Joining an almost-universal chorus of condemnation for the thousands of protesters who stormed Capitol Hill on Wednesday, Fox News host Sean Hannity said that those who took part in the chaotic break-in should not be confused as part of a legitimate political movement in the United States.
“Let me be crystal clear: Those who support President Trump and believe they are part of the conservative movement in this country, we do not support those who commit acts of violence,” Hannity said on his program Wednesday night.
“We don’t believe people should be vandalizing our nation’s Capitol and attacking the brave men and women who keep us safe in law enforcement,” he continued. “We don’t place pipe bombs at the RNC. All of today’s perpetrators must be arrested and prosecuted.”
Hannity defended President Trump, noting that he recorded a video calling on his supporters to disperse from the Capitol grounds and go in peace.
“It’s a very tough period of time. There has never been a time like this where such a thing happened where they could take it away from all of us– from me, from you, from our country. This was a fraudulent election. But we can’t play into the hands of these people. We have to have peace,” the president said in a statement from the White House grounds. “So go home. We love you. You’re very special. You’ve seen what happens, you see the way others are treated that are so bad and so evil. I know how you feel, but go home and go home in peace.”
The statement was widely criticized by lawmakers and the media who felt that Trump was adding ammunition to the protesters’ grievances even as he asked them to go home. But in his monologue, Hannity said that the ugly scene at the Capitol was no cause for conservatives to drop their concerns about the election.
“83% of Republicans and millions of others don’t have faith in the election results,” he said. “You can’t just snap your finger and hope that goes away. These are real Americans. Tens of millions of them. The only way we can create a more perfect and peaceful union is through peaceful, lawful action. Violence is never acceptable.”
Hannity then pointed out that Wednesday’s scene “mirrored the behavior we see on the left.”
“For most of this year you have the media mob and Democrats making excuse after excuse and flat-out refusing to condemn what we saw over the summer,” he said. “They were wrong not to condemn it.”