For someone who claims to not be a birther, Sean Hannity sure loves to promote birther conspiracies. He did so again today on his Fox News show by giving a platform to the birther-friendly claim that Obama enrolled at Columbia University as a "foreign exchange student."
Hannity's guest was Wayne Allyn Root, who was on to promote his assertion -- which he has been peddling since at least 2008 -- that he never met Obama when they were students at Columbia and that no one Root knew "at Columbia ever met him, ever heard of him, or ever saw him." FactCheck.org has pointed out that it's "absolutely untrue" that nobody has stepped forward to claim they knew Obama as a college student.
After making the Trump-esque claim that Obama has spent "millions of dollars" to keep his records sealed, Root went on to demand that Obama release his college transcripts, then speculated that the reason he hasn't done so is because he was enrolled as a "foreign exchange student." That claim has its origins in a fake news article sent around as an April Fools' joke.
Hannity did not challenge any of Root's claims. In fact, he introduced Root as part of his ongoing efforts to "vet the president" and "unveil the president's college years."
Root is feeding into the same kind of right-wing conspiracy-mongering about Obama's background that produced the birther movement -- indeed, the birthers at WorldNetDaily have promoted Root's claims. Perhaps that's why Hannity added at the end of Root's segment, "I've never been a birther. I thought delaying release of the birth certificate was interesting."
But Hannity's denial conflicts with his record of promoting birther theories:
- Hannity Wages All-Out Campaign To Promote Birther Conspiracy Theory
- Hannity Continues His Birther Defense: "All Donald Trump Said Was, 'Show The Birth Certificate And Move On' "
- Hannity Passionately Defends Birtherism, Demands, "Don't Bring Up Race"
- Hannity's Nightly Birther Devotional: He's "Just Curious" Why Obama Doesn't Show The Birth Certificate
- Hannity: Birtherism Has "Never Been My Issue," But "I Don't Know, I Can't Tell" If Obama's Birth Certificate Is Real
- Hannity Helps Promote Trump's Birtherism
- Hannity Hannitizes Trump's Birtherism: "He Said It Was Peculiar That [Obama] Won't Release" Birth Certificate
- Hannity Hosts WND Birther Joseph Farah, Who Used The Platform To Push Birther Theories
- For Hannity, Pushback Against False Birther Conspiracy Theories Is "Media Bias"