Sean Hannity defends his attacks on CNN after mail bombing suspect identified

Fox News host Sean Hannity on Friday defended his consistent bashing of CNN after law enforcement officials identified a suspect who allegedly sent explosive devices to prominent Democratic figures and the news network's New York office.

"I deplore all violence of any kind," Hannity tweeted. "Legitimate & fair criticism of media bias & merely calling-out CNN’s obvious political agenda that spends almost all day demonizing a President they hate is not only warranted but a healthy exercise of freedom of speech."

Hannity's tweet linked to an essay he posted on his website in which he decried the press's response to the series of mail bombs and suspicious packages sent to figures such as former President Obama and Bill and Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonIdentity politics and the race for the Democratic nomination O'Rourke’s strategy: Show Americans the real Beto Conservatives pound BuzzFeed, media over Cohen report MORE

CNN received a suspicious package at its New York office on Wednesday. 

Hannity, a vocal supporter of Trump's, accused the "Destroy-Trump media" of ignoring the "Left’s vile calls for violence" and trying to exploit these actions for its own gain. 

ADVERTISEMENT

"What Fake News CNN and [John Avlon] are engaging in [is] a desperate attempt to exploit and politicize the actions of an unhinged lunatic and conflate it with the fair and warranted criticism CNN deserves," Hannity wrote, later adding that "saying ‘CNN is fake News’ or ‘CNN sucks’ is a far cry from advocating for violence."

Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsOvernight Health Care: Thousands more migrant children may have been separated | Senate rejects bill to permanently ban federal funds for abortion | Women's March to lobby for 'Medicare for All' Acting AG Whitaker's wife defends him in lengthy email to journalist Watchdog: Thousands more migrant children separated from parents than previously known MORE announced on Friday that Cesar Sayoc Jr., a 58-year-old resident of Aventura, Fla., was being charged with five federal crimes for sending explosive devices to more than a dozen Democratic figures, celebrities and news organizations. 

Sayoc Jr. is facing charges of interstate transportation of an explosive, illegal mailing of explosives, threats against former presidents and other persons, threatening interstate commerce and assaulting federal officers. 
 
GOP and Democratic lawmakers this week began calling for politicians to tone down their rhetoric amid reports regarding suspicious packages addressed to Democratic officials. 
 
President TrumpDonald John TrumpDACA recipient claims Trump is holding ‘immigrant youth hostage’ amid quest for wall Lady Gaga blasts Pence as ‘worst representation of what it means to be Christian’ We have a long history of disrespecting Native Americans and denying their humanity MORE initially called for national unity in response to the events. But on Thursday, he claimed that "purposely false and inaccurate reporting" was a "very big part" of the divisiveness in politics. 
 
CNN anchor Poppy Harlow said this week that Trump's attacks on the media were "unacceptable." 

CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker has also said that "there is a total and complete lack of understanding at the White House about the seriousness of their continued attacks on the media." 

"The President, and especially the White House Press Secretary, should understand their words matter," he added in a statement. "Thus far, they have shown no comprehension of that."