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After a back-and-forth feud on Twitter last week between Sean Hannity and Jimmy Kimmel, the Fox News host has responded to the late-night comic’s apology to Melania Trump for mocking her accent on his ABC program.
Hannity, on his show Monday, said Kimmel was “bullying” the first lady. “I read [Kimmel’s] apology carefully,” he said. “A couple of things are clear to me. On the surface, it seems to be a forced, Disney apology directed to the LGBT community rather than Kimmel’s comments about the first lady.”
Hannity was referring to Kimmel’s comments in his apology, in which he said, “By lampooning Sean Hannity’s deference to the President, I most certainly did not intend to belittle or upset members of the gay community.” Kimmel had previously tweeted to Hannity, “When your clown makeup rubs off on Trump’s ass, does it make his butt look like a Creamsicle?”
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) April 8, 2018
Following Kimmel mocking Trump for reading a children’s book to kids at the White House Easter Egg Roll, Hannity criticized the ABC host, saying, “The first lady of the United States is not going to get into a feud with a late-night, low-rated talk show host like Jimmy Kimmel. She can’t. If she does, it’s not going to end well for her. So, he knows he has a free, open target.”
On Sunday, Kimmel posted a lengthy statement apologizing for the “silly aside” and saying that the “level of vitriol from all sides (mine and me included) does nothing good for anyone, and in fact, is harmful to our country.”
“I think every person should accept apologies, and that’s what I’m going to do here,” Hannity said Monday. “This was never about Hannity vs. Jimmy Kimmel. It’s a lot bigger than that for me and here’s why: Just the level of hatred, vitriol against this Trump and his family is just unprecedented.”
He added, “Attacking the first lady for her accent while reading to kids is just one small example, but it’s a line in the sand for me. It’s obvious that Melania and Barron, they’re not political in their roles and those cheap shots, I’m saying, need to end.”
Hannity then invited Kimmel to come on his show, where he promised there would be “no name-calling” and instead, welcomed a conversation about policy.
“Jimmy, you seem focused on politics. You seem sincere; when you talked about healthcare you seemed sincere,” said Hannity in his direct pitch to the ABC host. “I want to extend an invitation. You want to come on the show, I’ll promise no name-calling, no anger, no re-hashing of the Twitter fight. You want to have a serious discussion? We can talk about the president, his policies, healthcare, comedy, political correctness, ending boycotts, how I’ve supported Bill Maher, Howard Stern, Don Imus, Opie and Anthony — people that I disagree with vehemently. My bet is you’ll actually agree with me on a lot more issues than you think.”
After telling his viewers the back-and-forth is indeed over, he did add that if Kimmel decides to reignite the feud, he promises to “punch back” even harder.
“My producers spent all weekend compiling a lot of your highlights — or lowlights — in your career,” he said, closing his segment. “They don’t make you look too good. So instead of airing them, we’ll put them in storage and we have more important, pressing issues like what is happening in Syria and the gassing of women and children.”
Meanwhile, during his Monday show, Kimmel did not address the spat during his Jimmy Kimmel Live! monologue.
Watch Hannity’s comments below.
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