Fox News Hosts Hannity, Pirro Shill For Trump at Rally: ‘All Those People in the Back are Fake News’

Fox News host Sean Hannity denied that he would campaign on stage during President Donald Trump‘s final rally before the midterm elections, but as it turns out… that’s exactly what happened.

Hannity was billed by the Trump campaign as a “special guest” for the president’s speaking engagement in Missouri, even though he originally insisted that he would only interview the president backstage and host his show from the venue.

A Fox News spokesperson also told Mediaite that “Hannity will only be hosting his show from that location and interviewing the president.”

Hannity mingled with the crowd and hosted his show in front of the rallygoers, before interviewing the president. Eventually, he was summoned to the podium by Trump, where he started by taking aim at media covering the rally.

“All those people in the back are fake news,” Hannity said.

Hannity insisted that he had no idea Trump was going to invite him up, nonetheless, he showered Trump with the praises he had in his opening monologue from earlier in the evening.

Fox News host Jeanine Pirro was also at the rally as part of Hannity’s show, so Trump eventually invited her to the stage as well, and she too delivered litany of compliments for the president.

“If you like the America that he is making now, you’ve got to make sure you get out there tomorrow if you haven’t voted yet, everyone you know…get them out there to vote for Donald Trump and all the people who are running for the Republican Party,” Pirro said.

Interestingly, Fox News did not carry the speech live.

[Mediaite]

‘Gina is Great’: Trump endorses book declaring him possibly the ‘most sound-minded’ president ever

As Hurricane Florence barreled closer toward the Carolinas Thursday, President Trump had time to endorse a book by a booster who called him the “most sound-minded” president ever.

Appearing on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show Sept. 5 to promote her new book, “Mad Politics: Keeping Your Sanity in a World Gone Crazy,” Gina Loudon, who describes herself as a member of the “Donald Trump for President Media Advisory Board,” proceeded to call the anonymous New York Times op-ed from a senior official within the Trump administration part of the “Trump derangement syndrome.” She then explained how she used her background in psychology to determine the commander in chief’s mental fitness.

“My book actually uses science and real data and true psychological theory to explain why it is quite possible that this president in the most sound-minded person to ever occupy the White House,” Loudon told Hannity on Sept. 5.

The Fox News host had a response ready for the sound bite for Loudon, who was one of the president’s most reliable on-air talking heads in the lead-up to the 2016 election.

As Hurricane Florence barreled closer toward the Carolinas Thursday, President Trump had time to endorse a book by a booster who called him the “most sound-minded” president ever.

Appearing on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show Sept. 5 to promote her new book, “Mad Politics: Keeping Your Sanity in a World Gone Crazy,” Gina Loudon, who describes herself as a member of the “Donald Trump for President Media Advisory Board,” proceeded to call the anonymous New York Times op-ed from a senior official within the Trump administration part of the “Trump derangement syndrome.” She then explained how she used her background in psychology to determine the commander in chief’s mental fitness.

“My book actually uses science and real data and true psychological theory to explain why it is quite possible that this president in the most sound-minded person to ever occupy the White House,” Loudon told Hannity on Sept. 5.

The Fox News host had a response ready for the sound bite for Loudon, who was one of the president’s most reliable on-air talking heads in the lead-up to the 2016 election.

“Literally, liberals’ heads are going to explode at what you just said,” Hannity said to a laughing Loudon.

“That’s the fun part of the madness is just watching them go crazy over the fact that he’s really pretty unfazed by them,” said Loudon, referring to Trump, “and I believe that. And I know him.”

“And that’s what drives ’em nuts,” said Hannity, referring to the president’s detractors.

“And that’s what drives them crazy,” said Loudon, who refers to herself as “Dr. Gina.”

A little more than a week later, the president co-signed an endorsement of Loudon’s book given earlier by Kayleigh McEnany, the national spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee. McEnany, the former on-air pundit, tweeted, “Keep up the great work you do for the @realDonaldTrump movement, Gina!”

It got the attention of the president, who has praised or congratulated other supportive Fox News personalities, such as Judge Jeanine Pirro and Gregg Jarrett, for recent books that went on to be bestsellers. “Gina is Great!” Trump tweeted Thursday.

