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Trump-backed Pennsylvania Senate GOP candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz heaped praise Tuesday night on Fox News star Sean Hannity for boosting his campaign, revealing that the conservative star provided him with “behind-the-scenes” assistance as well.
With the race still too close to call and just hundreds of votes separating him from Republican challenger Dave McCormick, the celebrity doctor thanked former President Donald Trump for his endorsement.
“President Trump, after he endorsed me, continued to lean into this race in Pennsylvania,” Oz told supporters at a watch party late Tuesday night. “He knows all the subtleties of it, he was willing to participate with tele-town halls, which he advised I do which was a brilliant idea. He participated in a massive rally out in Westmoreland County. God bless you, sir, for putting so much effort into this race. It makes me proud!”
Oz then turned his attention to Trump’s close pal Sean Hannity, who had spent the past week tearing down Oz’s surging GOP competitor Kathy Barnette while imploring his viewers to support the former TV star’s candidacy.
“I want to thank Sean Hannity,” the Senate hopeful declared. “Sean’s like a brother to me. When Sean punches through something, he really punches through it.”
Oz then claimed that the cable talk show host, who was frequently referred to as Trump’s shadow chief of staff, also served as a close campaign adviser.
“He understands just how to make a difference and he’s been doing that the entire campaign,” Oz said. “Much of it behind the scenes—giving me advice in late-night conversations. Again, the kinds of things true friends do for each other.”
Hannity’s intimate involvement in Republican politics and the blurring of the line between partisan TV host and outright campaign adviser has caused headaches for Fox News executives over the years.
Besides dealing with the embarrassment of Hannity’s text messages with Trump and GOP officials regularly becoming public record, for instance, the network also had to reprimand the host when he appeared on stage with Trump during a Missouri campaign rally during the 2018 midterms.