Hannity, the far-right Fox News pundit and ardent supporter of President Donald Trump, tweeted a link to a blog on his website where he decries a “secret sperm” hidden in the official portrait of Obama released on Monday.
The portraits, commissioned by the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, have been called less traditional than portraits done of other first families. Obama’s portrait, the center of Hannity’s so-called scandal, depicts him sitting on a chair behind lush greenery.
But according to Hannity, there is a “sexual innuendo” hidden within the portrait.
In a now-deleted tweet, Hannity called Obama’s portrait “a stark contrast to predecessors with inappropriate sexual innuendo.”
On his website, the Fox News host went even further, saying the “widening scandal surrounding” the portrait “continued to swirl” because of allegations that the artist, Kehinde Wiley, included “secret sperm cells” in the painting.
Hannity used a quote from a New York Times article about Wiley to further his “scandal” idea.
“His portraits initially depicted African-American men against rich textile or wallpaper backgrounds whose patterns he has likened to abstractions of sperm. Some of the subjects were famous (rap and sports stars), others not,” the Times wrote in 2008.
The blog post on Hannity’s website was also deleted.
Apparently, a marking on Obama’s face was the sperm the Fox News host was fussing about.
— Will Sommer (@willsommer) February 13, 2018
The “secret sperm” is definitely the biggest scandal in America today. Get ready for #SpermGate.
Update 4:51pm CT, Feb. 13: In a statement Tuesday, Hannity told the Daily Beast that his web staff posted the content and it was not reviewed by him.
“It does not reflect my voice and message and, therefore, I had it taken down,” Hannity said.