’s left to do or say, and I do not like not figuring out if it is really understood. Concepts?”

Neither Meadows nor Jordan appeared to reply.

This story has been up to date to incorporate Hannity’s current feedback and Meadows’ feedback in a court docket submitting.

CORRECTION: This story has been up to date to accurately replicate the reporting in Michael Bender’s ebook, “Frankly, We Did Win This Election,” relating to an advert Hannity scripted for the Trump marketing campaign. Bender reported that the advert ran solely on one present on Fox, Hannity’s.

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