Media Matters and the Washington Post were caught reporting deceptively edited quotes from Sean Hannity, claiming the Fox News host suggested witnesses of the Russia investigation destroy their phones to blunt special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
Andrew Lawrence, a senior researcher at left-wing media “watchdog” Media Matters, tweeted selectively edited video of Hannity’s segment in which the Fox News host joked about the double standards exhibited by investigators in the Mueller and Clinton email investigations:
Hey remember when Assange DM'd Hannity asking him to reach out on an encrypted app?
Tonight Hannity is freaking out about Mueller searching encrypted apps and "advised" all Mueller witnesses to "bash" their phones "into itsy bitsy pieces" pic.twitter.com/cZhaUqVNQk
— Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence) June 7, 2018
“They are demanding that witnesses turn in their phones,” Hannity began, adding:
If I advised them to follow Hillary Clinton’s lead, delete all your emails, and then acid wash the emails and hard drives on the phones, then take your phones and bash them with a hammer into little itsy bitsy pieces, use BleachBit, remove the SIM cards, and then take the pieces and hand it over to Robert Mueller, how do you think that would work out for everybody?
The Media Matters staffer left the end of the segment, where Hannity sarcastically concluded, “I’m sure the result would not be the same as Hillary’s.”
Washington Post reporter Philip Bump ran with the deceptive quote, suggesting Hannity may not have been kidding because the so-called advice was repeated multiple times.
Bump then attempted to undercut Fox News’s coverage of the Russia probe by referencing Ralph Peters’ segment with CNN’s Anderson Cooper in which the former Fox News contributor criticized Hannity’s “rhetoric” about the “Deep State.”