Sean Hannity Denies Trump Rally Appearance Was 'Planned,' Despite it Being Planned by Trump Campaign

Fox News host Sean Hannity denied Tuesday his appearance on stage with President Donald Trump at a campaign rally had been "planned" and said he was not speaking about Fox News journalists when he called reporters at the rally "fake news."

Hannity and Fox News had each stated Monday before the rally in Missouri that he only planned to host his primetime show there and interview Trump prior to the event. Earlier reports had indicated Hannity would take part in the rally, and the president's official campaign website listed Hannity as a guest along with conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh and country singer Lee Greenwood.

Along with Hannity, Fox News host Judge Jeanine Pirro took the stage after Trump invited each of them up.

"What I said in my tweet yesterday was 100% truthful. When the POTUS invited me on stage to give a few remarks last night, I was surprised, yet honored by the president's request. This was NOT planned," Hannity tweeted in response to accusations of lying about his appearance at the rally.

He added a defense of his network colleagues: "To be clear, I was not referring to my journalist colleagues at FOX News in those remarks. They do amazing work day in and day out in a fair and balanced way and It is an honor to work with such great professionals."

The network responded to the controversy by stating it did not "condone" any of its talent taking part in campaign events, and said the situation had been "addressed."

"Fox News does not condone any talent participating in campaign events. We have an extraordinary team of journalists helming our coverage tonight and we are extremely proud of their work. This was an unfortunate distraction and has been addressed," the network said in a statement released Tuesday.

Hannity has long stated his support for Trump, but his journalistic ethics and whether he had crossed the line with his support led to questions about Fox's coverage of Trump and his administration.

Hannity had entered murky waters prior to Trump's victory in 2016. In September 2016, Hannity appeared in a pro-Trump political video and the network later said Hannity would "not be doing anything along these lines for the remainder of the election season."

Hannity has often used his top-rated show to attack the president's political enemies and even repeated Trump's cries of a "deep state" inside the Justice Department and FBI intent on hampering the administration and the country.

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Talk show host Sean Hannity speaks alongside President Donald Trump at a Make America Great Again rally in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, on November 5. Fox News issued a statement saying that it “does not condone any talent participating in campaign events.” AFP via Getty Images/Jim Watson
Sean Hannity Denies Trump Rally Appearance Was 'Planned,' Despite it Being Planned by Trump Campaign | U.S.