Sean Hannity Gets a “Pants on Fire” From PolitiFact for Lie About Syrian Refugees

Last updated on July 17th, 2023 at 06:15 pm

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Interviewing Jeb Bush on Oct. 19, 2015, Sean Hannity said he was worried that the Islamic State would sneak terrorists into the refugee masses and thereby, into our country.

“You see the backlash emerging now in Europe over the refugee problem for Syria and Iraq,” Hannity said. “The president said he’s going to bring in 250,000 refugees into this country.”

“We can’t take 250,000 refugees,” Bush responded. “I’ve never heard that, and that would be impossible to imagine logistically for us to screen.”

Watch Hannity lie through his teeth courtesy of Politifact:

The fly in the buttermilk is that President Obama never said we would take in 250,000 Syrian refugees. And in examining the source of Hannity’s 250,000, Politifact has determined that most likely, the number comes from a fake news site called

Because of course, if it says its “real news” right there in the title, it must be real news, right? Even though the author of the story supposedly won something called The Oscar Mayer Award for Journalistic Excellence (2003) and the article titles scream The Onion.

You hate to think even Hannity is that stupid, but then again, this is Fox News we are talking about here. It’s just as likely he made up the number himself, because he is about as honest as he is intelligent. And however and from wherever he arrived at this number, he was happy to repeat it:

“For the record,” says Politifact, “Hannity brought up the figure again Oct. 20 during an interview with Donald Trump. And Trump then used the 250,000 figure at a townhall meeting broadcast live on NBC in New Hampshire, Oct. 26.”

Trump actually threw a similar number out there even earlier than that, an alleged 200,000, in an October 4 interview with Fox News’ Eric Bolling.

Nobody knew then either what his source was.

It was at that time, you might recall, Trump was also suggesting that the Islamic State’s troops would comprise a large enough percentage of this fake total to launch a military coup of the United States government.

When talking about Syrian refugees, Republicans like whopping big numbers, because the 10,000 the U.S. actually plans to take in, according to White House press secretary Josh Earnest isn’t scary enough.

Politifact rightly rates Hannity’s claim as “Pants on Fire,” which of course means that Trump’s pants are also on fire, twice over, as are Hannity’s, and Bush gets a big gaping “OMG You Are Not That Gullible Award” for believing the lie. Surely presidential candidates get briefings. It is not too much to expect them to be better informed on the issues than that.

But credibility is absolutely one thing not demanded of Republican candidates anymore, and we are now at that time of the year when they try to outdo each other with extreme statements designed to ratchet up the fear among the fan base.

A quarter-million-Islamic State-infested refugees are designed to do exactly that, and pants on fire or not, you can bet if they think it’s working, they’ll keep repeating it.

Editor’s Note:

Hannity replied to PolitiFact and tried to fact check the fact checkers in the video below:

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