Sean Hannity Backs Off Seth Rich Story "For Now" Out of Respect for His Family

CBS' 'Sunday Morning' screengrab

Earlier in the day, Fox News retracted its story insinuating that the DNC staffer was murdered because he leaked emails to WikiLeaks.

Sean Hannity says he will stop discussing the controversial Seth Rich story "for now," out of respect for his family.

Starting off his Fox News show, Hannity, on Tuesday, the host addressed the controversy around his coverage of the story and spoke about how he had talked to Rich's family and expressed his condolences. He then added that "out of respect for the family's wishes, for now, I am not discussing this matter at this time," before quickly changing the subject.

However, Hannity obliquely didn't rule out returning to the story at the end of his monologue. "Please do not interpret what I'm saying tonight to mean anything. Don't read into this. I promise you, I am not going to stop doing my job. To the extent to my ability, I am not going to stop trying to find the truth."

He added: "That effort is not stopping in any way, shape, matter or form. I am continuing the work I promised to do for you. And at the proper time, we shall continue and talk a lot more."

Hannity ended the monologue by alluding to the campaign to see him ousted from Fox News, but he added that he was staying as long as the network wanted him.

Earlier in the day, it was revealed that Fox News retracted its story insinuating that Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich was murdered last year because he leaked DNC emails to WikiLeaks.

Hannity has been aggressively pushing the Rich story on Fox News, his radio show and Twitter. Since Fox News' retraction on Tuesday, at first, Hannity remained committed to the story, before dialing things down on his 10 p.m. show.

Hannity's zeal in pursuing the story, despite the objections of Rich's family, has led to widespread condemnation, with particularly pointed criticism coming from media watchdog Media Matters.

"Hannity is a professional propagandist for President Donald Trump, as well as a bigot, a sexist, and a conspiracy theorist," Media Matters' website read on Tuesday, followed by a list of several companies that advertise on Hannity's show, implying a call to boycott.

The retracted story on Fox News' website cited a private detective who speculated that the truth about Rich's murder was on Rich's computer. Rich was killed last summer in what authorities call a robbery gone wrong.

Though Fox News retracted the article, Hannity hasn't stopped reporting his original version of events through tweets about the "liberal effort to silence me" that read, "Mediamatters is trying to silence me, get me fired, pressure my advertising on radio & TV. Liberal Fascism."

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