While Hannity Defended Trump On Fox News, He Failed To Disclose Personal Ties To Veterans Group That Received Trump Donation
Blog ››› ››› NICK FERNANDEZ
Fox News host Sean Hannity has vehemently defended Donald Trump from criticism surrounding his alleged donations to various veterans groups. But Hannity failed to disclose his own ties to one of the veteran’s organizations that received a donation from Trump.
According to The Washington Post, as Hannity went to bat for Trump on the issue of donations to veterans groups on the May 31 edition of his Fox News show, he failed to disclose his “years-long relationship with one of the groups Trump had just chosen for a donation”:
What Hannity didn't say on air was that he had a years-long relationship with one of the groups Trump had just chosen for a donation. The charity, Freedom Alliance, received a $75,000 gift.
That money had originally come from other big donors, who had entrusted it to the Donald J. Trump Foundation, on the promise that Trump would pass it along to individual veterans groups.
On Wednesday, there were conflicting accounts of Hannity's current connection to the group. In a statement, a Fox News spokeswoman said Hannity no longer works with Freedom Alliance.
"Sean Hannity has generously donated to, and proudly worked in the past with the Freedom Alliance organization, but has not worked with them for a number of years, including the current election cycle,” a Fox News spokeswoman wrote.
But the president of Freedom Alliance told The Washington Post in a telephone interview that Hannity still remained informally connected to the group, telling others about its work. Hannity is not listed as an officer or employee of the group in its tax filings.
Trump has enjoyed a cozy relationship with Hannity since declaring his candidacy, with Trump at one point suggesting their close relationship was as if the two were “twins.” Hannity has also been heavily criticized for being “very soft” with Trump in interviews.
Hannity has defended himself by asserting, “I’m not a journalist, I’m a talk show host” and said on his radio show, that he’s not critical of Trump or Cruz because he wants the Republican nominee to win. He has also said he “absolutely plead[s] guilty” to “going soft in interviews on Republicans.”
Fox News as an institution has also defended Trump’s delayed donations to veterans groups, with various hosts suggesting they were “disturbed by” media “giving [Trump] a hard time” and that “there’s something to be said for” the donation. Even Bill O’Reilly dishonestly argued that “there was no data … that said [Trump] didn’t give the money” to veterans groups and that the story was “fabricated by anti-Trump people in the press.” But according to CBS News, much of the money that was donated was dated “May 24, the day The Washington Post published the story questioning whether he had distributed all of the money."