Hannity fires back at Acosta: ‘People see through your lying bulls---’

Fox News host Sean Hannity attacked CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta — a frequent target of the White House's ire — in a tweet late Wednesday, telling him that "people see through your lying bullshit for what it is."

"Jimmy @Acosta sorry your precious feelings are hurt & that people see through your lying bullshit for what it is. FAKE NEWS," Hannity wrote on Twitter.

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Hannity's tweet was an apparent response to an earlier tweet in which Acosta accused the Fox News host of being "a propagandist for profit" and "injecting poison into the nation’s political bloodstream."

"Hannity is a propagandist for profit, peddling lies every night. He says he’s just a talk show host, not a journalist," Acosta wrote. "But he’s injecting poison into the nation’s political bloodstream warping public attitudes about the press. I’m confident in the long run the truth will prevail."

Hannity initially addressed Acosta during his opening monologue on Wednesday night, pointing to an earlier comment from the CNN reporter about being heckled by attendees at a rally for President TrumpDonald John TrumpDC board rejects Trump Hotel effort to dismiss complaint seeking removal of liquor license on basis of Trump's 'character' DC board rejects Trump Hotel effort to dismiss complaint seeking removal of liquor license on basis of Trump's 'character' Mexico's immigration chief resigns amid US pressure over migrants MORE the previous night.

Acosta had warned in his tweet Tuesday night that Trump's rhetoric toward the press could put journalists in danger by encouraging supporters to carry out potentially violent acts against them.

Acosta posted video of some of Trump's supporters harassing reporters at a campaign-style rally in Tampa, Fla. At one point, a man in the crowd looks into the camera and yells, "stop lying."

"I’m very worried that the hostility whipped up by Trump and some in conservative media will result in somebody getting hurt," Acosta wrote. "We should not treat our fellow Americans this way. The press is not the enemy." 

"Jim, I'm a pretty prominent conservative in the country. Let me say this clearly and loudly. I want every journalist in this country, everyone — I don't care who you work for — to be safe," Hannity responded on Fox News.

"And I'll tell you right now, I will be the first person to come to your defense if I'm there and anyone ever dares lay a hand on you. If I was standing there, if I see it happen, I will be the first person to jump in and fight on your behalf. Physical violence is never acceptable to me, nor is it acceptable to the conservatives I know and respect."

Hannity is one of Trump's most ardent defenders in the media, and often uses his Fox News show and other platforms to echo the president's frequent accusations that news coverage critical of his administration is "fake news."

--Updated at 11:40 a.m.