The House Select Committee investigating the deadly failed insurrection of January 6 unveiled more shocking revelations regarding former President Donald Trump's ex-chief of staff, Mark Meadows, and his correspondence with multiple Fox News hosts as the riots unfolded.
Meadows has ceased cooperating with the committee, but not before submitting thousands of pages of relevant documents to its members. Among those documents were text messages from Fox hosts Brian Kilmeade, Laura Ingraham, and Sean Hannity, each calling on Meadows to urge Trump to tell his extremist supporters to vacate the Capitol.
The texts acknowledged the validity of a key argument made against Trump in his subsequent second impeachment trial: his lies about the 2020 election set the stage for the riots, and he—as President and the most beloved figure in the Republican party—was the only one with the power to stop the calamity.
Nevertheless, it would be less than 36 hours before all three of these Fox News hosts appeared on the network downplaying the riot's severity and falsely suggesting it was actually carried out by antifa.
For nearly a whole day after the revelations, Fox News didn't cover the damning text messages its own anchors sent imploring then-President Trump to intervene.
But at 10 pm, it was time for Sean Hannity's nightly broadcast, where he addressed the messages by falsely claiming that everything he said in the text messages was also everything he said on air.
Fox contributor Geraldo Rivera, who was a guest on Hannity's broadcast, implored Hannity to "remember" how he felt the day of the Capitol Riots as Hannity continued to denigrate the committee investigating them.
Rivera told Hannity:
"I beg you, Sean, to remember the frame of mind you weren’t when you wrote that text on January 6. And when Laura did. And when Brian did. And when Don Jr. did! Remember the concern you had. Remember the frustration that you had at our beloved 45th President. ... Why doesn't he say something? You saw unfolding before your very eyes an attack on democracy."
Hannity responded with the misleading claim that Trump did "say something" over the course of the riots. In reality, Trump posted two tweets: one excoriating then-Vice President Mike Pence for refusing to go along with the administration's scheme to toss out electoral votes of swing states Trump lost, and the other urging rioters to stay peaceful and respect law enforcement (after they'd already shattered windows, ransacked offices, and beat police officers).
It wasn't until after 4 pm—hours after the riot unfolded—that Trump finally told his supporters to vacate the Capitol and go home, noting that they were "very special" and that he loved them.
After Hannity tried to spin this, he deferred to fellow Trump sycophant Dan Bongino, who said:
"Geraldo, we've been arguing about this forever. The backstabbing of the President you're engaging in is really disgusting. And it's really vile that you pretend to be this guy's friend when you continue to do this."
Both Bongino and Hannity noted that, in a rally blocks away from the Capitol, that Trump concluded a speech minutes before the riots telling his supporters to march "peacefully and patriotically" to the Capitol to make their voices heard. These were two words in a half hour speech, where Trump used the word "fight" more than two dozen times, and implored his supporters not to be "weak" by letting lawmakers certify a free and fair election.
Rivera told Bongino:
"I supported Donald Trump until he abandoned democracy."
The on-air exchange generated a wealth of reactions online, and few of them were kind to Hannity and Bongino.
Others were happy to see the infighting at the network.
More revelations from the committee are likely to come—including texts between Meadows and lawmakers.