Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity devoted part of his opening monologue Monday night to scorching the media’s attempt to make President Trump such an outsized force in coverage of the Jeffrey Epstein case. On a separate topic, Hannity trashed the media’s coverage of the President’s “salute to America” before commenting: “The press in the country is so corrupt, they will use any and everything to smear this President.”
Hannity began by arguing that “most of the members of the media are nothing more than shills and an extension of the Democratic Party,” adding: “There’s nothing this President can do that will satisfy them.” Before talking about the Epstein case, Hannity played video montages of “many media meltdowns in recent days” surrounding “the Fourth of July celebration, the brief meeting with Kim Jong-un, (and) the presser with Vladimir Putin.”
While Epstein, a registered sex offender, has faced allegations of pedophilia dating all the way back to 2005, his arrest on charges of sex trafficking underage girls has put his name back in the headlines. The media had previously tried to tie President Trump to Epstein earlier this year and have doubled down in the wake of Epstein’s arrest.
After his media montages, Hannity explained that Epstein, a wealthy financier, “had ties to many Democratic politicians and celebrities, including big ties to...Bill Clinton, who took very many trips on Epstein’s private plane” known as the Lolita Express. Hannity reminded the audience that he covered the Epstein case and Clinton’s ties to it “extensively well before the 2016 election” in contrast with “the rest of the media” who “didn’t ask any questions” because “they wanted to help Hillary at all costs.”
According to Hannity, “only now, the mainstream media is interested because Epstein once had ties to President Trump through social events at Mar-a-Lago.” Hannity proceeded to slam the media for their bias by omission: “What the media’s not telling you tonight is that Trump severed all ties with Epstein. Look at the court documents...and banned him from Mar-a-Lago years ago.” Hannity added that “Trump was reportedly cooperative in the 2008 case against Epstein” before predicting that nonetheless, “the media will use the sick, disgusting crimes of this guy to attack the President.”
While the most prominent anti-Trump voices in the media have done their best to tie the President to Epstein, at least the “alphabet soup” networks had the integrity to point out his ties to President Clinton; although ABC was a little late. It looks like Hannity was correct when he said “the media just wants to blame the President for everything,” including the Epstein scandal.
A transcript of the relevant portion of Monday’s edition of Hannity is below. Click “expand” to read more.
09:09 p.m. Eastern
SEAN HANNITY: Most of the members of the media are nothing more than shills and an extension of the Democratic Party. They don’t care about you, we the people. Things have improved so much under Donald Trump and they hate him. Why wouldn’t they be championing success for the American people first? Interesting question. Now, this was perfectly exemplified during the President’s recent trips to South Korea. Pay very close attention. All right, the President goes to the DMZ. President Trump met quickly, after he tweeted out to North Korean dictator Kim Jong un; became the first sitting U.S. President to cross the DMZ. President Trump, let’s see, he offered no concessions to North Korea, the sanctions are still very much in place. In other words, President Trump did not try to bribe the North Korean regime like Bill Clinton did with your money in the mid-‘90s and tell us this is a good deal for the American people. Nor did President Trump drop $150 billion in cash and other currency on a tarmac to mullahs in Iran, like Biden and Obama did during their failed Iranian nuclear deal. No, this President won’t try to appease, bribe dictators, but he also hates unnecessary wars. President Trump’s not an interventionist. He is about America. His policy is clear: America first, the American people first. His foreign policy and diplomacy surrounds economic pressure, open lines of communication. We see that with Iran. Iran is desperate because of the measures and of course the sanction the President has put on Iran. He’s tapping in now to America’s vast oil and natural gas reserves. That means the Straits of Hormuz are less strategically important than ever before and by the way, you want to see the wealth of the average man and woman in this country rise? Let us be not only energy independent, but let’s share our vast resources with the rest of the world and you will see the standard of living of every American go through the roof. Why wouldn’t the news media want to tell you that? And by the way, the President views military action as a last result, the only thing he uses is offered to Kim Jong un, Iran, and Putin…whoops, dropped my pen…is his time, his attention, he has offered nothing more. And that’s not what gets reported. Members of the media can’t see through their rage, their psychosis, to truly understand this President. So naturally, the mainstream media, they were outraged. If the President cured cancer, they’d be outraged. All because the President had the audacity to simply hold a meeting. Remember, he got hostages back, he got remains back. And he even got the rockets from not being fired every other day. He’s given nothing but time! That’s it. Nothing else. Unlike Clinton, Biden, and Obama. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
WILLIE GEIST: Elise, what did you think of the summit?
ELISE JORDAN: It makes me want to puke, just my visceral reaction as an American who cares about democracy and human rights. The fact that Donald Trump is going out of his way to kiss up just to this monster.
FRANK BRUNI: And he said something else that I wish we wouldn’t let go by, which is “It’s an honor to be here with you.” You know what, it is not an honor to be there with a brutal, murderous dictator.