Her book, ranked No. 436,949 in Amazon’s bestsellers rank as of early Friday, refers to her as “America’s favorite psychological expert.” Her website says she has a PhD, but it doesn’t say in what field.

The Daily Beast reported on Thursday that Loudon obtained her PhD in “human and organizations systems” from Fielding Graduate University, an online school headquartered in Santa Barbara, Calif. On her LinkedIn profile, Loudon lists her PhD from Fielding Graduate being in “human development,” adding that she has certification in “Body Language Interpretation, and Hypnotherapy.”

Jason Browning, a producer and spokesman for Loudon, told The Washington Post, “She has many degrees, including a PhD, all in the field of psychology. I see it as a distinction without a difference. Similar to how someone with a PhD in Design Science might also say they have an Engineering PhD.”

Regnery Publishing, which describes itself as “the leading publisher of conservative books,” touted Loudon, its client, as a “PhD level psychological expert” in a Thursday tweet.

Loudon, who describes herself as one of the founding writers at Breitbart, a right-leaning news site once led by Stephen K. Bannon, said she has used her “psychological expertise” as part of the Trump administration’s fight against the opioid epidemic, according to the biography listed on her website. In October 2017, she recorded a video from Trump Tower for the president’s Facebook page in which she introduced herself as Dr. Gina before talking about the crisis.

“In my professional experience, I’ve seen this devastating plague hit unsuspecting victims who didn’t know they were doing something dangerous,” she said, “and once they’ve taken the drugs, the addictive mechanism can lead a victim to heroin use or even death.”

In “Mad Politics,” Loudon makes several claims supporting her stance that Trump is the “most sound-minded person” to be president. Browning told The Post that Loudon “gives credit to his [Trump’s] upbringing, life experience, personality, birth order, and more.” One is how she concluded that the president’s Myers-Briggs type, the questionnaire that assigns letters to human traits, is ENTJ — Extraversion, Intuition, Thinking, Judging. In that part of the book, Loudon points to a description on a website called 16Personalities.com that lists the ENTJ type as “the Commander,” according to the Daily Beast.

“The ENTJ has mad presidential skills!” she wrote, the Beast reported.

Whether Trump’s endorsement of Loudon signals a spike in her book sales remains unclear. However, the Amazon customer reviews for Loudon’s book, which was published Sept. 4, offer a glimpse on the nation’s current state of political discourse: deeply divided. In the 40 customer reviews, the partisanship shows: 60 percent of customers gave the book a five-star ranking, while 35 percent entered in a one-star rating. Those who gave it high marks tend to be more favorableto the president.

“If you are looking for a book making the case for Trump and tearing leftist arguments apart, this book gives you that in a very unique way,” said one positive reviewer. “I have never owned a book with so many endorsements from people I trust.”

Others who are skeptical of Loudon, her background or are against Trump are not as fond of the president’s most recent author endorsement.

“The writing is turgid, which is amazing for a book written at the 6th grade level,” wrote one reviewer, who claimed to be a psychologist. “It is a not a thought piece; it is a political screed. And the ‘psychological analysis?’ I could not stop laughing. It would earn an F in an Intro Psych course.”

[Washington Post]

Trump Says He’s Going to Tell Sean Hannity to Stop Airing His Critics

During a rally in Montana Thursday night, President Donald Trump gave a shout out to a Fox News host.

“Do we love Sean Hannity, by the way?” Trump asked the raucous crowd.

He then suggested that he’s going to tell the Fox News host not to air his critics anymore.

“I love him. But here’s the only thing,” Trump said. “He puts up all these losers that say horrible things. I’ve got to talk to him.”

Then pointing to the media pen, he told the crowd, “And by the way, look at all the fake news back there.”

[Mediaite]

Trump Threatens to Pull Clearance For CNN’s Phil Mudd After Seeing Him on TV: He’s ‘In No Mental Condition’

President Donald Trump is adding CNN contributor Philip Mudd to the list of intelligence officials who might lose their security clearance for criticizing him.

Mudd, a former CIA officer, attracted a lot of attention last week over his explosive showdown with pro-Trump commentator Paris Dennard. The two debated whether Trump is using security clearance revocation to punish his foes, and Mudd blew up after Dennard accused officials like him of profiting from their clearance by securing media commentary positions.

