Hannity says he’ll stop pushing DNC murder conspiracy theory, immediately backtracks

Despite Fox’s retraction, the Rich family’s pleadings, and his own promise to stop, Hannity continues.

CREDIT: Fox News screengrab
CREDIT: Fox News screengrab

Hours after Fox News retracted their latest reporting about the Seth Rich murder, Fox News host Sean Hannity said he plans to stop talking about the evidence-free Democratic National Committee conspiracy theory. He broke his promise within minutes.

During his Tuesday night Fox News show, Hannity said he had been in touch with the slain former DNC’s staffer family and “totally completely understand[s] how hard this is on this family, especially over the recent coverage of Seth’s death.” He added that “out of respect for the family’s wishes for now, I am not discussing this matter at this time.”

Immediately after saying that, Hannity inadvertently revealed why he’s spent the last week relentlessly pushing the debunked conspiracy that Rich was involved in the DNC hack: to cast doubt upon the US intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia meddled in the presidential election on behalf of Donald Trump, in part by hacking Democratic targets and using their emails in disinformation campaigns.

“Now let me explain this,” Hannity said. “There are so many issues here, not the least of which is the Democratic push of their Russia narrative — collusion-Trump-Russia narrative, Trump-Russia narrative. There is something clearly happening here.”

Hannity went on to suggest there’s more at work than the Rich family’s wishes. He asked his “loyal audience” to “please do not interpret what I’m saying tonight to mean anything — don’t read into this.”


“I promise you I am not going to stop doing my job,” he said. “To the extent of my ability, I am not going to stop trying to find the truth.”

He then blasted progressive groups that have been asking advertisers to reconsider their relationship with Hannity in light of his refusal to stop pushing the Rich conspiracy.

After his show ended, Hannity immediately broke his promise to stop talking about Rich, tweeting, “Not only am I not stopping, I am working harder” on the story.

Hannity also retweeted praise and a tweet claiming “There is no Russia collusion / hacking” posted by MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom, who, the Washington Post reports, appears to have been involved in an attempt to hack Rich’s Gmail account in an effort to “create a fake archive of emails from Rich to ‘prove’ his role in the DNC hack.”

Hannity was still at it Wednesday morning.

So what gives? Hannity revealed just before his show on Tuesday — a show that earlier in the day he said would feature an interview with Dotcom about the Rich story — that he had been in touch with his lawyers.

And despite his employer’s retraction, on his radio broadcast on Tuesday Hannity sought to draw a distinction between himself and Fox News.

“I am not I retracted nothing,” Hannity said.

At the same time Hannity was pushing the Rich conspiracy on Twitter on Tuesday, the Washington Post published an op-ed by Rich’s parents saying that they “have seen no evidence, by any person at any time, that Seth’s murder had any connection to his job at the Democratic National Committee or his life in politics.”


“Anyone who claims to have such evidence is either concealing it from us or lying,” they continue. “Still, conservative news outlets and commentators continue, day after painful day, to peddle discredited conspiracy theories that Seth was killed after having provided WikiLeaks with emails from the DNC. Those theories, which some reporters have since retracted, are baseless, and they are unspeakably cruel.”

Hannity not only broke his promise to stop talking about Rich. Despite Fox’s retraction and the Rich family’s pleadings, he hasn’t apologize or retracted a single thing he’s said about the unfounded conspiracy theory.

On Monday, CNN reported that Fox News staffers are “frustrated” by Hannity’s ceaseless promotion of the Rich conspiracy theory, with one employee saying they’re “disgusted by it.”

It appears they’re not alone. Fox News’ ratings have been in free fall in recent weeks, as Hannity and other on-air personalities use conspiracy theories to distract viewers from the deluge of negative headlines about Trump.