Fox News host Sean Hannity, who drew widespread criticism when he campaigned on stage with President Donald Trump on Monday, was keen to play down projections that Democrats would flip the House in Tuesday's midterm elections.
Fox News resisted Monday when the Trump campaign had advertised to its followers that Hannity would appear as a "special guest" at the Missouri rally, saying Hannity was only there to cover the event. This was NOT planned.
"After 11 rallies in 8 states and weeks of campaigning for Republican candidates, the president will spend today making phone calls, monitoring Congressional, Senate, and Gubernatorial races across the country and meeting with his political team for real-time updates", Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement. "They do wonderful work day in and day out in a fair and balanced way and It is an honor to work with such great professionals", he tweeted Monday.
Both Fox News and Hannity in the day leading up to the Trump event had said the host was on site only to interview the President and anchor his show from the site of the rally.
The cable news network released a statement that admitted having one of their hosts get up on stage with Trump the day before Election Day wasn't exactly journalist-y. In 2010, he was ordered not to broadcast his program as part of a Tea Party rally originating from Cincinnati.
Voters were having their say as Mr Trump faced the first U.S. national election of his presidency against a Democratic party hoping to turn the page on a stunning defeat in 2016.
Trump was expected to further address the results at a White House news conference later Wednesday.More news: Minnesota, Michigan send first Muslim women to US Congress
Since then, Fox opinion personalities have doubled down on their support of Trump.
Initially, Hannity and the network said that Hannity would simply air his show from the rally venue in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and follow that with an interview with Trump.
"Mr. President, I did an opening monologue today, and I had no idea you were going to invite me up here".
The newspaper asked a Fox News spokesperson in April of 2018 whether Hannity was considered a journalist.
Trump said that "we don't mean at all to insult - look at the size of the media back there". As pointed out by the New York Times, Fox News has taken steps to avoid such a situation in the past.
"They can play that game, but we can play it better".
Their speeches weren't televised on Fox News, but were seen on C-SPAN.