Fox News host Sean Hannity piggybacked on President Donald Trump’s criticism of Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp on Thursday night, warning that Kemp’s “dumb idea” to open up hair salons and tattoo parlors amid the coronavirus pandemic could hurt the movement to restart the American economy.
During the last two White House coronavirus task force briefings, the president—who’s repeatedly pushed for a quick reopening of the country—expressed dissatisfaction with the Georgia governor. On Wednesday, Trump said he personally told Kemp he “strongly” disagreed with the governor’s “decision to open certain facilities,” as it violated the administration’s phase one guidelines for reopening. On Thursday, the president reiterated that he “wasn’t happy” with Kemp.
Hannity, who has been one of the loudest advocates for loosening social distancing guidelines and jumpstarting the economy, insisted during Thursday’s broadcast of his primetime Fox News show that there were ways to get Americans back to work immediately. At the same time, he threw Kemp right under the bus.
After guest Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) applauded the president for giving “us a road map on how to open the country safely,” Hannity—sometimes referred to as the White House shadow chief of staff—took the opportunity to blast Kemp.
“If this guy in Georgia—Kemp, he’s a Republican, I don’t care—if he does this wrong, they are going to bludgeon him and not want to open anything,” the pro-Trump host huffed. “We don’t need the tattoo parlors open yet, that’s a dumb idea!”
“And some other of his ideas are pretty dumb,” Hannity continued. “Because they are going to bludgeon him to stop all openings and this economy can’t survive until we open safely. There’s a way to do it safely!”
Graham doubled down on Hannity’s message, declaring that he trusts “President Trump’s team’s judgment on how to do it more than any governor in the country.”