Fox News’ Sean Hannity renounced his previous support for Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) because of his tweet questioning President Donald Trump’s intention to censor the media.
What did Ben Sasse say?
In a statement posted to his social media account, the senator criticized Trump over recent tweets calling for the revocation of licenses for media outlets he accused of outright lying.
“Mr. President,” he wrote, “words spoken by the President of the United States matter.”
“Are you tonight recanting of the oath you took on January 20th to preserve, protect, and defend the First Amendment?” he asked.
The tweet received more than 11,000 retweets and 26,000 “favorites” from users on social media supportive of his statement.
Are you recanting of the Oath you took on Jan. 20 to preserve, protect, and defend the 1st Amendment? pic.twitter.com/XLB7QXM3bQ
— Ben Sasse (@BenSasse) October 12, 2017
What was Sasse referring to?
President Trump has amped up his rhetoric against the media, and has used his Twitter account to imply that the power of the federal government should be used to curb the media’s influence.
Early Wednesday, Trump called for the licenses of networks to be “challenged.”
With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License? Bad for country!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 11, 2017
Later, he reiterated his support for the revocation of licenses.
Network news has become so partisan, distorted and fake that licenses must be challenged and, if appropriate, revoked. Not fair to public!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 12, 2017
Some noted that many of the outlets he disparaged did not, in fact, need a license from the government to operate.
What did Sean Hannity say?
Hannity shot back at Sasse, calling him “useless” and saying it was one of the biggest mistakes of his career to support the Nebraska Republican.
— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) October 12, 2017
Sasse has been an outspoken critic of Trump from the conservative end of the Republican spectrum. Many others, including some conservatives, decried Trump’s seeming advocacy for undermining the constitutional freedom of the press.