‘He can’t mention the election again’: Text messages reveal Sean Hannity’s frantic efforts to rein in Trump
Fox News host Sean Hannity repeatedly tried to rein in former president Donald Trump in text messages to his chief of staff, Mark Meadows, in the days before and after the Jan. 6 insurrection.
In a letter requesting Hannity's testimony on Tuesday, the House select committee investigating the Capitol insurrection revealed several of the Fox News host's text messages to Meadows and others.
"We can't lose the entire WH counsel's office," Hannity wrote to Meadows on Dec. 31, apparently referring to White House lawyers' threats to quit over Trump's efforts to overturn the election.
"I do not see January 6 happening the way he is being told," Hannity wrote of Trump, before effectively encouraging the former president to accept defeat.
Hannity wrote that after the certification of electoral college votes on Jan. 6, Trump "should announce (he) will lead the nationwide effort to reform voting integrity."
"Go to Fl (Florida) and watch Joe (Biden) mess up daily. Stay engaged. When he speaks people will listen," Hannity wrote.
On Jan. 5, Hannity wrote to Meadows that he was "very worried about the next 48 hours."
Apparently referring to efforts by Trump and his allies to pressure Vice President Mike Pence into blocking certification of Biden’s victory, Hannity warned, "Pence Pressure. ... WH counsel will leave."
Following the insurrection, Hannity appeared to be struggling to convince Trump to accept his defeat.
“Guys, we have a clear path to land the plane in 9 days,” Hannity wrote in a message to Meadows and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) on Jan. 10. “He can’t mention the election again. Ever. I did not have a good call with him today. And worse, I’m not sure what is left to do or say, and I don’t like not knowing if it’s truly understood. Ideas?”
According to Politico, Hannity's text messages are "the latest indication that some of the former president’s closest allies grew increasingly alarmed by his actions in the aftermath of his defeat, despite not saying so publicly."
"Hannity was one of Trump's staunchest media allies throughout his candidacy and presidency and he has often relied on Hannity for his counsel and conservative media megaphone," the site noted.
The committee previously released a text message from Hannity to Meadows on the day of the insurrection, calling on Trump to "ask people to peacefully leave the [C]apit[o]l."
"Hannity was not the only Fox News host urging Meadows to get Trump to take action," CNN reports. "According to documents on file, the committee has a message from Laura Ingraham to Meadows saying, 'Mark, the President needs to tell people in the Capitol to go home. This is hurting all of us. He is destroying his legacy.' Fox News' Brian Kilmeade texted Meadows stating, "'Please get him on TV. Destroying everything you have accomplished.'"