Rupert Murdoch said Sean Hannity was ‘Privately jealous’ of Trump

  • Rupert Murdoch said in an email to Paul Ryan in January 2021 that Trump was “embarrassed” by Sean Hannity.
  • Murdoch said in his email that Hannity was “afraid of losing the audience” despite his disdain for Trump.
  • Murdoch told Ryan that Hannity needed a “wake-up call” after the Capitol riot.

Rupert Murdoch said in an email that Fox News host Sean Hannity was, in private, “disgusted” by then-President Donald Trump, but was more concerned about keeping up viewers.

Items of emails sent by Murdoch in 2021 were published Monday in a court filing by Dominion Voting Systems. One of those exchanges was between Murdoch, his son Lachlan Murdoch, CEO of Fox Corporation, and Paul Ryan, a board member at Fox Corporation, dated January 12, 2021 – six days after the Capitol riot.

In the email exchange, Ryan, a one-time Republican House speaker, told the two Murdochs that after the 2020 election, “a high percentage of Americans” thought the election was stolen from Trump because of the right-wing media.

“Thanks Paul. Wake up call to Hannity, who has been privately shaming Trump for weeks, but was afraid he would lose viewers,” Rupert Murdoch wrote in response to Ryan. Hannity anchors one of the most-watched shows on Fox News, right behind “The Five” and “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”

In response, Ryan told Murdoch that he thought Fox and its hosts should try to “put down false echoes from our side.”

“I really hope that our participants, along with Tucker, Laura, and Sean will find that and execute that,” Ryan said, likely referring to Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, and Hannity hosts Fox News.

Murdoch responded that he thought “everyone” was “disgusted” by the lies surrounding voter fraud – especially after the January 6 riot, according to Dominion’s court filing.

Dominion’s court filings aired private messages from Fox hosts

Dominion Voting Systems is alleging that Fox defrauded it by pushing false claims about the company’s role in the 2020 election. Dominion is seeking $1.6 billion in damages.

Murdoch separately admitted in his deposition that Fox News hosts pushed lies about the 2020 election — but at the same time denied that Fox Corporation supported these false claims.

Dominion argued in its court filings, citing exhibits and depositions, that Fox News hosts like Hannity privately agreed with pro-Trump election conspiracy theorists, but gave them a platform on the channel anyway. For one, Hannity called Trump-allied lawyer Rudy Giuliani a “crazy person” in a text message in November 2020 after Giuliani began pushing baseless voter fraud theories, Dominion’s February filing showed.

Hannity’s backstage panic before and on the day of the Capitol riot is also well-documented. A series of panicked text messages from Hannity have been released by the House panel investigating the Capitol riot. The texts detailed how “concerned” Hannity was about what could happen on January 6, 2021, and how he tried to get Trump to stop the violence at the Capitol as it happened.

A Fox spokesperson responding to Insider’s questions about Hannity and Ryan accused Dominion of trying to “publicly smear” the company just for reporting the news.

A spokesperson for Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch told Insider they had no further response beyond Fox’s statement.

A representative at former president Trump’s press office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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