A stridently pro-Trump Fox News host has seen his book reach the top of the bestsellers list, after the Republican Party spent nearly $1 million buying up copies.
Sean Hannity, the highest-paid star on Fox with a contract worth $25 million (£19m) a year, published his fourth book, Live Free or Die, in August.
Forbes reported at the time that the 58-year-old was given a multimillion dollar advance for the book, which publishers Simon & Schuster describe as “a look at America’s fight against those who would reverse our tradition of freedom.”
On Friday Salon reported that the Republican National Committee spent $492,000 on books in one day — likely all of it, they said, on Hannity’s latest.
The 16 September purchase was published under Federal Election Commission filings as “donor mementos”.
Salon confirmed that at least $159,000 of that amount went for bulk retail purchases of Hannity’s book, offered to Republican donors who contributed $75 or more.
Salon said that they believed the entire $492,000 was used to buy Hannity’s work.
Combined with the receipts from August, the sum means that it is possible that the RNC has spent more than $900,000 on Hannity’s book over the last three months, Salon reported.
“The RNC appears to be personally enriching Hannity while he dedicates airtime to promoting Trump,” said Brett Kappel, campaign finance and government ethics expert at the law firm Harmon Curran.
Last year the RNC spent $100,000 pre-ordering Donald Trump Jr’s book, Triggered.
Trump Jr has a new book out, Liberal Privilege, but an RNC spokesperson told Salon that none of the 16 September purchases were for Trump Jr.’s book – which would appear to narrow the options to Hannity.
The president has enthusiastically promoted his chief cheerleader’s book.
“Very excited to see @SeanHannity’s long awaited new book, ‘Live Free or Die: America (and the World) on the Brink’ which will be released on Tuesday, August 4th,” he tweeted.
“Sean is a Great American Patriot. Make sure to get your copy today!”
Very excited to see @SeanHannity’s long awaited new book, ‘Live Free or Die: America (and the World) on the Brink’ which will be released on Tuesday, August 4th. Sean is a Great American Patriot. Make sure to get your copy today! https://t.co/XNci6lJ96v
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 1, 2020