Sean Hannity responds to bombshell news that he was Michael Cohen's mystery client: 'I never retained him in the traditional sense'

  • Fox News host Sean Hannity has responded to the news that he was revealed as Michael Cohen's mystery third client.
  • He said he "never retained" Cohen, President Donald Trump's longtime personal lawyer, "in the traditional sense."

Fox News host Sean Hannity responded to the bombshell news that he was lawyer Michael Cohen's mystery third client during his Monday radio show, insisting he "never retained him in the traditional sense."

"Michael never represented me in any matter," Hannity said of President Donald Trump's longtime personal lawyer. "I never retained him in the traditional sense. I never received an invoice from Michael. I never paid legal fees to Michael."

But Hannity conceded he asked Cohen "brief" legal questions.

Hannity also said he may have handed Cohen $10, adding, "I want privilege to cover me about this conversation."

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Sean Hannity through the years
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Sean Hannity through the years

Fox News host Sean Hannity is seen in the White House briefing room in Washington, DC, on January 24, 2017.

(NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 19: Political commentator Sean Hannity speaks during 'Vegas Strong - A Night of Healing' at the Orleans Arena on October 19, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The concert benefits people affected by the October 1, 2017, mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival when Stephen Paddock killed 58 people and injured more than 500 after he opened fire on the crowd. The massacre is one of the deadliest mass shooting events in U.S. history. (Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 13: TV personality Sean Hannity attends The Hollywood Reporter's 35 Most Powerful People In Media 2017 at The Pool on April 13, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 13: Pundit Sean Hannity attends 'The Hollywood Reporter's 35 Most Powerful People In Media 2017' at The Pool on April 13, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 13: Arianna Huffington (L) and Sean Hannity attend The Hollywood Reporter 35 Most Powerful People In Media 2017 at The Pool on April 13, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Todd Williamson/Getty Images for The Hollywood Reporter)

Conservative TV and radio personality Sean Hannity gestures during remarks during the opening day of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), an annual gathering of conservative politicians, journalists and celebrities at National Harbor, Maryland, U.S., February 22, 2017.

(REUTERS/Mike Theiler)

Fox News television personality and political commentator Sean Hannity speaks with White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House, January 24, 2017 in Washington, DC. Spicer held his second daily briefing on Tuesday afternoon.

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Conservative TV and radio personality Sean Hannity (R) welcomes White House advisor Kellyanne Conway to his show being broadcast during the opening day of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), an annual gathering of conservative politicians, journalists and celebrities, at National Harbor, Maryland, U.S. February 22, 2017.

(REUTERS/Mike Theiler)

Sean Hannity of Fox News takes a selfie with Republican U.S. presidential candidate Ted Cruz and a young fan during a campaign event at Arizona Christian University in Phoenix, Arizona March 18, 2016.

(REUTERS/Nancy Wiechec)

Sean Hannity attends day 6 of the 2016 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 3, 2016 in the Queens borough of New York City.

(Photo by Jean Catuffe/GC Images)

Jeb Bush speaks while being interviewed by Fox News TV host Sean Hannity (L) at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor in Maryland February 27, 2015.

9REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

WWII Veteran Jack ten Napel, Sean Hannity, and Kirt Webster attend the Charlie Daniels 2015 Volunteer Jam at Bridgestone Arena on August 12, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee.

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Sean Hannity (R) interviews former Vice President Dick Cheney (L) and his daughter Liz Cheney (C) regarding their new book at FOX News Channel's 'Hannity at FOX Studios on August 31, 2015 in New York City.

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Sean Hannity attends as U.S. Senator Marco Rubio announces his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination At The Freedom Tower at Freedom Tower on April 13, 2015 in Miami, Florida.

(Photo by Larry Marano/FilmMagic)

Fox News Channel anchor Sean Hannity poses for photographs as he sits on the set of his show "Hannity" at the Fox News Channel's studios in New York City, October 28, 2014.

(REUTERS/Mike Segar)

Willie Robertson and Sean Hannity attend day 11 of the 2014 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 4, 2014 in New York City.

(Photo by Uri Schanker/GC Images)

Fox News Channel anchor Sean Hannity poses for photographs as he sits on the set of his show "Hannity" at the Fox News Channel's studios in New York City, October 28, 2014.

(REUTERS/Mike Segar)

Former presidential candidate Herman Cain, Sean Hannity conservative talk show host, Honoree Neal Boortz and Comedian Jeff Foxworthy backstage for The Boortz Happy Ending at The Fox Theater on January 12, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia.

(Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for WSB Radio)

Jeff Foxworthy and Sean Hannity during the FOX News 'Hannity with Sean Hannity' 15th anniversary show at Olympic Centennial Park on October 6, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.

(Photo by Chris McKay/Getty Images)

Sean Hannity speaks during the 5th Annual Values Voter Summit at the Omni Shoreham Hotel on September 17, 2010 in Washington, DC.

(Photo by Kris Connor/WireImage)

Talk show host Sean Hannity (left) shakes hands with Roy Innis, National Chairman of the Congress of Racial Equality, during the 21st annual CORE Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Ambassadorial Awards Dinner at the New York Hilton Hotel & Towers.

