Introducing the president as he stumped for Republican candidates was Rush Limbaugh, the radio host who was born and raised in Cape Girardeau. Then after Mr. Trump took the microphone, he invited two Fox News personalities, Sean Hannity and Jeanine Pirro, to join him on stage, where each also delivered a short speech backing the president.
The participation of the Fox hosts in a political rally struck even executives at the network as inappropriate. “Fox News does not condone any talent participating in campaign events,” the network said in a statement on Tuesday.
Hannity released a statement on Twitter noting that he had not anticipated taking part in the event. “When the POTUS invited me on stage to give a few remarks last night, I was surprised, yet honored by the president’s request. This was NOT planned. And to be clear, I was not referring to my journalist colleagues at FOX News in those remarks. They do amazing work day in and day out in a fair and balanced way and it is an honor to work with such great professionals.”
Trump’s interview with Hannity on Monday night marked his 38th on the network’s air since taking office, far more than any other network, according to a POLITICO count. In second place is CBS News, with four Trump interviews.Trump also frequently tweets about shows on the network, sometimes appearing to tweet commentary in real time, and on Monday, he told Hannity that he never misses the primetime show’s opening monologue.