Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich was shot and killed in 2016 in what authorities have concluded was an attempted robbery.
Since his death, conservative media has pointed to loose links regarding former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and WikiLeaks as evidence that he was murdered for political purposes. Recent developments regarding former FBI Director James Comey’s firing and the investigation into any potential collusion between President Trump’s administration and the Russian government were also met with accusations of a cover-up in Rich’s death.
The slain DNC staffer’s family has since asked members of the conservative media to stop touting the conspiracy theory.
On Tuesday, Fox News retracted one of their stories regarding Rich on their site.
Many wondered how Fox News anchor Sean Hannity would react as he has spent a great deal of time on the conspiracy theory:
On Tuesday, Hannity told his radio audience that he would stay the course.
“I feel so badly for this family and what they have been through and what they are going through,” he said, mentioning the family’s desire to “find the truth.” Hannity also said that he sent his “thoughts and prayers.”
From there, Hannity concluded that finding a connection between WikiLeaks and a whistleblower in the DNC — “take Seth out of it” — was important as “the Russia collusion narrative is hanging by a thread.” Hannity suggested that the existence of the whistleblower would show that the source of the WikiLeaks revelation came from an internal source, not Russia.
“These are questions that I have a moral obligation to ask,” he said, promising to “do the mainstream media’s job.”
“And all you in the liberal media, I am not FoxNews.com. I retracted nothing,” he added.
Audio from Hannity’s show was shared by several sources, including Media Matters For America. The Fox News anchor accused them of trying to get him fired, referencing their published list of his advertisers:
Hannity repeated some of his thoughts from a Monday segment when he said he was “right” about the facts surrounding Rich’s death like he was “right” about a number of conclusions regarding former President Obama, the Trayvon Martin case and the Michael Brown case.
He said that he asked questions about Rich’s death because “the media is trying to destroy a sitting president.”