Donald Trump; Sean Hannity (Reuters/Dominick Reuter/Jeff Malet, maletphoto.com/Photo montage by Salon)

Sean Hannity parrots Trump conspiracy, threatens to sue Barack Obama for allegedly spying on him

Sean Hannity thinks he was a target of surveillance based on the reports of a right-wing serial fabricator


Taylor Link
August 8, 2017 3:50PM (UTC)

Sean Hannity said Monday that he has hired four of the countries "best attorneys" to prepare for a legal battle with members of the Obama administration.

The Fox News host seems convinced that he was the target of illegal surveillance conducted during Barack Obama's final year in office.

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“I am going to sanction the biggest lawsuit that I possibly can with the biggest attorneys in the country so we can do something to stop the shredding of the Constitution,” Hannity said on his radio program last week.

The Gateway Pundit reported on Monday that Hannity is "preparing 'the biggest lawsuit' over Obama administration’s illegal NSA 'unmasking.'"

Hannity promptly retweeted the story for his 2.6 million Twitter followers.

http://twitter.com/seanhannity/status/894731581469859842

Hannity's theory appears to be based on the reporting of Charles C. Johnson, a notorious internet troll behind countless unsubstantiated news stories.

Johnson "reported" in April that Hannity was the subject of a counterintelligence campaign because of his supposed ties with Julian Assange. During the 2016 elections, Hannity spoke highly of the WikiLeaks founder despite his hostility towards him during the Edward Snowden scandal. In May Hannity even invited Assange to host his show.

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President Donald Trump has similarly accused the Obama administration of illegally wiretapping Trump Tower. Republicans have recently targeted former national security adviser Susan Rice, baselessly accusing her of “unmasking” the identities of hundreds of Americans as part of an effort to surveil the Trump campaign.

On the syndicated radio show "Rose Unplugged" in April, however, Hannity did hedge his confidence that the Obama administration targeted him.

"You know, look, I’m only reading the same things that you’re reading and I don’t have any confirmation at all, but apparently somebody is saying that there was surveillance of me and unmasking of me," Hannity said at the time.

"I will say this," he added. "If it ever does turn out to be true, I will be filing suit because, you know they can’t say that is incidental surveillance."

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Thanks to Johnson's likely inaccurate reporting, Hannity sounds awfully paranoid that his communications may have been caught up in a surveillance campaign. His hiring of attorneys suggests he is serious about moving forward with this lawsuit.

Trump defenders have manufactured the story about the Obama administration's unmasking to distract from the narrative of Russia's election interference. This lawsuit would just be the latest chapter from the right to discredit the intelligence community.


Taylor Link

Taylor Link is an assistant editor at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @taylorlink_

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