Sean Hannity’s had a rough week. Following the initial reports that Senate candidate Roy Moore sexually abused a minor, Hannity conducted a softball-laden interview with Moore on his radio program. In doing so, the host quickly became one of the most prominent Moore defenders despite several high-profile Republicans calling for the former judge to leave the Senate race. However, following revelations of another sexual assault accusation against Moore — and advertisers fleeing from his Fox News show — Hannity finally issued an ultimatum to spur Moore into offering “satisfactory explanations for [the] inconsistencies” in his many, many statements about his alleged sexual misconduct.
After Moore wrote an open letter to Hannity that amounted to little more than “my accusers are lying as part of a conspiracy against me” coupled with a promise of (still-unfiled legal action), the Fox News host quickly jumped back into the Moore camp. While Moore’s letter is certainly a possible reason for Hannity’s reversal of conscience, a simpler answer exists: Steve Bannon told him to knock it off.
According to CNN’s reporting, here’s what happened:
An intervention by Steve Bannon might have moved Sean Hannity off of his initial stance questioning inconsistencies in Roy Moore’s stories. Bannon called Hannity following his Tuesday night ultimatum and urged the host to dial back the harsh criticism, a source familiar with the conversation confirmed. On Wednesday night’s show, Hannity said it’s up to the voters to decide…
Seeing as Moore is a very valuable piece in Bannon’s ongoing battle with Mitch McConnell for control of the Republican party, CNN’s reporting isn’t much of a surprise. What is surprising? As powerful as he remains in conservative circles, tor the first time in a while, Steve Bannon is nervous.
(Via CNN/Reliable Sources)