Sources told CNN that in 2016, after a heated exchange with liberal contributor Juan Williams, “Hannity pulled out a gun and pointed it directly at Williams.” Three different sources reported that Hannity even turned on the laser target, causing a red dot to dance across Williams’ body.
Sources explained that Hannity was likely just “showing off,” but that the act clearly disturbed Williams and others on set. In fact, they were so disturbed that they brought up the incident to executives and Bill Shine, co-president of the network. CNN said, however, it isn’t clear if anything came of it. Shine is a longtime friend of Hannity’s and one of his previous producers.
In a statement, a Fox News spokesperson said that the incident was referred to the legal department and human resources.
“Sean Hannity has been trained in firearm safety since he was 11 years old and has a license to carry a gun in five states, including New York,” Fox News told CNN in a statement. “The situation was thoroughly investigated and it was found that no one was put in any danger.”
Hannity told CNN in a statement that the gun wasn’t loaded and he was showing it to Williams “in a professional and safe manner for educational purposes only.”
“Every precautionary procedure that I have been trained in since the age of 11 was followed,” his statement continued. “I’ve had a conceal carry permit in five states for all of my adult life. Any other interpretation of this is outright false reporting.”
Williams said the incident was sensationalized and everything was under control.
“I never felt like I was put in harm’s way,” Williams said in a statement. “It was clear that Sean put my safety and security above all else and we continue to be great friends.”