As it were, Fox News’ Sean Hannitymade fun of Mudd’s “complete meltdown” on his show tonight, and obviously, Trump was watching.

Should Mudd’s clearance actually be pulled, you can add it to the list of Trump’s decisions influenced by Fox News programming.

[Mediaite]

Reality

Our part-time-president Donald Trump was busy watching Fox News during his “Executive Time” when he saw Fox play a CNN clip of former intel official Philip (not “Phillip”) Mudd becoming visibly frustrated with a lying Paris Dennard.

Trump has added Mudd to his authoritarian-style “enemies list” and threatened to pull his security clearance.

Trump Goes on Tweetstorm While Watching Fox News, Quotes Hannity and Mark Levin

President Donald Trump took to Twitter Wednesday evening to share criticism about ex-CIA director John Brennan that he heard on Fox News.

“’John Brennan is a stain on the Country, we deserve better than this.’” Former Secret Service Agent and author of new book, ‘Spygate, the Attempted Sabotage of Donald J. Trump,’ Dan Bongino,” Trump wrote, referring to the conservative commentator and frequent Fox News guest.

He added: “Thank you Dan, and good luck with the book!”

Bongino’s comments came during a discussion of Trump’s decision to yank Brennan’s security clearance just one day after Brennan criticized him on both Twitter and MSNBC citing Brennan’s “erratic behavior.”

Speaking to the Wall Street Journalearlier today, Trump pushed back on criticism of his decision, telling the WSJ, “[I] would put a Republican on, too, if I thought they were incompetent or crazy.”

Brennan also spoke out on Trump’s decision, calling Trump’s move an effort to “intimidate and suppress” his critics.

“I do believe that Mr. Trump decided to take this action, as he’s done with others, to try to intimidate and suppress any criticism of him or his administration,” Brennan said on Wednesday afternoon, after learning he had lost his clearance. “And revoking my security clearances is his way of trying to get back at me.”

In addition to using a Fox News quote to slam Brennan, Trump also tweeted out a remark from a Fox News guest who said Hillary Clinton “got a pass by the FBI.”

Then, later on Wednesday evening, he even tweeted quotes from Sean Hannity‘s show from Mark Levin and Hannity himself. Hannity said, “I’d strip the whole bunch of them. They’re all corrupt. They’ve all abused their power. They’ve all betrayed the American people with a political agenda.”

[Mediaite]

Trump Tells Hannity He’ll Campaign for GOP ‘6 or 7 Days’ a Week Ahead of Midterms

President Donald Trump reportedly told Fox News’ Sean Hannity that he plans to campaign “six or seven days a week” for Republicans ahead of the all-important midterms.

Trump said this to Hannity on the Fox personality’s radio show, according to Politico who flagged the quote: “I am going to work very hard, I will go six or seven days a week when we’re 60 days out and I will be campaigning for all of these great people that do have a difficult race and we think we’re going to bring them over the line.”

Yet, in another case of there is a tweet for every Trump claim, here is Trump kvetching Barack Obama was busy campaigning when he should have been doing more presidential things, like dealing with Hurricane Sandy.

Candidate Trump also complained about Obama using Air Force One to campaign for Hillary Clinton, claiming “taxpayers are paying a fortune for the use of Air Force One on the campaign trail.”

[Mediaite]

Dubious Fox News article appears to have sparked Trump attack on Obama

President Donald Trump appeared to rely on a dubious Fox News report Tuesday morning to unleash an attack on his predecessor, accusing President Barack Obama, without any real evidence, of granting citizenship to 2,500 Iranians as part of nuclear deal negotiations.

“Just out that Obama Administration granted citizenship, during the terrible Iran Deal negotiation, to 2,500 Iranians – including to government officials,” Trump tweeted. “How big (and bad) is that?”

Jeff Prescott, the former senior director on Obama’s National Security Council, called Trump’s allegation “absurd and entirely false.”

Prescott shared with CNN immigration data from the Department of Homeland Security which showed that the number of Iranians naturalized in the United States over the course of the Obama and Bush administrations was relatively consistent.

“There was no connection between the Iran nuclear deal and immigration policy,” Prescott added.

The unsubstantiated claim first gained attention with a Monday story on Fox News’ website that relied on the word of an Iranian cleric who is also a member of the country’s parliament.

