On Monday night, unpaid Donald Trump adviser and current Fox News host Sean Hannity broadcasted his “EXCLUSIVE” interview with Jeff Rovin, novelist and self-identified “fixer” for Hillary and Bill Clinton. Rovin first told his story to supermarket tabloid the National Enquirer last week, opening up about his alleged past as a Clinton ally who would help the powerful couple manipulate the press and (also!) set up secret, extramarital sexual liaisons.
Hannity emphasized that Fox News could not “independently verify” Rovin’s story. He also noted that the Clinton presidential campaign—“shockingly”—did not respond to his team’s multiple requests seeking comment.
“I was fixing [for the Clintons], I really don’t like that term, but there it is,” Rovin told Hannity. “I was fixing something for an actor who was in their inner circle.”
Hannity proceeded to gently and credulously ask Rovin about his explosive claims about working to kill negative Clinton stories in the press, and about the Clintons’ “open marriage” and how he’d “help them hide their scandals.”
Rovin, who said he wanted to appear on Hannity’s program to offer a “less hyperbolic” version of the Enquirer cover story, was awfully cagey for someone who was outing himself as a notorious Clinton “fixer.” He did assert that it was an “open secret” among his fellow Clintonite cohorts that Hillary Clinton had a romantic relationship with Vince Foster, the former White House aide who committed suicide and has since become a fascination of Clinton conspiracy theorists. Rovin said he’d been at the Clinton White House “twice.” He discussed how “the world is upside down [and] we have to set it right, again.”
He apparently identifies as a libertarian, who is ABSOLUTELY NOT doing this to help the Trump campaign. When pressed by Hannity on who he’d be voting for in November, Rovin demurred but conceded, “I like Trump, sure.”
…OK, there’s a lot to unpack here.
First, the Enquirer “bombshell,” of which Rovin was the star subject, is a “WORLD EXCLUSIVE 9-PAGE SPECIAL INVESTIGATION.” The story breathlessly details how the former secretary of State and first lady is a sex-crazed, “evil,” “polyamorous,” bisexual (or at least bi-curious), and “ruthless power-hungry” supervillain, one prolific in the dark arts of criminal conspiracy and character assassination aimed at Bill’s “bimbos.”
The Enquirer article is jam-packed with clandestine sex romps, mysterious death, prostitutes, “LIES AND SPIES,” and a woman (now the Democratic presidential nominee!) hell-bent on manipulating her sex-crazed self all the way to becoming leader of the free world.
Rovin—who was interviewed anonymously by the Enquirer and labeled Hillary’s “BAGMAN”—spilled his guts to the tabloid about the Clintons’ alleged sex-hypocrisy, detailing an “endless string of sexual stories arising from what effectively was the Clintons’ open, polyamorous marriage.”
“[Her fixer] arranged a lesbian romp for bisexual Hillary with a prominent Hollywood identity!” the Enquirer reported. “[He] squealed about a lusty rendezvous he arranged for Hillary that FINALLY proves the lesbian rumors that have dogged her for decades!”
“I arranged a meeting for Hillary and a woman in an exclusive Beverly Hills hotel,” he told the publication. “From the moment the Clintons found their feet in Los Angeles and began to meet the stars, they became addicted to power… It’s ironic their own scandalous truths are worthy of a movie script!”
Rumors that Hillary is a lesbian murderer—or that Bill is a cocaine-addled deviant—have proliferated in fringe corners of the internet and right-wing circles for ages. Authors Robert Morrow, Edward Klein, and Trump’s longtime adviser and political ally Roger Stone have written books making outlandish claims about supposed Clinton drug habits, sexual preferences, and bloody, bloody history. (Trump himself suggested this month that Hillary was screwing around on former president Bill.)
Rovin has had a decently impressive career as a fiction writer. He has co-authored sci-fi novels with William Shatner and X-Files star Gillian Anderson. He took over Tom Clancy’s Op-Center novel series after the author died in 2013. And his Penguin Random House author page notes he is “a student of the martial arts”—much like Hannity himself.
Jeff Rovin also edited the Weekly World News tabloid for a time. As The Atlantic has noted, the publication “highlighted tabloid journalism’s thin line between fiction and nonfiction,” until its print edition folded in 2007. The tabloid pushed self-consciously outlandish stories, like the classic “BAT CHILD ESCAPES!” It also had its fair share of Hillary Clinton-related tall tales.
“BILL CATCHES HILLARY WITH SPACE ALIEN!” blared one headline.
“HILLARY ADOPTS ALIEN BABY,” read a 1993 cover.
When Rovin started editing the publication, he stressed the importance of its coverage of space aliens.
“National, international, and even interplanetary events are being suppressed,” he wrote in an editor’s note on May 2, 2005. “Newspapers, television, and the internet are feeding us what dolphins call ‘meep… meepahh… marp’—Literally, lies as deep as the ocean.”
“When the government tries to cover up visits from space aliens and time travelers, we’ll be there,” Rovin continued. “(Weekly World News will even tell you what investments, if any, people from the future are making in the stock market. You won’t find that in Forbes!)”
The Trump campaign did not respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment on whether Republican nominee sees any merit in this Enquirer story on his Democratic rival. However, the Enquirer (a Trump-endorsing tabloid long famous for printing unsubstantiated gossip and stories about space aliens and the Illuminati) and Hannity have become two of Trump’s most reliable allies in the media during this election—and sometimes in concert.
Hannity, for his part, has gone full-on conspiracy theorist during this presidential election, during which he has been doing everything in his power—including starring in an official Trump campaign ad—to get Trump elected president.
Earlier this year, when the Enquirer ran a baseless story suggesting that Ted Cruz’s dad, Rafael, was in New Orleans passing out pro-Castro pamphlets with Lee Harvey Oswald, President John F. Kennedy’s assassin, Trump widely promoted the “news,” and got his allies in the mainstream media, including Hannity, to help him in the effort.
When Trump went on Hannity’s radio show in May, the host allowed Trump to give more oxygen to the Enquirer’s supposed JFK-Cruz scoop.
At the time, when asked by The Daily Beast if Hannity would comment further—and if he felt not pushing back bolstered criticism that he is too deferential to the GOP nominee—the host emailed back: “I was saying that photo was not verified.”
Asked if he believed the Enquirer is a reliable source, Hannity said, “If [you] want to interview me, contact Fox PR.” Hannity later emailed The Daily Beast, “So is the picture authentic or not? You don’t have a clue either. Lol.”
(Well, we do have a clue: Rafael Cruz did not play a role in JFK’s death, but Hannity and the Enquirer did their thing, regardless.)
And now Hannity is back at it again, elevating National Enquirer content, all in the service of targeting the Clintons and talking up Trump on national TV.
Hannity would not comment on the record for this story. Fox News public relations did not respond to emails seeking comment. The Clinton campaign similarly did not respond to The Daily Beast’s requests for comment, so WHAT ARE THEY HIDING???
Following the Rovin interview on Monday’s episode of Hannity, the Fox News personality interviewed Trump running mate Mike Pence and Team Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, two highly respected figures within the Republican Party who spent their Monday-night airtime talking about how great Trump is. Neither uttered one word about Rovin, the Enquirer’s story, or Hillary Clinton’s alleged past as a villainous sex freak.
Why would they, when they have a supermarket tabloid and Fox News to do their work for them?