Despite their Twitter feud this week, Sean Hannity made it clear that if anybody harms CNN’s Jim Acosta, he would “fight on his behalf.”
During Hannity’s opening monologue on his Fox show Thursday, Hannity condemned physically harming journalists, including CNN’s Acosta, saying that he wants “every journalist in this country […] to be safe,” regardless of employer.
Hannity added that he would even jump in and defend any journalist that was met with a physical altercation.
“If I was standing there, if I see it happen, I will be the first person to jump in and fight on your behalf,” he said. “Physical violence is never acceptable to me, nor is it acceptable to the conservatives I know and respect.”
He also added that would denounce any conservative that was to threaten someone, saying: “you are not a friend of mine, you are not a friend of this program and by the way — or the conservative movement of which I’m just a small part of.”
After this warning, Hannity returned to CNN and Acosta, saying the “fake news” chants were Trump supporters “telling the truth” directly to the media.
He also added that the media was more upset toward the behavior at the Tampa Rally than other instances of Republicans getting harassed in public for their political views.
The Twitter war was started between Hannity and Acosta this week after Hannity suggested on Tuesday that Acosta and the CNN team deserved to be heckled while at a Make America Great Again Rally in Tampa, Florida.
He continued on Twitter, echoing the Trump rallygoers’ cries of “CNN sucks”:
— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) August 2, 2018
Acosta was quick to defend himself. He pointed out that Hannity doesn’t refer to himself as a journalist and issued a warning regarding the Fox News host’s rhetoric:
Hannity is a propagandist for profit, peddling lies every night. He says he’s just a talk show host, not a journalist. But he’s injecting poison into the nation’s political bloodstream warping public attitudes about the press. I’m confident in the long run the truth will prevail.
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) August 2, 2018
At Thursday’s White House press briefing, Acosta attempted to get White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders to say that “the media was not the enemy of the people,” which Sanders refused to do, saying that the president, “has made his feelings clear.”