Conservative commentator Sean Hannity made incendiary claims on his radio show Thursday afternoon, suggesting that Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) was somehow responsible for a shooting at the Capital Gazette offices earlier in the day.
An attacker opened fire Thursday inside the building of the Captial Gazette, owned by The Baltimore Sun, reportedly killing multiple people. Reporter Phil Davis tweeted after the shooting, “There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you’re under your desk and then hear the gunman reload.”
During Premiere Networks’ “The Sean Hannity Show,” Hannity responded to the news of the shooting by saying, “Oh, good grief. So scary.”
“The suspect though has been apprehended, according to the sheriff. And we’ll continue to follow that story. It’s so sad that there are so many sick, demented, and evil people in this world. It really is sad,” Hannity said.
But he soon pivoted to talking about Waters, who is facing the wrath of Republicans and some Democrats for telling protesters in Los Angeles to “push back on” members of the Trump administration.
“I’ve been saying now for days that something horrible was going to happen because of the rhetoric. Really, Maxine?” said Hannity, referring to Waters. “You want people to create ― ‘Call your friends, get in their faces,’ and Obama said that, too. ‘Get in their faces, call them out, call your friends, get protesters, follow them into restaurants and shopping malls’ and wherever else she said.”
This is what Waters said: “Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up. If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”
Hannity’s connection of the two incidents is pure speculation, as the Capital Gazette shooter’s motive is still entirely unknown. Hannity also made no mention of conservative commentator Milo Yiannopoulos, who sent a text to a New York Observer reporter earlier this week that read, “I can’t wait for the vigilante squads to start gunning journalists down on sight.”