Fox News presenter Sean Hannity was last night forced into one of the most abrupt U-turns in TV history after scoffing at a New York Times report that Donald Trump tried to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller last June.
“They’re trying to change the story. At this hour, The New York Times is trying to distract you,” he ranted to viewers.
“And our sources, and I’ve checked in with many of them, they’re not confirming that tonight.”
“And the President’s attorney dismissed the story, and says, ‘Nope, no comment. We’re not going there.’ And how many times has The New York Times and others gotten it wrong?”
Two hours and some apparent fact-checking later, Hannity was forced to drastically change his tune.
“All right, so we have sources tonight just confirming ... that yeah, maybe Donald Trump wanted to fire the special counsel for a conflict,” he said.
Hannity then conducted a compete moral about-face, asking: “Does he not have the right to raise those questions?”
He then appeared to give up entirely, saying: “You know, we’ll deal with this tomorrow night.”
Then he cut to a car chase.
Hannity has since sent a series of tweets which are definitely not nonsensical and incredibly strange.
The New York Times report told of how Trump last June ordered Special Counsel Robert Mueller fired but backed down after the White House counsel threatened to resign rather than follow his directive.
Mueller, who is investigating allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 US election, learned of the incident in recent months as his investigators interviewed current and former senior White House officials in an inquiry into whether the president obstructed justice, the Times reported.
Amid media reports that Mueller was looking into a possible obstruction case, Trump argued that the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director had three conflicts of interest that disqualified him from overseeing the probe, two of the people said, according to the Times report.
First, Trump said that a dispute years ago over fees at Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia, had led Mueller to resign his membership, the newspaper reported.
The president also said Mueller could not be impartial because he had most recently worked for a law firm that previously represented the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Trump also saidMueller had been interviewed to return as the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation the day before he was appointed special counsel in May, the Times reported, citing the two people.
White House counsel Donald McGahn said he would quit rather than follow through on the order to fire Mueller, the Times reported, citing the people.