Fox News host Sean Hannity claims he’s being attacked for investing his own money after a damning report revealed the conservative commentator purchased several properties using government funds.
The report, published by The Guardian on Sunday, contends Hannity amassed part of his extensive real estate portfolio with help from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development — a detail he failed to mention during an interview with HUD Secretary Ben Carson on his show last year.
Hannity dubbed the report the “latest fake news attack” against him.
“It’s ironic that I am being attacked for investing my personal money in communities that badly need such investment and in which, I’m sure, those attacking me have not invested their money,” he said in a statement. ” … The fact is, there 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.”
Pages upon pages of public records reviewed by The Guardian linked Hannity to a group of 20 shell companies that spent close to $90 million or more on 870 homes across multiple states over the past decade, including Georgia, New York and North Carolina. Several of the properties, which ranged from luxurious mansions to low-income housing, were bought at a discount in 2013 after the previous owners defaulted on their mortgages
The news comes just a week after Hannity was named as a client of President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen, USA TODAY reported.
At the time of his purchases, the right-wing pundit publicly trashed former POTUS Barack Obama for the high foreclosure rates, despite capitalizing off the crisis. In 2016, he argued that “the dream of owning your own home has been made a nightmare under Obama for many Americans.”
Hannity has also been an outspoken critic of welfare and once called for the sterilization of an African-American man who had allegedly fathered 22 children and was receiving government assistance. He also expressed shock at a California surfer who got $189 a month in food stamps and government health insurance.
The Fox News host had no problem accepting government funds for his real estate investments, however.
One of Hannity’s most controversial purchases included two large apartment complexes in Georgia which were funded with mortgages obtained through HUD. None of those dealings were disclosed to HUD head Ben Carson during an on-air interview last year.
“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,” Hannity said on Monday. “I had no role in, or responsibility for, any HUD involvement in any of these investments.”
“The LLCs are REAL companies that spend real investment money on real properties,” he added.