FAREED ZAKARIA: The United States President meeting with the leader of North Korea was regarded as a plum prize that no administration had granted. The President gave that away. The United States President visiting North Korea was regarded as a great prize; that was given away for pretty much nothing.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: This was the dramatic headline, the dramatic photo that President Trump wanted, he’s a great showman, he pulled it off today. There is just no question about that.
CHUCK TODD: It’s hard to anticipate anything more than this being a photo op that leads to more talks that may not lead to anything.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
HANNITY: Oh, it might not lead to anything but maybe it might lead to something like more remains being sent back, more hostages freed. Who knows where it will lead? That was just one of many media meltdowns in recent days. There’s nothing this President can do that will satisfy them. Another surrounded the President’s brief meeting with Vladimir Putin at the G-20 summit, which I thought was hilarious. The press didn’t think he was strong enough on his warning against Russian election interference. They said to him, “are you going to tell him to stop meddling in our elections?” Here’s what the President said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
JAMES CLAPPER: I think Putin, for…for his part, feels as though that attitude, the cavalier attitude about the Russian threat to our fundamental system, gives him license to continue to do what he’s been doing. And I, and it, and…we can, we can count on it for the election in 2020.
TODD: This is the undercurrent of this entire trip: meeting with authoritarian figures, basically wink and a nod to Putin, wink and a nod to MBS.
YAMICHE ALCINDOR: It’s also the undercurrent of his entire presidency. He likes strongmen.
MADELEINE ALBRIGHT: Watching it, I’m…I’m appalled.
BROOKE BALDWIN: Did the President just basically invite Putin to interfere in 2020?
LEON PANETTA: The President doesn’t realize that when he does that, it sends a terrible message to the world that the United States is weak and that the President is weak.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
HANNITY: What do they want? Do they want the President to get into a duel with Vladimir Putin, go MMA right there in front of them? Did they want him to start a public brawl at the G-20? Do they honestly think the President could say something in front of the press at a press conference that would stop the hostile actions of Russia? Well, no, in reality, the media just wants to blame the President for everything. No President has been tougher in modern day on Russia in recent years than Donald Trump; same with Iran. Nobody’s been tougher with Iran and the sanctions still remain in North Korea. Look at the reaction to the President’s Fourth of July salute to the…America. And by the way, the hysteria, the phony moral outrage. It was a patriotic parade that celebrated the military, the same military that defeated communism, fascism, Nazism, and imperial Japan but they were criticizing him even before the event took place. They knew what was going to happen but they were wrong. Watch the predictions.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
JOY REID: What is the message Donald Trump is trying to send by rolling tanks down Constitution Avenue? Who is that message to? Is it to #TheResistance in this country? “I got tanks, I have this military armada.” The message is a threat but it’s always a threat when you roll out your military but it’s to whom is the threat? And I suspect that the threat is to his fellow Americans.
JOE LOCKHART: So, I’m just personally outraged about the President hijacking the fourth of July.
KAREN FINNEY: Just think about the juxtaposition of those images of those children in cages, and here is Donald Trump, and there are these, you know, fly, you know, things flying overhead, and the tanks. I just…I, it’s…is that really the message we want to send about America?
CHRIS MATTHEWS: This is not what we normally think as a democratic display of our values but rather the values of power, of might making right, of dictatorships.
JEREMY BASH: This is not just obnoxious tackiness, this is actually dangerous because it’s fundamentally un-American.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
HANNITY: Okay, the same freedoms that are protected every day. The President gave a nonpartisan, patriotic speech with a great history, they even made fun of that. It honored our country, it highlighted the brave men and women who serve this country in uniform to protect our liberties and freedoms. But the media painted a much more sinister picture, predictably, from the Fourth of July celebration, the brief meeting with Kim Jong-un, the presser with Vladimir Putin. The press in this country is so corrupt, they will use any and everything to smear this President. That’s who they now are. They use the same tactic with, oh, just the Jeffrey Epstein case. You know, the well-connected, uber wealthy financier recently indicted on sex trafficking charges. Now, Epstein once had ties to many politicians and celebrities; including big ties to that guy, Bill Clinton, who took very many trips on Epstein’s private plane. We called it, or The New York Post dubbed it, the “Lolita express.” Now, Clinton denied any wrongdoing but we covered the story extensively well before the 2016 election. The rest of the media, as usual, didn’t ask any questions. They wanted to help Hillary at all costs and only now, the mainstream media is interested because Epstein once had ties to President Trump through social events at Mar-a-Lago. Now, what the media’s not telling you tonight is that Trump severed all ties with Epstein. Look at the court documents and banned him from Mar-a-Lago years ago. Trump was reportedly cooperative in the 2008 case against Epstein. Now, the media will use the sick, disgusting crimes of this guy to attack the President. In other words, the guy that’s really good friends with Bill Clinton. It’s beyond shameful, wrong, selective moral outrage, the American people know better.