Fox News 'Does Not Condone' Hannity, Pirro Participation in Trump Rally

Media storylines heading into the midterms

TONIGHT, 9:00pm ET: Hannity One-on-One With President Trump on Election Eve

In October, Fox said Hannitys show was the most-watched cable-news program for the seventh consecutive month.

An ebullient Hannity promptly echoed Trump's "fake news" refrain, referring to the "people in the back" who were covering the event, who apparently included Fox News reporters.

The rally was held at the Show Me Center on the campus of Southeast Missouri State University. "We have an extraordinary team of journalists helming our coverage tonight and we are extremely proud of their work", the statement read.

But Hannity and Pirro appeared to cross a line for Fox News during his appearance at Monday's rally.

Hannity defended his actions, claiming he was "surprised, yet honored" to be invited onstage and that the stunt was not planned.

Fox called it an "unfortunate distraction" that has been addressed.

But in Missouri, the press pool reported former Fox News executive and current White House communications director Bill Shine high-fived Hannity from off stage.

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In a message that was heard loud and clear by opponents as well as supporters, President Trump urged voters Monday to act as if he was on the ballot for the midterm elections.

News organizations are not supposed to endorse candidates, and while Fox is generally considered a right-wing news organization, it always strived to be perceived as more news organization than right-wing.

Trump was joined by luminaries within the conservative movement like Rush Limbaugh, Jeannine Pirro and Sean Hannity, as the President desperately tried to keep Republicans in control of the Senate with the prospect of the GOP holding the House majority slipping further and further away.

"The Trump agenda is paying massive dividends", Hannity said.

"To be clear, I will not be on stage campaigning with the president", Hannity tweeted on Monday. He explained that he was hosting his show live from the event and would interview Trump. Trump told Hannity he had seen the beginning of his show.

He noted that Bill and Hillary Clinton recently announced a multi-city speaking tour and that Obama was back on the campaign trail looking to eclipse Trump's success. Fox said it did not know how that impression had been created and Michael Glassner, chief operating officer for the campaign, did not respond to a request for comment.

Hannity tweeted earlier Monday that he would not share the stage with Trump, despite reports that he would.

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