When Sean Hannity said he was talking to Michael Cohen about real estate, many people rolled their eyes.
But it turns out the Fox News host does have vast real estate holdings, worth at least $90 million, according to reporting in The Guardian.
Hannity has said that he hates investing in the stock market, and instead buys real estate. But no one had reported the scale of investments by the host, who makes about $30 million a year. Hannity's shell companies have spent at least $90 million buying up at least 870 homes spread over seven states, the Guardian reported.
Among the holdings are mansions and apartment buildings rented to low-income families.
Troublingly given how Hannity talked about the raid on Cohen's office and homes without disclosing that he was a client, Hannity also has dealings journalist would normally disclose.
He bashed Obama about the foreclosure rate but bought up homes during the crisis, the report says, and he made deals involving the US Department for Housing and Urban Development which he did not disclose when interviewing and praising Ben Carson, who Trump appointed to lead the department.
Hannity said in a statement: "It is ironic that I am being attacked for investing my personal money in communities that badly need such investment and in which, I am sure, those attacking me have not invested their money. The fact is, these are investments that I do not individually select, control, or know the details about; except that obviously I believe in putting my money to work in communities that otherwise struggle to receive such support."
"I have never discussed with anybody at HUD the original loans that were obtained in the Obama years, nor the subsequent refinance of such loans, as they are a private matter. I had no role in, or responsibility for, any HUD involvement in any of these investments. I can say that every rigorous process and strict standard of improvement requirements were followed; all were met, fulfilled and inspected."
"The LLC’s are REAL companies that spend real investment money on real properties."
Read the full report here.