Fox News’ Sean Hannity reacted on his radio show Thursday to the mass shooting at the Capital Gazette newsroom in Maryland by saying he had a feeling something bad like this would happen soon and he seemingly blamed Rep. Maxine Waters‘ (D-Calif.) recent rhetoric about Trump Administration officials for the violence.
Upon hearing the news, Hannity said he wasn’t about to make this a debate about guns like the rest of the media. Today, a deadly shooting left at least five dead and several others “gravely injured.” Instead, Hannity suggested, it should be a debate about rhetoric from elected Democratic officials like Waters.
“It’s so sad that there are so many sick, demented, and evil people in this world,” he said. “It really is sad. You know imagine you go to work and this is what you’re dealing with today, some crazy person comes in… and I’m not turning this into a gun debate, I know that’s where the media will be in 30 seconds from now. That’s not it.”
“You know, as I’ve always said, I mean honestly—I’ve been saying now for days that something horrible was going to happen because of the rhetoric. Really, Maxine?” he added. “You want people to create—‘call your friends, get in their faces,’ and Obama said that too. ‘Get in their faces, call them out, call your friends, get protesters, follow them into restaurants and shopping malls,’ and wherever else she said.”
Law&Crime has reached out to Fox News for comment about Hannity’s remarks, but a post on Hannity’s website stated took issue with how the host is being portrayed here:
Sean Hannity never tied today’s horrific shooting to the comments made by Representative Maxine Waters. Today’s event was pure evil, and no one can control someone who is intent on inflicting pain and violence.
The post includes clips and quotes from the program where Hannity said, “I don’t want any liberal taking my words out of context,” saying that the shooting “is very separate, very apart” from Waters’ comments.
President Donald Trump himself tore into Maxine Waters Wednesday night.
“Maxine, she is a beauty,” he said. “I mean she practically was telling people the other day to assault.”
“Could you imagine if I said the things she said?” he added. As our friends at Mediaite noted, there’s no need to imagine it.
“Horrible, what she said. Now they want to censure her. Let’s see where that goes, folks. Her own party was talking about censure, let’s see where that goes,” he continued.
Sen. Chuck Schumer condemned Waters’ call to harass Trump Administration officials as “not American,” this after incidents where officials Kirstjen Nielsen and Sarah Huckabee Sanders were driven out of restaurants.
Within seconds of the Annapolis shooting, @seanhannity implies that Maxine Waters is to blame. He doesn't even know who the shooter is or what the motive is.
What a stupid, irresponsible, dangerous & selfish thing for Hannity to say. Just horrible.https://t.co/1615kpvfJ7
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) June 28, 2018
While a suspect is in custody, this remained an active shooter incident through the afternoon. The individual, reportedly a white male in his 20s, refused to identify himself or cooperate, and damaged his fingertips to avoid being identified, law enforcement sources have said. He was reportedly armed with a “long gun.”
Note: This article has been updated with details of the response on Hannity’s website.
[Image via Theo Wargo/Getty Images]