Sean Hannity admits he’s not a journalist.
That was the important thing to remember at 10 p.m. Thursday evening, when the Fox News host and street martial-arts enthusiast sat down with Juanita Broaddrick, Paula Jones, and Kathleen Willey—three women who long ago accused Bill Clinton of rape or sexual assault—amid six straight days of bombshells about Donald Trump’s alleged sexual misconduct.
Hannity didn’t ask the women about that.
Actually, he didn’t ask much at all, besides a series of leading questions and damning statement about what allegedly happened to the women when they were alone with the former president—old news that Hannity and his friend Donald are hoping strikes a chord with female voters and convinces them Hillary Clinton is an enabler of a sexual criminal unfit for the White House.
Before last Friday, Trump had mentioned Bill’s infidelities—with Monica Lewinsky and Gennifer Flowers—but had not made an issue out of the allegations of sexual misconduct made by the three women, a pet obsession of Roger Stone, his longtime friend and confidant and the author of The Clintons’ War on Women, an extensive screed that details the couple’s alleged crimes against women.
But that changed when The Washington Post published audio of Trump from 2005 in which he could be heard boasting about grabbing women “by the pussy.” In an apology video posted late Friday night, Trump promised to talk more about Bill’s alleged crimes in the coming days, and then he made good—before Sunday’s presidential debate, he hosted a press conference with them and Kathleen Shelton, a woman who claims Hillary acted in poor faith by representing her alleged rapist in court and getting him off the most serious charges.
The campaign continued to go nuclear as more allegations surfaced from women who said they were assaulted by Trump, who’d already been accused of rape by his first wife, Ivana, (who later recanted) and Jill Harth, a makeup artist, of sexual assault. The shit really hit the fan Wednesday, when Miss Washington USA 2013 claimed he groped her, while The New York Times published the accounts of two women, Jessica Leeds and Rachel Crooks, who said they were groped or otherwise touched inappropriately by Trump—one on a plane, one in Trump Tower—and a People magazine writer, Natasha Stoynoff, published her own account of being assaulted by Trump at Mar-a-Lago, while his pregnant third wife, Melania, changed clothes in a nearby room.
Hannity had some work to do for the Republican nominee, in other words.
In a suit and blue striped tie, Hannity sat across from the three women and helped each go through their stories—Clinton raped and bit Broaddrick, he groped and fondled Jones in his office, he forced himself on Willey.
Hannity’s toughest question was: Has the media reached out to you for interviews?
The women said no, but a quick Google search proves otherwise. Shelton first told her story, anonymously, to The Daily Beast in 2014. Broaddrick was extensively profiled and interviewed by BuzzFeed in August. Willey ignored multiple interview requests from The Daily Beast in the last year. Reporters took to Twitter to note times they interviewed, or tried to interview, the women.
Asked about this blatant falsehood, Hannity emailed a response but refused to go on the record.
Meanwhile on the air, he asked the women if they were scared. “Why wouldn’t we be?” Jones said. “There’s been so many things happen to people connected to the Clintons”—a reference to the so-called Clinton Body Count, the conspiracy theory that the Clintons kill or have their enemies killed.
“Do you fear for your life?” Hannity asked.
Yes, Jones said, because if Hillary is elected, she will “run the world.”