The Fox News host had claimed on Tuesday that first lady Michelle Obama deleted tweets praising the Democratic presidential nominee in the face of her ongoing email controversy, implying that the White House was distancing itself from her. Hannity said he found the story on The Gateway Pundit, a conservative site with a penchant for the conspiratorial.
“It says that Michelle Obama had deleted Hillary tweets from her timeline. Did you ever check that out?” Hannity asked his producer on air. When a caller later claimed that President Barack Obama and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) also removed Clinton-friendly tweets, Hannity ― a vocal Trump supporter ― said “that means they know it’s huge.”
The story could have easily been disproved with a quick Twitter search showing pro-Clinton tweets sent by the Obamas:
Hannity later tweeted that the story was wrong and apologized, but not before it was shared by many conservative social media users ― including several Trump supporters with large followings.
Hannity defended the mistake to CNN, saying that the story “was brought up in an insignificant way, I was dealing with more important issues like HRC crimes and lies and how CNN has been colluding with the Clinton campaign and CHEATING Bernie Sanders.”
But trading in myths is nothing new for Hannity. Most recently, he has reported that the Democratic nominee was drunk at a rally and that her campaign is a “criminal syndicate.” He also invited a man on his show who claimed to have arranged a number of sexual affairs for the Clintons, including a tryst between Hillary and Vince Foster, the White House lawyer who committed suicide in 1993.
It’s worth noting that just weeks ago, Hannity threatened to sue CNN for slander.
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Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.