Fox News hosts pulled out all the stops to keep their favorite viewer satisfied amid new reports that President Donald Trump tried to fire special counsel Robert Mueller over the summer.
“The President’s attorney dismissed the story and says ‘no comment, we are not going there,’” he said Thursday evening before bringing on former White House aide Sebastian Gorka to further bash the Times’ reporting.
Forty minutes later, Hannity was forced to eat his words after Fox News sources confirmed that Trump did in fact try to fire Mueller this summer.
“Yeah, maybe Donald Trump wanted to fire the special counsel for conflict. Does he not have the right to raise those questions? You know, we’ll deal with this tomorrow night,” he said before pivoting to a “shocking” video of a high speed car chase in Arizona.
Sean Hannity: The New York Times is trying to distract you. They say Trump tried to fire Mueller, but our sources aren’t confirming that!
Sean Hannity, minutes later: Alright, yeah, maybe our sources confirm Trump wanted to fire Mueller. But so what? That’s his right. Anywho… pic.twitter.com/yUIt7Un56d
— Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) January 26, 2018
The hosts of the President’s favorite show, “Fox and Friends,” took it even further Friday morning, mocking the Times for using anonymous sources and saying the story “screams of a leak from the special counsel.”
“Alright, well, the President says it’s fake news,” co-host Ainsley Earhardt said. “That happened last June. Do you — it’s something we have to tell you have about because it is a headline in The New York Times. What do you think about that? Do you even care? Something you probably do care about is immigration.”
The diversion has been widely mocked on social media and even rival cable news programs, with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” co-host Joe Scarborough laughing to the point of tears Friday at the clip of Hannity sheepishly admitting Fox confirmed the news.
From the global economic summit in Davos, Switzerland, Trump dismissed the New York Times’ story. Answering shouted questions from reporters Friday morning, he called the reporting “fake news” and said “typical New York Times. Fake stories.”
According to the Times story and additional reporting from CNN and The Washington Post, Trump tried to fire Mueller in June, but he dialed back after White House attorney Don McGahn threatened to quit. McGahn reportedly told Trump the move would be a major blow to his presidency, according to the Times.