The article, written by Chris Irvine, a Fox News senior editor, cited an Iranian news agency that cited an Iranian newspaper that quoted the single Iranian cleric, who said the Obama administration provided citizenship to 2,500 unidentified Iranians during nuclear deal negotiations.

The article itself quoted, toward the end of the story, the network’s own commentator, former Obama State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf, saying, “This sounds like totally made up BS.” The story said the Department of Homeland Security and State Department declined to comment, and that a representative for former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson could not be reached.

Prior to the Fox News article, the claim had not received any noticeable attention from the US media.

But after Fox News published its story, other outlets, primarily in the conservative media space, published similar stories. Those outlets included The Daily Mail, The Gateway Pundit, and TownHall.

The claims were also shared on Twitter by Fox News host Sean Hannity and frequent Fox guests David Clarke and Charlie Kirk.

On Tuesday morning, just hours before Trump’s tweet, the story made its way to Fox News’ airwaves on “Fox & Friends First,” the network’s early morning show. It also later aired on “America’s Newsroom,” a late-morning news program on Fox News.

“It shouldn’t be lost on anyone that this is a case of Donald Trump parroting Fox News, which is peddling the claims of an Iranian hardliner,” Prescott told CNN.

Jake Sullivan, a former Obama official who was involved at the start of the Iran nuclear negotiations, also skewered Trump for relying on Fox News’ thin report to make what he called a “completely false” claim.

“What is interesting about this is that what happened is a hardline crank in Iran just randomly made this comment, Fox News writes a story on it, and then Trump tweets it,” Sullivan said on “The Situation Room.”

[CNN]

Trump touts Hannity’s show on ‘Deep State crime families’ led by Mueller, Comey and Clintons

On Wednesday night, like most other weeknights, it was to be expected that President Trump would be tuning into his favorite prime-time pundit. But as if his followers needed a reminder, the president tweeted about it.

“Big show tonight on @seanhannity!” Trump tweeted, promoting Sean Hannity’s 9 p.m. segment on Fox News. By early Thursday morning, Hannity was the No. 1 topic trending on Twitter, and scores of viewers watched as Hannity fired out his usual attacks on his favorite subjects: Hillary Clinton, special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and former FBI director James B. Comey.

In a conspiratorial, long-winded monologue, Hannity charted connections he sees among all three of them. The pundit outlined what he described as “obvious Deep State crime families trying to take down the president,” consisting of the Clinton “family,” the Comey “family” and the Mueller “family.”

Hannity said he was inspired by Comey, who appeared in a video this week promoting an interview between Comey and ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that will air Sunday. In the interview, Stephanopoulos suggests that Comey compared Trump to a “mob boss.”

“Mr. Comey, you’re really going to compare the sitting president of the United States to a mob boss so you can make money?” Hannity said of the former FBI director, who is currently promoting his soon-to-be-released book. “If he’s going to use a sweeping analogy, I’ve decided tonight we’re going to use the Comey standard … and make some comparisons of our own.”

He began with what he called “a family responsible for actual crimes … the head of the notorious political cabal, of course Bill and Hillary Clinton, the Clinton crime family.”

For the Clinton family, Hannity brought up allegations of sexual misconduct against President Bill Clinton and, of course, accused Hillary Clinton of committing crimes, obstructing justice and mishandling national secrets on a private server. Linked to the Clinton “crime family” were individuals such as Hillary Clinton aides Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin, “sketchy” former Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe, former attorney general Loretta E. Lynch, and others, including Christopher Steele, the author of the “dossier” alleging ties between Trump and Russia.

Then there’s the “Mueller Crime Family,” Hannity said. The host drew connections between the special counsel and his “best friend” Comey, as well as notorious gangster and killer Whitey Bulger. Hannity accused Mueller of “looking the other way” at Bulger’s crimes while he was a federal prosecutor in Boston. Then, of course, Hannity mapped out the “Comey Crime Family,” linking the former FBI director to Lynch, Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, Steele, former deputy attorney general Sally Yates, and “fellow Comey Deep State sycophant” former CIA director John Brennan.

Though Hannity retweeted Trump’s tweet promoting his Wednesday night show, he insisted that the president “was not given ANY heads up on my monologue using the ‘Comey’ standard!!!”

Regardless of what Trump knew before the show, the president is known to watch Hannity’s show regularly and look to it for guidance.

