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- Sean Hannity has encouraged the president to release a classified memo that Republicans say exposes an anti-Trump conspiracy at the FBI and the Department of Justice, The Daily Beast reported.
- Hannity has publicly pressed for the release of the memo, which suggests that law-enforcement officials misled a judge in seeking a warrant to surveil a former Trump campaign adviser.
- Hannity denied The Daily Beast’s report, calling it “fake news.”
Sean Hannity, the right-wing Fox News personality, has had regular private conversations with President Donald Trump about a classified memo that Republicans say exposes an anti-Trump conspiracy at the FBI and the Department of Justice (DOJ), according to three sources with knowledge of their conversations who spoke to The Daily Beast.
Hannity has consistently pressed for the public release of the four-page memo, written by Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee, on his show, and Trump has reportedly referenced several of Hannity’s #ReleaseTheMemo segments in conversations with the cable host.
The memo, which suggests that FBI and DOJ officials misled a judge in seeking a warrant to extend secret surveillance of a former Trump campaign adviser, has sparked widespread controversy. Democrats who have read the document say its contents are misleading.
Both the FBI and DOJ strongly oppose releasing the memo, saying there are significant inaccuracies and the potential for classified information to be compromised.
The Washington Post reported on Friday that Trump was easily convinced by his advisers and Republican lawmakers to release the memo, despite the White House’s concerns that it would precipitate a showdown between the president and the intelligence community, including the FBI director, Christopher Wray, who has asked the president to prevent the memo’s release.
Hannity denied The Daily Beast’s report, which was based on interviews with two White House staffers and one outside adviser.
“A total lie, Fake news. Phony ‘anonymous sources’. Amazing how the left wing media just makes Sh&)(: up,” Hannity wrote on Twitter.
Hannity has called the alleged corruption within the FBI “the biggest political scandal in American history” and suggested on his Wednesday night show that he had inside information about the memo’s contents. The radio and TV host has long acted as an informal adviser to the president, who is also a personal friend.
“There’s so much more coming, I wish I could share it with you now,” he said.
Brennan Weiss contributed to this report.