What does Donald Trump’s chief cheerleader Sean Hannity do when incontrovertible evidence arises that Trump colluded with the Russian government in attempting to destabilize the US election? Simple: he goes after Hillary Clinton.
Retweeting a 5 month old story from Hannity’s new best friend Julian Assange, the Fox News host is doing his best to take the heat off of the Trump family by insinuating Hillary Clinton was colluding with the Chinese to beat Donald Trump/murder Bernie Sanders supporters etc:
Is this Hillary Collusion?? https://t.co/JMX4kqIbt7
— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) July 11, 2017
Of course the email Hannity is discussing does nothing of the sort. Written by then-assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs Kurt Campbell, the Wikileaks hacked email reveals he had been invited by the Chinese Ambassador to have an off the record chat about “the next year and the current state of US-China affairs”. Wrote Campbell:
Guys – Chinese Ambassador Cui invited me over to the residence Tuesday for a coffee and to make a request. He wants to have an informal, private, off the record get together with a few of us to discuss the next year and the current state of US-China affairs. He asked me to host a social meal at my house in the next month. He was fairly insistent and indicated that he wanted to pass along some perspectives. I told him I’d reach out to you all to see about your judgement on this and possible availability. I’m happy to make some chili and cornbread by the fire but let’s first decide whether this makes sense. Please let me know your thinking. Best, Kurt
If anyone can see a “Smoking Gun” here, please let us know. As far as any sane person can tell, this is a straightforward email detailing a request for a private meeting between a government official and an ambassador of America’s biggest trading partner.
To Hannity, none of this really matters — he knows his fans aren’t looking for facts or evidence, they want distractions from the almighty story that has the potential to take down the Trump administration. The formula is simple: whatever the left says, claim the exact opposite. Donald Trump lied about something? No, the media lied and is spreading #FakeNews. Trump colluded with Russia to help beat Hillary Clinton? No, Hillary Clinton colluded with China, and so on.
I’ve grown to admire Sean Hannity’s incredible cognitive dissonance over the years. To seamlessly shift from being a pro war, pro state apologist under George W. Bush to a Wikileaks supporter and ardent opponent of the “Deep State” during the Trump years takes a special kind of shamelessness, and to do it without batting an eyelid is almost worthy of an Oscar. If Donald Trump murdered someone on live television, Sean Hannity would call it #FakeNews and insist Hillary Clinton had done far worse. When Sean Hannity has your back, you can count on him to put aside any shred of dignity he might have and say literally anything in your defense — even when it could cost him his job
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.