As CNN’s Brian Stelter tweeted, Wednesday night illustrated that “the line where Fox News ends and where Trump begins is getting blurrier by the day.”

Aides have said Trump regularly calls Hannity before or after the program to give feedback, The Washington Post’s Josh Dawsey has reported. “Aides sometimes plot to have guests make points on Fox that they have been unable to get the president to agree to in person,” Dawsey wrote.

Hannity on Wednesday night once again called the Russia investigation a “witch hunt,” as does Trump, and brought on guests who attempted to discredit Justice Department officials and the special counsel.

[Washington Post]

Media

 

Trump asks why ‘deep state authorities’ aren’t investigating Clinton emails

President Trump on Tuesday asked why “deep state authorities” aren’t looking into the handling of the investigation into then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails, referencing a guest who had just appeared on Fox News.

“Charles McCullough, the respected fmr Intel Comm Inspector General, said the public was misled on Crooked Hillary Emails,” Trump tweeted. “Why aren’t our deep State authorities looking at this? Rigged and corrupt?”

McCullough, who was appointed to his post by former President Obama, said in an interview on Monday with Fox News that he experienced pushback from Democrats when he tried to explain the seriousness of the investigation into Clinton’s emails.

“I’ve heard people say this is overblown, I’ve heard people say this is much ado about nothing. Had the information been released, there would have been harm to national security,” McCullough said in the interview.

“There was personal blowback. Personal blowback to me, to my family, to my office,” McCullough told Fox News.

McCullough appeared Tuesday on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” to reiterate his claims, roughly an hour before Trump’s tweet.

The FBI concluded last year that it would not pursue criminal charges against Clinton for her “extremely careless” handling of classified materials while she was secretary of State.

Trump throughout the 2016 presidential campaign said Clinton should be prosecuted for using a personal server to handle classified emails.

Republican lawmakers have in recent weeks pressed Attorney General Jeff Sessions to appoint a special prosecutor to look into how the email case was handled.

[The Hill]

Trump Believes a Corporate Stock Market Rally Reduces Government National Debt

President Trump falsely claimed Wednesday that, “in one sense,” the stock market rally since his election reduces the $20 trillion national debt.

Let’s break down his astonishing claim.

“The country — we took it over, it owed $20 trillion,” Trump Sean Hannity of Fox News in Pennsylvania.

So far, so good. It’s correct that the U.S. owed nearly $20 trillion when Trump took office.

“As you know, the last eight years, they borrowed more than it did in the whole history of our country. So, they borrowed more than $10 trillion dollars, right?”

Also, more or less accurate — $9 trillion to be exact.

“And yet, we picked up $5.2 trillion just in the stock market. Possibly picked up the whole thing in terms of the first nine months in terms of value. So, you can say in one sense we’re really increasing values; and maybe in a sense we’re reducing debt.”

Huh? To say this is a head-scratcher is an understatement.

Trump is right that the stock market has added trillions in value since his election.

But higher stock prices reflect corporate profits. Shareholders and investors reap the rewards. When investors get richer, it does not reduce the amount of money Congress and the federal government has already spent and owes.

The national debt, which he correctly states is $20 trillion, is the result of the government spending more than it takes in. To cut the debt, Congress has to spend less or raise taxes. That would free up cash to pay down what the U.S. owes.

“The stock market’s gains have virtually nothing to do with the size of the national debt, which continues to rise because government spending far exceeds government receipts,” political economist Greg Valliere told CNNMoney.

“A higher stock market encourages consumers and companies to spend more, which helps the overall economy,” said Valliere of Horizon Investments. “But it’s absurd to contend that the national debt has fallen because of this.”

In fact, the president wants to cut taxes and potentially add to the debt if spending cuts cannot be found to offset those tax cuts.

The White House, in a statement, said Trump “was simply making the point that we’ve seen enormous growth in the stock market since his election, that means more money in the pocket of everyday citizens, and more circulating in our economy as a whole.”

As for that stock market rally, the Standard and Poor’s 500 is up nearly 20% since his election — an impressive rally. No question investors cheer this president’s pro-business, anti-regulation, lower taxes agenda. But under the Obama Administration that same index rose 235%. And no, that stock market rally did not reduce or offset the national debt either.

[CNN]

Media

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