Fox News condemned Sean Hannity’s appearance at President Trump’s Missouri rally on Monday evening as an “unfortunate distraction.”
“Fox News does not condone any talent participating in campaign events,” said a network spokesperson in a statement. “We have an extraordinary team of journalists helming our coverage tonight and we are extremely proud of their work. This was an unfortunate distraction and has been addressed.”
When news of Hannity’s appearance at the rally broke, the network denied their anchor would participate. Hannity himself even refuted the Trump campaign’s lineup that included him as a speaker.
“To be clear, I will not be on stage campaigning with the President,” tweeted Hannity on Monday morning.
Later that evening however, Trump summoned Hannity to the stage, where the Fox host derided the media as “fake news” while pleading with voters to support Republican candidates.
“To be clear, I was not referring to my journalist colleagues at FOX News in those remarks,” Hannity tweeted after Fox issued its statement, an apparent reference to his shots at news networks.
“When the POTUS invited me on stage to give a few remarks last night, I was surprised, yet honored by the president’s request,” further explained the conservative. “This was NOT planned.”