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He pleaded with viewers to vote Republican on Tuesday to support Trump, and his opening monologue echoed a campaign slogan seen on signs overlooking the stage: "Promises made, promises kept".

In his Tuesday tweets, Hannity said, "T$3 o be clear, I was not referring to my journalist colleagues at FOX News in those remarks".

"When the POTUS invited me on stage to give a few remarks last night, I was surprised, yet honoured by the president's request", Hannity tweeted. "This was NOT planned".

Trump, who had appeared live on Hannity's show during a backstage conversation just moments before, summoned the Fox News host to the stage, and he obliged. "I am covering the final rally for the show". Jeanine Pirro also campaigned with the president, shouting to the crowd, "Do you like the fact that [Trump] is the tip of the spear who goes out there every day and fights for us?"

A spokesperson for Fox News said the network had addressed the "unfortunate distraction", but did not reveal whether the two commentators were disciplined.

Hannity was rebuked by Fox in 2010 when it found that the Tea Party had advertised Hannity would be appearing at one of its fundraising rallies, where participants could pay a premium for seats near the set where Hannity was broadcasting his program.

Right-wing radio star Rush Limbaugh and Trump would later speak from the stage - speeches that would be shown in part on Fox News.

He also insisted that he wasn't calling Fox News employees "fake news" with his broad attack.

Fox News didnt say if he faced consequences for the transgression. Hannity described his role as that of an "advocacy journalist" during an interview in 2017. He spoke briefly on camera with Trump at the end of the show.

"If the Democrats think they are going to waste Taxpayer Money investigating us at the House level, then we will likewise be forced to consider investigating them for all of the leaks of Classified Information, and much else, at the Senate level".

That talking point was repeated regularly throughout the rest of the night on Fox News - accepted and repeated mainly because Trump said it.

Hannity and the president have had a close bond for years - before the 2016 election, Trump falsely claimed that he had been against the Iraq war and when pressed for evidence of that position, he said that he and Hannity used to have "arguments" about the war. And on Wednesday, he said she deserves to be House speaker. "Anyone doing business with Fox News should worry about the network's inability to enforce even the most bare minimum standards".


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