Last night Andrew Lawrence, a senior researcher for Media Matters, took Hannity out of context and smeared him in a tweet that went viral on Twitter.
Here’s the tweets:
Hey remember when Assange DM'd Hannity asking him to reach out on an encrypted app?— Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence) June 7, 2018
Tonight Hannity is freaking out about Mueller searching encrypted apps and "advised" all Mueller witnesses to "bash" their phones "into itsy bitsy pieces" pic.twitter.com/cZhaUqVNQk
Hannity advising Mueller witnesses to destroy evidence:— Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence) June 7, 2018
"Take your phones and bash em with a hammer into itsy bitsy pieces, use bleach bit, remove the SIM cards and then take the pieces and hand it over to Robert Mueller" https://t.co/Gd97IyWujW
Many in the media picked this up on Twitter and retweeted it, as they believed the Media Matters clip was accurate. And some even wrote about it, as noted by Free Beacon:
As of this writing, the tweet has thousands of retweets, has been widely shared by reporters and fellow liberals, and has prompted stories in Rolling Stone, Mediaite, Daily Beast, Business Insider, The Hill, and Newsweek.
But as Free Beacon continues to point out with the actual transcript, it was a con job by Media Matters. The bolded portion is what Media Matters left out:
HANNITY: This is interesting—they are demanding that witnesses turn in their phones so team Mueller and, of course, his pit bull Andrew Weissmann and Jeannie Rhee, who worked for Clinton, get to review all of their electronic communications. He wants the phones turned over even texts that are on what are called encrypted apps like WhatsApp or Signal or one of these things.
Maybe Mueller’s witnesses, I don’t know. If I advise them to follow Hillary Clinton’s lead, delete all your emails and then acid-wash the emails and hard drives on the new phones, then take your phones and bash them with a hammer into little itsy-bitsy pieces, use BleachBit, remove the SIM cards, and then take the pieces and hand it over to Robert Mueller and say, ‘Hillary Rodham Clinton, this is equal justice under the law,’ how do you think that would work out for everybody who Mueller is demanding their phones of tonight?
I’m certain the result would not be the same as Hillary’s.
Not only that, but Hannity said later in a different exchange that doing what Hillary did would be BAD ADVICE!
HANNITY: Mueller wants everyone’s cell phones. My advice to them, not really, kidding, bad advice would be, follow, Hillary [sic], you know, lead.
FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR SARA CARTER: Absolutely.
FOX NEWS LEGAL ANALYST GREGG JARRETT: Yes.
HANNITY: To lead them acid wash them, bust them out and take out the SIM cards and here little pieces, here Mr. Mueller, here, I’m following Hillary’s lead.
HANNITY: And as I said, now that Robert Mueller wants everybody’s phones in case they used one of these applications I guess, you know, WhatsApp, or whatever you call this stuff, so he wants all this information and interestingly, he wants it and I wonder if everybody that has phones if they did when Hillary did and that’s delete the emails, delete the app, acid-washed the phone, break it up to the little bits and take the SIM cards out, how would that work out for all the people Robert Mueller’s requesting phones from?
DIGENOVA: If they have done any of those steps that you just identified, they would have obstructed justice and we would be subject to prosecution.
You don’t need all of this to realize that Hannity was just pointing out the different standard used by the Obama administration when investigating Hillary. If Media Matters would have simply included those last two lines that Hannity stated, everyone would have known what he meant.
But instead they smeared him and regardless of how you feel about Hannity, that’s completely unfair. And wrong.