CNN on Friday published another batch of texts exchanged between Mark Meadows and Sean Hannity between Election Day and President Biden’s inauguration. Trump’s former chief of staff and the Fox News hosts exchanged over 80 texts in that timeframe. The full lot of them reveals that Hannity once believed the election was stolen, that he then grew frustrated with Trump’s allies who were trying to overturn the election results, and the extent to which the White House directed Fox News’ on-air coverage.
“I’ve had my team digging into the numbers,” Hannity wrote Meadows on Nov. 29. “There is no way Biden got these numbers. Just mathematically impossible. It’s so sad for this country they can pull this off in 2020. We need a major breakthrough, a video, something.”
Meadows, who fielded messages from several Trump allies pushing him to work to overturn the election, responded, “You’re exactly right. Working on breakthrough.” Hannity texted back, “Ok. Would be phenomenal.”
Soon after, as the Trump campaign’s frivolous lawsuits were getting tossed out of courtrooms nationwide, Hannity and Meadows consoled each other about the election. “Texas case is very strong. Still a Herculean climb. Everyone knows it was stolen. Everyone,” Hannity wrote on Dec. 8. “I vacillate between mad as hell and sad as hell. Wtf happened to our country Mark.” Meadows responded that he was “so upset to see what we allowed to happen.”
Later in December, Hannity appeared to accept the election results, and seemed concerned about the prospect of mass resignations in the White House if Trump continued to fight them. “We can’t lose the entire WH counsels office. I do NOT see January 6 happening the way he is being told,” Hannity wrote. “After the 6 th. He should announce will lead the nationwide effort to reform voting integrity. Go to Fl and watch Joe mess up daily. Stay engaged. When he speaks people will listen.”
Hannity also railed against “the fing lunatics” who had Trump’s back. “They are NOT helping him. I’m fed up with those people,” he wrote. It’s unclear if Hannity is referring to high-profile individuals like Sidney Powell or Rudy Giuliani, both of whom have been sued over their false claims about voting machines, congressional Republicans pushing false claims, or others in Trump’s orbit.
CNN earlier this week released messages showing how Hannity took coverage directions from Meadows on Election Day, and that he even replied, “Yes sir,” to a message from Meadows instructing him the states in which to tell people to get out and vote. The full cache of message released Friday shows more coordination between Fox News and the White House. One of them game from Maria Bartiromo, who weeks after the election texted Meadows all of the questions she planned to ask Trump in an upcoming interview. The messages between Hannity and Meadows show Hannity was influencing the White House as well, serving as what CNN describes as a “shadow chief of staff.”
CNN notes that Hannity does not consider himself a “journalist,” nor does Fox News. Most of his viewers are likely not aware that he does not uphold traditional journalistic standards.
More texts released on Friday show Hannity discussing his ideas for post-presidency business plans with Meadows, including “Directing legal strategies vs Biden,” “NC Real estate,” and, more vaguely, “Other business I talked to Rudy.” Others confirm that Hannity even made an ad for the Trump campaign, something that he denied when this was previously reported. The campaign paid $1.5 million to Fox News to run it, but it did so only once.
“I was screaming about no ads from Labor Day on,” Hannity wrote in December. “I made my own they never ran it. I’m not pointing fingers. I’m frustrated.”