Fox News Calls Sean Hannity's Appearance "Unfortunate Distraction"

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"I never miss your opening monologue", he said.

Hannity, who has interviewed Trump on several occasions on Fox and is believed to be close to the White House, offered effusive praise for the president while echoing his concerns about what he termed "fake news" media reports. Fox reporter Kristin Fisher, who tweeted a copy of Fox's statement today, was covering the rally. We have an extraordinary team of journalists helming our coverage tonight and we are extremely proud of their work.

The network had tried earlier on Monday to establish distance between Hannity and Trump's campaign, which had billed Hannity as a "special guest" at the rally.

In an Election Day Twitter post, Hannity insisted that he hadn't planned to speak at last night's event in Missouri.

Hannity tweeted this morning, "To be clear, I was not referring to my journalist colleagues at FOX News in those remarks. This was an unfortunate distraction and has been addressed", a Fox spokesperson said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.

It is not the first time Mr Hannity has been admonished for appearing in Trump's political propaganda.

Hannity and the president have had a close bond for years - before the 2016 election, Trump falsely claimed that he had been against the Iraq war and when pressed for evidence of that position, he said that he and Hannity used to have "arguments" about the war.

Hannity, one of the most popular US cable news personalities and a vocal Trump defender, has twice been rebuked by Fox for campaign activity.

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Hannity had done his show as part of a Trump spectacle before in September at a rally in Las Vegas when the president was launching his prime-time media effort to win Senate confirmation for Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

News organizations are not supposed to endorse candidates, and while Fox is generally considered a right-wing news organization, it always strived to be perceived as more news organization than right-wing.

"To be clear, I will not be on stage campaigning with the president", Hannity tweeted on Monday.

Their appearances caused CNN to question Fox's credibility. He spoke briefly on camera with Trump at the end of the show.

Donald Trump on Rush Limbaugh.

Michael Glassner, chief operating officer for the campaign, was quoted in Sunday's news release.

Despite Fox's disavowal, the Trump campaign continued to list Hannity as a guest throughout Monday at the link where people could seek tickets to the event.

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