On Monday night, Sean Hannity admonished armed protesters who stormed the Michigan statehouse last Thursday and demanded measures taken to combat the coronavirus be lifted. Protests have broken out all over the county in defiance of stay-at-home orders and social-distancing guidelines. Some in the media blame Fox News and President Trump for fueling these protests, with Trump even tweeting last month for Michigan and other states to “liberate” themselves.
LIBERATE MICHIGAN!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 17, 2020
Though Hannity acknowledged that those brandishing weapons were well within their rights, the storming of the statehouse was too much.
“No one is a bigger defender of the Second Amendment than yours truly. Everyone has the right to protest, protect themselves and try to get the country open. This, with the militia-look here and these long guns, uhhh, no,” Hannity said. “Show of force is dangerous. That puts our police at risk, and by the way, your message will never be heard, whoever you people are. No one should be attempting to intimidate officials with a show of force, and God forbid something happens, then they’re going to go after all of us law abiding Second Amendment people.”
This was a rare split from Trump on Hannity’s part. The day after the protest, Trump tweeted that the protesters were “very fine people,” and Hannity isn’t the only one close to Trump who didn’t look so glowingly on the protest. Dr. Deborah Birx of the White House coronavirus task force saw another danger at the protest. She called the fact that so many of the protestors weren’t wearing masks “devastatingly worrisome,” an understandable takeaway given that as of Saturday, Michigan had the highest coronavirus fatality rate in the country.
After making his original statements against the armed protesters, Hannity was joined by frequent Fox News contributor Dan Bongino, who made a familiar argument, and the two quickly butted heads.
“It’s the liberal media’s efforts to paint the people there as some kind of, like, ya know, crazed bunch of lunatics more than it is the people they’re actually trying to represent, that they have rights, too,” Bongino argued. “They could do concealed carry, Dan, if they’re worried about their safety,” Hannity replied. “This is to intimidate.”
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