Since his death, some conservative media outlets have suggested that Rich had been in contact with WikiLeaks – a claim Rich's family said it had "seen no evidence" of – and may have been killed for political purposes, CNN reported. Recent developments regarding former FBI Director James Comey’s firing and the investigation into any potential collusion between President Donald Trump’s administration and the Russian government also were met with stories suggesting a cover-up in Rich’s death.
On Tuesday, Fox News retracted one of its stories about Rich.
Many wondered how Fox News anchor Sean Hannity would react, as he has spent a great deal of time discussing the conspiracy theory.
On Tuesday, Hannity told his radio audience that he would stay the course.
“I feel so badly for this family and what they have been through and what they are going through,” he said, mentioning the family’s desire to “find the truth.” Hannity also said he sent his “thoughts and prayers.”
From there, Hannity said finding a connection between WikiLeaks and a whistleblower in the DNC – “take Seth out of it” – was important as “the Russia collusion narrative is hanging by a thread.” Hannity suggested that the existence of the whistleblower would show that the source of the WikiLeaks revelation came from an internal source, not Russia.
“These are questions that I have a moral obligation to ask,” he said, promising to “do the mainstream media’s job.”
“And all you in the liberal media, I am not FoxNews.com. I retracted nothing,” he added.
Audio from Hannity’s show was shared by several sources, including liberal watchdog group Media Matters for America. The Fox News anchor accused the organization of trying to get him fired, referencing its published list of his advertisers:
But later Tuesday evening, Hannity appeared to soften his tone during his television show.
"Out of respect for the family's wishes for now, I am not discussing this matter at this time," Hannity said.
He added, “To the extent to my ability, I am not going to stop trying to find the truth. ... And at the proper time, we shall continue and talk a lot more."