Just as he did with Michael Cohen, Sean Hannity is suggesting that his involvement with his own real estate empire is so minimal that there was no reason to disclose his stake in policies and people he covered.
Sunday, The Guardian did a deep dive into Hannity’s real estate holdings (with a publishing date of today). My three takeaways: Hannity appears to be slumlord; he made money on foreclosures even as he attacked President Barack Obama over the foreclosure rate; Hannity did not disclose that he substantially benefitted from support from the Department of Housing and Urban Development during a chummy interview with HUD Secretary Ben Carson last year.
This Monday, Hannity painted himself as a victim in a statement, titled, "Sean Hannity Responds to Latest Fake News Attack." Yet Hannity did not dispute any of the facts in The Guardian report. Instead, he suggested his role in his own empire was too minimal to obligate him to disclose his stake in the subjects he was covering on the air: “The fact is, these are investments that I do not individually select, control, or know the details about; except that obviously I believe in putting my money to work in communities that otherwise struggle to receive such support. I have never discussed with anybody at HUD the original loans that were obtained in the Obama years, nor the subsequent refinance of such loans, as they are a private matter. I had no role in, or responsibility for, any HUD involvement in any of these investments. I can say that every rigorous process and strict standard of improvement requirements were followed; all were met, fulfilled and inspected.”
With all due respect to Hannity, The Guardian did not allege that Hannity or anyone else involved in his real estate holdings had engaged in any legal or regulatory hanky-panky. The reporting was about the vast extent of his real estate holdings that he has worked to keep private. The hanky-panky occurred in Hannity’s role as a cable news host.
And there’s no way he can blame what he said or, more importantly, failed to say on anyone else.
This "I don't owe anyone an explanation about my conflict of interest" echoes Hannity's attitude when it was revealed that he was a client or sort of a client of embattled Trump attorney Michael Cohen.
Watch Hannity excuse his failure to disclose his relationship with Michael Cohen below, from the April 16, 2018 Hannity.
Crossposted at News Hounds.
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