Fox News: Ingraham, Hannity, Kilmeade 'Stand by' 1/6 Texts and Contradictory On-Air Comments

Three Fox News hosts have stated that they "stand by" a series of text messages sent to the administration of former President Donald Trump on January 6, despite making many on-air contradictions in the months following the attack on the Capitol.

Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and Brian Kilmeade made headlines Tuesday after the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack read various texts from each of them that were sent during the insurrection to Trump's former chief of staff, Mark Meadows.

These texts were produced by Meadows as the committee voted on whether to hold Trump's former top advisor in contempt of Congress for ignoring a congressional subpoena.

Some of the contents of the texts were read out at the committee meeting by Representative Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), one of only two members of the GOP on the panel.

"These text messages leave no doubt ... multiple Fox News hosts knew the president needed to act immediately. They texted Mr. Meadows," Cheney stated while going through the texts.

"Mark, the president needs to tell people in the Capitol to go home," Ingraham, who hosts Fox's The Ingraham Angle, texted Meadows. "This is hurting all of us. [Trump] is destroying his legacy."

Kilmeade also texted Meadows and urged him to encourage the former president to tell the rioters to disperse. "Please, get [Trump] on TV, destroying everything you have accomplished [sic]," Kilmeade's text read.

Kilmeade is the co-host of Fox's weekly morning show Fox & Friends.

Additionally, Sean Hannity, the host of Fox's Hannity, who is considered one of the most ardent supporters of Trump, also reached out to Meadows asking him to implore the former president to act.

"Can [Trump] make a statement? Ask people to leave the Capitol?" Hannity's text read.

Fox News Building
Fox News hosts Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity and Brian Kilmeade texted Trump officials on January 6 to try to urge the former president to tell those breaching the Capitol to go home. Here, the outside of the Fox News studios in New York can be seen in 2019. Drew Angerer/Getty

Later Tuesday afternoon, Fox hosts Chad Pergram and Bret Baier addressed their colleagues' texts.

"Laura, Sean, and Brian all say they stand by what they texted to Meadows privately and what they talked about on the air publicly," Pergram stated.

"[Ingraham] also said the attacks did the opposite of showing support for [former President Trump]. And she said there was no license for violence or chaos," Pergram continued. He added that Kilmeade had addressed the texts on his radio program, and that Ingraham and Hannity would speak on their texts during their respective evening shows.

A spokesperson for Fox News also told Newsweek that "[despite being misreported elsewhere], Fox News widely condemned the acts of January 6, including Sean Hannity, Brian Kilmeade and Laura Ingraham."

The hosts seemed to back up these sentiments on television in the days following January 6.

"And to put up a Trump flag and take down the American flag is not patriotic. One of the worst things I've ever seen," Kilmeade said on Fox & Friends on January 7.

"Those that believe they are part of the conservative movement in this country, you do not, we do not support those who commit acts of violence," Hannity added on his show.

However, as more time passed following the attack, many have pointed to seemingly contradictory statements that were made by the hosts that seemed to lessen the severity of the insurrection, particularly from Ingraham and Hannity.

Ingraham even stated on January 6, just hours after the attack, that "you couldn't tell at the time who was in the crowd" and that "they were likely not all Trump supporters," insinuating that Antifa, a left-wing anti-fascism group, may have been involved. This is despite the FBI stating that Antifa played no role in the attack, and all of the prosecuted rioters having been self-described Trump supporters.

Ingraham has also stated that Capitol Police had attempted to exaggerate the severity of the day.

"The best performance in an action role; the winner is [Capitol Police Officer] Michael Fanone," she stated.

In addition, Hannity also defended the rioters during an interview on Fox with Meadows.

"This is the same Donald Trump that said, 'Many of you will peacefully and patriotically march to the Capitol so your voices may be heard'," Hannity stated.

Ingraham and Hannity are just two of several Fox News personalities who have defended the actions of the insurrectionists in the months since January.