Sean Hannity could not wait to show everyone the open letter accused child molester and Alabama’s GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore sent him Wednesday. But first, he had to spend more than 20 minutes talking about decades-old allegations against Bill Clinton.
Twenty-three hours after the Fox News host set a 24-hour deadline for Moore to explain himself or “get out of this race,” Hannity seemed to have completely lost interest in talking about the man who could still end up in the U.S. Senate next month. During that period, Moore’s legal team put forward the preposterous charge that his signature in one of his accuser’s high school yearbook might be fake—without explicitly denying the accusations that Moore tried to rape her when she was 16 years old.
Moments later, a sixth women came forward to accuse Moore of groping her after he was married in 1991. Then, two more women told The Washington Post that Moore made inappropriate sexual advances on them when they were working in a local mall as teenagers.
As Hannity continued to make the conversation about Clinton, his guests, including Geraldo Rivera and Gregg Jarrett, kept trying to steer things back to Moore. Rivera said he believes Moore’s “fate” lies in Hannity’s hands and was looking forward to hearing what he had to say. But Hannity wanted to make Moore—and his viewers—sweat it out.
It wasn’t until the last seven minutes of his show—after attacking Democrats for trying to impeach President Trump and pushing more conspiracies about “President Hillary Clinton”—that Hannity finally got around to responding to Moore’s letter.
He began by agreeing with Ivanka Trump, who said on Wednesday, “There’s a special place in hell for people who prey on children.” But in the next breath, he gave Moore the benefit of the doubt, reading his letter in full.
Just as Moore’s counsel did in Wednesday’s press conference, the GOP Senate nominee used his letter to “Sean” to smear the credibility of the women accusing him of abuse. He also cast doubt on the yearbook signature, claiming that he wouldn’t have signed his name “Roy Moore, DA,” since he was the assistant district attorney at the time.
“I adamantly deny the allegations of Leigh Corfman and Beverly Nelson, did not date underage girls, and have taken steps to begin a civil action for defamation,” Moore wrote directly to Hannity. “Because of that, at the direction of counsel, I cannot comment further.”
In the end, Hannity said it was up to the people of Alabama to decide whether to vote for Moore. “It shouldn’t be decided by me,” he said.
“In my opinion, the people of Alabama—they need to know the truth,” he added. “Whatever it means to get to the truth... the Alabama people deserve that.” Despite what he said the night before, he did not call for Moore to drop out of the race. It seems the letter satisfied his concerns.
There is nothing wrong with acknowledging Clinton’s potentially abusive behavior, but for Hannity to accuse Democrats of “selective moral outrage” seemed particularly rich. After all, Hannity had nothing to say about the numerous sexual abuse allegations against Donald Trump.