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Fox News host Sean Hannity’s Twitter account disappeared for a few hours on Friday night and into Saturday morning as a result of the handle being “briefly compromised,” Twitter said.
“While we normally do not discuss individual accounts, for privacy and security reasons, we have permission from the account owner to confirm that account was briefly compromised,” a Twitter spokesperson said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter on Saturday. “We are working with the owner to restore access.”
After the Fox News star’s verified account posted a message that said “Form Submission 1649,” page visitors said they were getting a “Sorry, that page doesn’t exist” message. By the time Hannity’s account was back up, speculation about the disappearance was rampant.
A Fox News representative referred The Hollywood Reporter to Twitter for comment.
Some guessed the “deep state” of government establishment figures was trying to take down Hannity, a supporter of President Donald Trump. Others liked the theory that a rogue Twitter employee was behind the deactivation, similar to what happened to Trump’s account for 11 minutes in November.
The conservative pundit, who is no stranger to controversy, most recently came under scrutiny for his broadcast on Thursday night, when he initially discounted a New York Times story about Donald Trump ordering the firing of special counsel Robert Mueller and then seemed to accept it later in his show, after a Fox News reporter confirmed it.
In November, President Trump’s account was briefly suspended by a Twitter contractor, who said it was “definitely a mistake.” On his broadcast, Hannity has been a stalwart defender of Trump.
On Saturday evening, Hannity returned to Twitter, writing, “I’m baaaccckk… a lot to say- Thanks for the support all you deplorable, irredeemables. Can’t get rid of me that easy. Too much work to do exposing #deepstategate—Monday’s a big day…tick tock.”
Jan. 27, 12:26 p.m. Updated with Twitter statement.
Jan. 27, 4:16 p.m. Updated with Hannity’s return tweet.