Following a New York Times report that President Trump ordered the firing of special counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the investigation into Russian interference in the election and obstruction of justice, Fox News anchor Sean Hannity initially called the story “a distraction” that could not be independently confirmed.
“Our sources — and I've checked in with many of them — they're not confirming that,” Hannity said, initially.
The New York Times cited four sources, stating that the president backed down from his attempts to remove Mueller last June after White House counsel Don McGahn threatened to resign.
At the end of his show, Hannity stated that sources did confirm the report to Fox News' Ed Henry and tries to downplay the news, asking his viewers, “Does he not have the right to raise these concerns?”
“We'll deal with this tomorrow night — we have a shocking video of the day for you,” Hannity then stated, pivoting away.
Asked at the Davos World Economic Forum Thursday about whether he had attempted to fire the special counsel, the president called the report “fake news.”
“Fake news, folks,” the president said. “Fake news. A typical New York Times fake story.”
Late Thursday, Hannity tweeted that threatening to fire Mueller was something Trump “DID NOT DO.”
He followed up with another tweet defending the decision not to initially report off of the New York Times sources, but to confirm the story independently.
The tweet included a photo of him that ran on the cover of the New York Times Magazine, altered by Hannity to color his skin green, like the Incredible Hulk.