Jay Sekulow and Rudy Giuliani, lawyers for President Donald Trump, will host Sean Hannity’s radio show Friday afternoon in an unvarnished display of partisan loyalty on one of the nation’s most influential talk shows.
Hannity announced the schedule change on Twitter Friday morning as he shared an interview with Sekulow he conducted earlier in the week. The lawyer criticized special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, a theme likely to resurface in Friday’s episode when Sekulow and former New York mayor Giuliani take the reins.
Hannity’s cozy relationship with the president is well known, but this is the first time he’s stepped aside to lend his powerful microphone to Trump’s team directly.
Trump and Hannity appear tightly linked. New York magazine’s Olivia Nuzzi in May detailed Trump and Hannity’s habit of calling one another after 10 p.m. many nights. The radio and Fox News host appears to be one of few people the president trusts, and the two reportedly spend a good part of their time together discussing the Russia investigation, Mueller, media coverage and the so-called deep state conspiracy theory.
The pair previously shared a personal attorney, Michael Cohen, currently besieged by a Mueller offshoot investigation into possible tax fraud.
The president has admitted in front of at least one crowd that Hannity may influence his policy decisions, including a threatened government shutdown to force Congress to take action on border security. After Trump’s controversial Helsinki summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the president gave Hannity the first interview.
Although the commentator has waffled on whether he considers himself a journalist, he has promoted baseless conspiracy theories on his various platforms, including the “deep state” theory positing that a secret cabal of government employees is scheming to undermine Trump.
Hannity hosted Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey this week to discuss the tech executive’s refusal to boot notorious conspiracy theorist Alex Jones from the platform.
Hannity has garnered criticism from Fox News anchor Shepard Smith, among others, for veering too far from fact-based opinion and into unbridled pro-Trump cheerleading.
The Sekulow and Giuliani takeover of Hannity’s radio show underlines that point.