With President Donald Trump about to name his second Supreme Court nominee in a primetime address Monday night, Sean Hannity made a rare visit to Fox News’ afternoon panel show The Five and repeatedly clashed with one of the network’s few remaining “liberals,” Juan Williams.
During the segment about Trump’s SCOTUS pick, Williams warned the court could “become a rubber stamp for right-wing agenda.” In response, Hannity shot back, “Where’s the evidence? You say these things and you’re trying to scare the American people.”
But their back-and-forth banter came to a head later in the show during a discussion about the 2020 election as Hannity denounced the Democrats for having an “agenda” that would fail in the face of Trump. “You have a Sean Hannity agenda,” Williams told the primetime star. “I think you’re running this presidency!”
“That is the silliest thing I’ve ever heard,” Hannity replied, with a smile on his face. “That is what CNN fake news says, and they’re lying every night.”
CNN has hardly been the only media outlet to report on Hannity’s role as Trump’s “shadow” chief of staff, as White House advisers referred to him in a Washington Post article this past April. Earlier in the year, The Daily Beast reported that Hannity had been personally advising Trump to release the so-called Nunes memo. Just yesterday, Hannity reportedly hit the links with Trump at the president’s New Jersey golf club. And as we learned not long ago, the president and the Fox News host also shared a lawyer in Michael Cohen.
Last March, CNN reported that Hannity actually pointed a gun at Williams after a heated on-camera argument. According to unnamed sources, Hannity “even turned on the laser sight, causing a red dot to bob around on Williams’ body.”
“While discussing the issue of firearms, I showed my good friend Juan Williams my unloaded firearm in a professional and safe manner for educational purposes only,” Hannity said in a statement about the incident. “Every precautionary procedure that I have been trained in since the age of 11 was followed. I've had a conceal carry permit in five states for all of my adult life. Any other interpretation of this is outright false reporting.”
Williams added, “This incident is being sensationalized—everything was under total control throughout, and I never felt like I was put in harm’s way. It was clear that Sean put my safety and security above all else, and we continue to be great friends.”
But that did not stop him from firing back, so to speak, on the air today.