- Associated Press - Monday, November 5, 2018

NEW YORK — Fox News Channel insists that Sean Hannity will not be appearing as a guest at President Donald Trump’s midterm elections rally in Missouri, even as the campaign continued Monday to list the Fox host as a “special guest.”

Fox had previously announced that Hannity would be at the election-eve rally and interview Trump before it starts. The top-rated cable news host has been the president’s most vocal defender.

“To be clear, I will not be on stage campaigning with the president,” Hannity tweeted on Monday. “I am covering (the) final rally for my show.”

Hannity has done that in the past, interviewing Trump at the site of rallies, sometimes with the crowd listening in. Having the news network’s most popular personality stumping for the candidate would have been an eye-opening step beyond that, however.

His role was put in question by Trump campaign itself. It announced on Sunday that Hannity was to be a guest, along with radio commentator Rush Limbaugh and singer Lee Greenwood.

Michael Glassner, chief operating officer for the campaign, was quoted in Sunday’s news release. He did not immediately return a request for comment Monday on Hannity’s role. A Fox spokeswoman said she didn’t know how that impression had been created.

Despite Fox’s disavowal, the Trump campaign continued to list Hannity as a guest throughout Monday at the link where people could seek tickets to the event.

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.

Fox said it had not approved the arrangement, and ordered Hannity back to his New York studio for the evening. The Fox News executive who was quoted explaining in a newspaper report why Hannity’s appearance was disallowed was Bill Shine, now Trump’s communications director.


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