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Sean Hannity gives Megyn Kelly another reason to leave Fox News

Is Sean Hannity too friendly with Donald Trump? (Video: Peter Stevenson/The Washington Post)

Megyn Kelly's future at Fox News is already uncertain. Sean Hannity just gave her another reason to consider bolting the network next year.

Hannity fired off an accusatory tweet Wednesday night, writing that Kelly “clearly” supports Hillary Clinton, after Kelly criticized Donald Trump for avoiding “unsafe spaces” by granting so many interviews to Hannity.

Kelly actually criticized Trump and Clinton on her show while speaking with Republican strategist Stuart Stevens.

“They're both in their own version of a presidential protection program,” Kelly said. “You say they've designed her situation so she's not in a place where she feels uncomfortable or anything unexpected could come at her, which is why she sat for half an hour with Mary J. Blige, the singer, which is why she did 'Entertainment Tonight' this evening, which is why we just found out that when she went on the Steve Harvey show, she had every single question given to her in writing in advance and then she feigned surprise as the questions were asked. And then Donald Trump, with all due respect to my friend at 10 o'clock, will go on Hannity and pretty much only Hannity and will not venture out to the unsafe spaces these days, which doesn't exactly expand the tent for either one of them. There. That's my two cents.”

Kelly's comment was hardly a direct shot at Hannity; her focus was on the candidates. Yes, she effectively said Hannity is soft on Trump — but Hannity admits to being soft on Trump. In fact, he has said repeatedly that he is not a journalist and tweeted in April that he goes easy on all Republicans.

Nevertheless, Hannity lashed out almost as soon as Kelly went off the air Wednesday night.

Hannity seems to be forgetting or ignoring the fact that Kelly did express her frustration with Clinton and the fact that Trump has not submitted to an interview with Kelly in five months.

What's clear is that Hannity's loyalty lies with Trump, to whom he is an informal adviser, and not with his colleague. That must be a lousy feeling for Kelly, whose contract with Fox News expires next summer.

Think Don Lemon would have backed Trump over Kelly?

Megyn Kelly hangs out at CNN Grill, stoking speculation that she could leave Fox News

The New York Times reported during the Democratic National Convention in July that “Megyn Kelly and her co-hosts, including Bret Baier and Brit Hume, have not been speaking during commercial breaks, according to two people with direct knowledge of the anchors' interactions, who described the on-set atmosphere at Fox News as icy.”

The Times went on to describe relationships fractured by the resignation of Fox News's longtime chairman Roger Ailes, who left after more than two dozen women — including Kelly — accused him of sexual harassment.

Employees say there is a continuing split inside the network, with one camp of old-guard Fox News loyalists — some of whom owe their careers to Mr. Ailes — upset at his ouster. Some are resentful toward Ms. Kelly for cooperating with lawyers brought in by the network's parent company, 21st Century Fox, to investigate Mr. Ailes's behavior.

Even before Ailes was sued by former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson in July, Kelly had publicly discussed the possibility of leaving the network.

“I don't know what's going to happen,” she told Variety in April.

"I really like my show, and I love my team," Kelly added. "But, you know, there's a lot of brain damage that comes from the job.”

Kelly has been thinking about moving on from Fox News for a while. Hannity sure doesn't seem to be doing anything to make her want to stay.

Correction: An earlier version of this post misstated the time of Kelly's contract expiration.