Fox News host Sean Hannity inadvertently became part of the very news he discussed on his show last week, when a comment he made in an interview with President Donald Trump drew the attention of legal experts and a certain member of Congress. Now, however, Rep. David Cicilline (D-Rhode Island) is walking back a tweet he posted at the time.
Hannity and Trump were discussing Michael Cohen‘s testimony, which included statements and evidence regarding hush payments he admitted to arranging to help Trump’s campaign. The former Trump lawyer said they payments were made at Trump’s direction. Hannity said this testimony was very different from what Cohen had told him in the past.
“I can tell you personally, he said to me at least a dozen times, that he made the decision on the payments and he didn’t tell you,” Hannity told Trump.
This indication that he had relevant information about Cohen that contradicted Cohen’s own testimony sparked interest, with Cicilline tweeting, “Sean Hannity is now volunteering himself as a witness. I look forward to his testimony.”
On Monday, Cicilline said he wasn’t really serious about this, because he knows the heart of what Hannity said isn’t true, at least in terms of what Cohen might have said to him. Regardless of what Cohen may have told the cable host, Congress already has evidence that Trump knew about hush payments. The evidence he referred to was a recording Cohen made of a conversation he had with Trump.
Back in July, Cohen released a recording of a discussion he had with Trump, where the two men discussed possible payments to a woman, believed to be former Playboy model Karen McDougal.
Given evidence that Trump was indeed involved in a discussion about hush payments, Cicilline said it’s unnecessary to have Hannity testify. He claimed his original tweet was more of warning regarding how and where discussions related to these matters should take place.
“If he has things to say he ought to say it under oath rather than as a commentator on Fox News trying to defend the president,” he said.
Host Wolf Blitzer then asked about the Trump administration’s cooperation with the House investigation, noting that the administration has claimed they would be cooperative. Cicilline noted that if they indeed want the investigation to move speedily, cooperation would help achieve that, but that they were prepared to take action if Trump ends up withholding documents. When asked if that action might include a subpoena, Cicilline responded, “Absolutely.”
[Image via CNN screengrab]