Hannity Sorry For Sharing Fake News Story About Obamas’ Support For Clinton

Douglas C. Pizac/AP

Radio host and Fox News anchor Sean Hannity apologized on Tuesday after sharing a fabricated news story about the first family walking back their support for Hillary Clinton.

Drawing on fake news reports from fringe websites including Your News Wire, Red State Watcher and News Ninja 2012, Hannity asked on his radio show whether Michelle Obama deleted her tweets promoting Clinton’s campaign.

According to CNN, this invented story about the first lady originated on “Your News Wire” but was soon picked up by other outlets and boosted on Twitter by supporters of Donald Trump. By the time Hannity got to it, the online rumor mill was also claiming that President Barack Obama and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) deleted all their tweets mentioning the former secretary of state.

On his show, Hannity first asked his producer whether she’d looked into the veracity of the claims about Michelle Obama, and then brought it up again later in the episode.

A female voice broke into his report to claim, “Barack Obama and Elizabeth Warren have both unfollowed Hillary Clinton, as well as scrubbing their timeline of tweets about her.”

“Wow,” Hannity responded. “That means they know it’s huge. You know why? Because Obama’s implicated! He’s implicated here, and he’s pissed. You know what his legacy might be? Jail.”

Recent tweets from the president include one praising Clinton as someone who will “be a POTUS for all Americans.”

After CNN’s Brian Stelter reported on the false news story, Hannity sent out two tweets saying he “humbly” apologized for promoting it.

He also sent Stelter this explanation: “I received an e-mail LIVE ON THE AIR that linked a Gateway Pundit article. I questioned the accuracy of it on the air. I asked my producer on the air if it was true. She said it was. I also received a listener IM saying that they saw the same. Then THE listener mentioned that there was a report about the other 2.”

“Bottom line it was brought up in an insignificant way,” he continued. “I was dealing with more important issues like HRC crimes and lies and how CNN has been colluding with the Clinton campaign and CHEATING Bernie Sanders.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Allegra Kirkland is a New York-based reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked on The Nation’s web team and as the associate managing editor for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @allegrakirkland.

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