On Fox, Hannity, North, and Hasselbeck claimed Pelosi may go to Iran, despite her denial

››› ››› MATTHEW BIEDLINGMAIER

On the April 12 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, co-host Sean Hannity, Fox News military analyst Oliver North, and ABC's The View co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck all repeated the false claim that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) would consider a diplomatic trip to Iran, even though the Associated Press had reported her spokesman's statement the previous day that Pelosi has "no intention of going to Iran." The claims continued despite co-host Alan Colmes' noting that Pelosi "never said she was going to Iran." Later, Colmes noted, "[H]er spokesperson says she has no intention of going to Iran."

During an April 10 press conference, shortly after returning from a trip to Syria, Pelosi and House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Tom Lantos (D-CA) were asked by reporters if they were interested in extending their diplomacy to Iran. Lantos replied, "Speaking just for myself, I would be ready to get on a plane tomorrow morning." He added: "Speaking for myself, I'm ready to go -- and knowing the speaker, I think that she might be." Although Pelosi did not respond to the question or to Lantos' statement, the San Francisco Chronicle published an article headlined, "Pelosi, Lantos may be interested in diplomatic trip to Iran." Conservative Internet gossip Matt Drudge linked to the article on his website, the Drudge Report, with the headline "Pelosi may go to Iran ..."

However, throughout Hannity & Colmes, Hannity, North, and Hasselbeck repeated the claim that Pelosi may be interested in traveling to Iran without noting the statement by Pelosi's spokesman. In the first segment, Hasselbeck said, "You know, people now are saying, should Nancy Pelosi be -- you know, should she have gone over to Syria? Should she have been in Iran? Will she go to Iran?" Colmes responded by saying, "She never said she was going to Iran," to which Hasselbeck replied, "No, she didn't say she was going to Iran, but the potential is there. We all know that." Later, Hannity told viewers that "the embattled San Francisco speaker hints at an impending visit to the rogue nation of Iran," and North said that Pelosi is "now willing to at least consider going to Iran."

From the April 12 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes:

HASSELBECK: Absolutely. On so many fronts, we divide ourselves between race and politics. You know, people now are saying, should Nancy Pelosi be -- you know, should she have gone over to Syria? Should she have been in Iran? Will she go to Iran?

COLMES: She never said she was going to Iran.

HASSELBECK: No, she didn't say she was going to Iran, but the potential is there. We all know that.

COLMES: She should be. She --

HASSELBECK: She should go there. And have chit-chats.

COLMES: Absolutely. She should have chit-chats, because we should be talking to other countries, just like the Baker commission suggested.

By the way, you say you're evolving. Toward liberalism?

HANNITY: No, don't. That's devolving.

COLMES: You're getting -- you're growing, you're evolving, you're moving toward the light?

HASSELBECK: Did I suggest that?

COLMES: Is that what's happening here?

HASSELBECK: Oh, Alan. Oh, Alan.

COLMES: You said you were growing, so I figured you were --

[...]

HANNITY: And later -- well, we haven't seen the latest of Pelosi diplomacy as the embattled San Francisco speaker hints at an impending visit to the rogue nation of Iran. We'll get into that later on. Straight ahead.

[...]

HANNITY: Also, Nancy Pelosi making friends with America's enemies. First Syria, now a possible visit to Iran. Why is the San Francisco liberal willing to compromise with radicals and apparently not the president? That's next.

[...]

HANNITY: Let's talk a little bit about Nancy Pelosi's trip to Syria and sort of a veiled threat that now, "Well, maybe I'll create my own diplomatic effort in Iran."

NORTH: Yeah. Which would be a disaster, by the way. I mean, it was bad enough to go and cavort on what I call her, if you will -- I suppose it's kind of like the Terrible Regimes Victory Tour, or something like this.

I mean, what this woman is doing is playing with American diplomacy and convincing our adversaries -- and they're very serious adversaries -- that we really don't have a foreign policy in this country. And I find that to be very alarming. When she says things like she said in Syria, offering to be a broker between the Israelis, who didn't ask for one, and encouraging a peace process that is totally broken.

And she's now willing to at least consider going to Iran, which just threatened the world by announcing that they brought on an array of centrifuges, 3,000 of them --

HANNITY: Hey, Colonel.

NORTH: -- about 100 times more than anybody thought they had. That's very serious.

HANNITY: We're running out of time. I think you had the best War Stories I ever saw, your biography of Winston Churchill. And now you have the Manhattan Project to Tehran. It's going to be right after Hannity's America on Sunday night.

Real quick, [unintelligible] controversy still waging over Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

NORTH: Yes, but the most important thing is the new enemy who intends to use a nuclear weapon -- and David Kay is as blatant about it as you could be -- is Iran. And [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad wants to have his finger on the nuclear trigger. That's like playing Russian roulette with nuclear weapons.

COLMES: By the way, her spokesperson says she has no intention of going to Iran. It was Lantos who said he'd like to go.

NORTH: Neither one of them should go.

COLMES: We thank you for being with us. Hope you feel better. Be sure to tune into --

NORTH: I feel great.

COLMES: -- War Stories this Sunday at 10 p.m. Eastern, directly following Hannity's America.

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