Newly released texts between former President Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, and Fox News anchor Sean Hannity reveal the degree of coordination between some of the network’s anchors and the White House as Trump struggled to challenge victory. President Biden’s election.
The more than 80 text messages, part of a larger trove of 2,319 text exchanges that Meadows provided to the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riots and obtained by CNN, show that Hannity he initially offered direct help with “getting out the vote” before discussing various campaign efforts to keep Trump in office.
On Election Day, Hannity approached Meadows and asked where he needed to encourage the campaign to get voters to the polls.
“Emphasize that every vote matters. Go out and vote. On the radio,” Meadows told Hannity after asking about the North Carolina turnout.
“Yes, sir,” Hannity replied. “On that. Anywhere in particular we need a push.”
“Pennsylvania. NC AZ,” Meadows replied, later adding: “Nevada.”
All four states were hotly contested in 2020, with Biden winning Pennsylvania, Arizona and Nevada.
“I understand. Everywhere,” Hannity said.
The two continued to text as results came in that night, with Hannity noting Biden’s lead in North Carolina.
“This looks scary,” he said.
Trump ended up winning that state.
The Jan. 6 House committee has already sent a letter to Hannity asking him to voluntarily appear before the panel.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), a member of the committee, has characterized Hannity as “a confidante, adviser, activist to the former president.”
That letter and other committee documents have revealed a series of exchanges between Hannity and White House aides, showing the Fox News host’s concern over the events of January 6, 2021, to his advice that Trump “don’t more stolen election talks.” .
The new texts show that just a week after the election, Hannity was beginning to have doubts that the Trump campaign’s efforts to challenge Biden’s victory would be successful.
“You really think it’s possible. I’m starting to feel bad. Too much disorganization,” Hannity wrote on November 10, 2020.
“Arizona is now only down 12,813. Still ballots to count. Very disorganized but I have been breaking heads yesterday and today. Let your heart NOT be troubled, my friend,” Meadows replied.
Fox News was the first network to project Biden as the winner from Arizona on election night, a call that angered the White House.
The latest texts also show Hannity wavering about Trump’s election efforts, even as he expresses doubts about Biden’s victory and says he intends to have his team investigate.
“I’ve had my team look into the numbers. There is no way that Biden has come up with these numbers. Simply mathematically impossible. It is very sad for this country that they can achieve this in 2020. We need a breakthrough, a video, something,” Hannity wrote in a text message to Meadows on November 29.
“You’re right. Working forward,” Meadows responded.
“Okay. That would be great,” Hannity replied.
By December 8, Hannity acknowledged some concern about various legal strategies employed by the Trump team.
“The case of Texas is very strong. It’s still a herculean climb. Everyone knows it was stolen. Everyone,” Hannity said, apparently referring to a Texas case challenging election results in four states that was dismissed after the Supreme Court determined they had no standing to bring the case.
“I vacillate between madness and sadness. What happened to our country Mark,” he continued.
He also criticized those pushing Trump’s case.
“It’s okay for you to fight,” he told Meadows as the chief of staff arranged a trip to Georgia to visit absentee ballot auditers.
“Lunatics are NOT okay. They are NOT helping you. I’m sick of these people.”
The texts also show other Fox New anchors contacting Meadows.
At one point, Fox Business Network host Maria Bartiromo poses specific questions for Trump before an interview. While it’s not uncommon for reporters to lay out topics they’d like to discuss, Bartiromo suggests specific messages Trump should convey in her responses.
“Hello, the public wants to know who will fight this. They want to hear a path to victory. And he is in control,” Bartiromo wrote. “1Q You have said MANY TIMES THAT THIS ELECTION IS ADDED… And the facts are on your side. Let’s start there. What are the facts? It characterizes what happened here.”
“Then I will delve into the fraud, including the statistical impossibilities of the (Federalist) Biden magic. Please make sure you don’t go off on a tangent. We want to know that he is strong, that he is a fighter and that he will win. This is no longer about him. This is about ????. I will ask you about the great technology and the media that also influence the ejection. Toward the end, I will talk about the General Assembly runoffs and then about vaccines.”
Tucker Carlson also makes a brief appearance, responding to Meadows after apparently wanting to clear something up with the chief of staff.
“Sorry I missed you. I was writing the show. I figured it out, I think, but I appreciate it,” Carlson said.