Sean Hannity Implies Obama Did Drugs With Travel Ban Judge

By Keri Blakinger 03/20/17

The controversial Fox News host made some heavy implications about Obama on an episode of his radio show. 

Sean Hannity
Photo via YouTube

In an apparent attempt to discredit the judicial ruling that put a halt to President Donald Trump’s revised travel ban, Fox News host Sean Hannity implied a Hawaii federal judge may have done “a little bit of blow” with former President Barack Obama. 

“This judge who issued the travel ban ruling is an Obama law school classmate,” Hannity said Thursday on his radio show. “Maybe he should have recused himself from the case ... Were they best friends in Hawaii, were they part of the Choom Gang, smoking pot and hanging out? And doing a little weed and maybe even a little bit of blow?”

Although U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson did attend Harvard Law with the erstwhile POTUS, there is no indication they did drugs together—and if they had, it's not clear that it would require a recusal because Obama is not involved in the suit. 

Watson handed down his ruling on Wednesday, putting in place a temporary nationwide restraining order just before the revised travel ban was set to begin. The Trump administration measure would have put a 90-day stop on immigration for citizens of six Muslim-majority countries: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The edited ban also blocked all refugees from entering the country for 120 days and halved the year’s refugee quota. 

“A reasonable, objective observer — enlightened by the specific historical context, contemporaneous public statements, and specific sequence of events leading to its issuance — would conclude that the Executive Order was issued with a purpose to disfavor a particular religion, in spite of its stated, religiously-neutral purpose,” Judge Watson wrote in his decision.

President Trump struck back during a Nashville rally that evening, telling a cheering, supportive crowd that the “ruling makes us look weak, which by the way we no longer are.”

Hours later, a Maryland judge issued another ruling against parts of the ban, deciding that there were “strong indications that the national security purpose is not the primary purpose for the travel ban.” 

But on Thursday’s show, it was the Hawaii jurist who was in Hannity’s crosshairs. “Man, it’s unbelievable here,” the conservative host offered after putting forth his unsubstantiated innuendos. 

But though there's no evidence that Obama and Watson got high together, the former POTUS has previously admitted to using marijuana and “maybe a little blow” himself. And the “Choom Gang” isn’t a bizarre creation of Hannity’s; it’s a reference to a nickname Obama and his pot-smoking buddies in Hawaii gave themselves, according to biographer David Maraniss.

Watson has not been named as a member of the cannabis-smoking collective, but Obama’s visit to the Aloha State just before the judge’s ruling sparked speculation from the alt-right corners of the internet. 

“Ever since Trump became president, Obama has been massively butthurt, causing chaos and disruption whenever he gets half a chance,” Freedom Daily, a site often described as fake news, wrote Wednesday. “Now it appears as though Obama’s mysterious and unannounced trip to Hawaii earlier this week was all to drive the knife even further into President Trump’s back.”

The next day, Hannity promptly pounced on the internet conspiracy theory. "Now just to put a fine point on this, Obama made a surprise visit to Hawaii just 48 hours before the judge blocked the Trump travel ban," he said. 

"Did he see his buddy? Not saying he did, but considering NBC, CNN and every other, you know, abusively biased alt-left, propaganda, destroy-Trump media outlet is into conspiracy these days, I guess nothing is off the table."

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Keri Blakinger is a former drug user and current reporter living in Texas. She covers breaking news for the Houston Chronicle and previously worked for the New York Daily News and the Ithaca Times. She has written about drugs and criminal justice for the Washington Post, Salon, Quartz and more. She loves dogs and is not impressed by rodeo food. Find Keri on LinkedIn and Twitter.