(Photo by Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

Sean Hannity and Larry Elder during Sean Hannity ABC Radio Show West Coast Broadcast at Redondo Beach Performing Art Center in Redondo Beach, California, United States.

(Photo by Mark Sullivan/WireImage)

ABC Radio talk host Sean Hannity does his show live in front of an audience as Talkradio 790 KABC presents the 'Hannitization Tour '03 Sean Hannity Live!' at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center on March 6, 2003 in Redondo Beach, California.

(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

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Hannity said none of the conversations he had with Cohen, which he "assumed" were confidential, involved "any matter between me and a third-party."

His response came after a federal judge ordered the release of his name. Earlier in the day, Cohen's attorneys argued that the third client's name should remain anonymous. The attorneys said in the filing that Cohen represented three clients in the past year: Trump; Elliot Broidy, the Republican fundraiser for whom Cohen helped facilitate a $1.6 million payment to a Playboy playmate; and a third person, who was revealed as Hannity.

In their letter to US District Judge Kimba M. Wood, Cohen's attorneys Todd Harrison and Stephen Ryan wrote that the third client did not allow them to reveal the fact that they utilized Cohen's services.

"Of the three legal clients, Donald J. Trump and Elliot Broidy have allowed us to reveal the fact that they are legal clients," Harrison and Ryan wrote. "The other legal client indicated that they did not authorize their name to be publicly filed in connection with this matter and directed Mr. Cohen to appeal any order to disclose their name."

15 PHOTOS
Michael Cohen, Stormy Daniels hush payment scandal
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Michael Cohen, Stormy Daniels hush payment scandal
Adult-film actress Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels speaks to the media outside US Federal Court on April 16, 2018, in Lower Manhattan, New York. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen has been under criminal investigation for months over his business dealings, and FBI agents last week raided his home, hotel room, office, a safety deposit box and seized two cellphones. Some of the documents reportedly relate to payments to porn star Stormy Daniels, who claims a one-night stand with Trump a decade ago, and ex Playboy model Karen McDougal who also claims an affair. / AFP PHOTO / HECTOR RETAMAL (Photo credit should read HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen arrives at federal court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 16, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Segar
Michael Avenatti, lawyer for adult film actress Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, leaves federal court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 16, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Michael Cohen's attorney Todd Harrison arrives at federal court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 16, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Segar
U.S. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen (centre) leaves federal court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 16, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan Mcdermid
Adult film actress Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels speaks to media along with lawyer Michael Avenatti (R) outside federal court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 16, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Michael Cohen's attorney Todd Harrison is pictured outside the Manhattan Federal Court in New York City, New York, U.S., April 13, 2018. REUTERS/Jeenah Moon
U.S. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen exits a hotel in New York City, U.S., April 11, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Adult film actress Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, speaks to media along with lawyer Michael Avenatti (R) outside federal court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 16, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan Mcdermid
Attorney for Stormy Daniels, Michael Avenatti is pictured though a window as he arrives at federal court in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 16, 2018. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Adult-film actress Stormy Daniels and attorney Michael Avenatti arrive at Federal Court in New York, U.S., on Monday, April 16, 2018. Daniels claims she had sex with Donald Trump in 2006 and took a $130,000 hush payment shortly before the 2016 election from lawyer Michael Cohen. Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images
President Trumps lawyer Michael Cohen exits the US Federal Court on April 16, 2018, in Lower Manhattan, New York. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen has been under criminal investigation for months over his business dealings, and FBI agents last week raided his home, hotel room, office, a safety deposit box and seized two cellphones. Some of the documents reportedly relate to payments to porn star Stormy Daniels, who claims a one-night stand with Trump a decade ago, and ex Playboy model Karen McDougal who also claims an affair. / AFP PHOTO / EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ (Photo credit should read EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Adult-film actress Stephanie Clifford, (C) also known as Stormy Daniels arrives for a court hearing at the US Courthouse in New York on April 16, 2018. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen has been under criminal investigation for months over his business dealings, and FBI agents last week raided his home, hotel room, office, a safety deposit box and seized two cellphones. / AFP PHOTO / Hector RETAMAL (Photo credit should read HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images)
Attorney for Stormy Daniels, Michael Avenatti(C), arrives for a court hearing at the US Courthouse in New York on April 16, 2018. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Michael Cohen has been under criminal investigation for months over his business dealings, and FBI agents last week raided his home, hotel room, office, a safety deposit box and seized two cellphones. / AFP PHOTO / HECTOR RETAMAL (Photo credit should read HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 13: Michael Avenatti (R), attorney for Stormy Daniels, arrives for a court proceeding regarding the search warrants served on President Donald Trump's longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen, at the United States District Court Southern District of New York, April 13, 2018 in New York City. Cohen and his lawyers are asking the court to block Justice Department officials from reading documents and materials related to his relationship with President Donald Trump that they believe should be protected by attorney-client privilege. Officials with the FBI, armed with a search warrant, raided Cohen's office and two private residences earlier in the week. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
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But that didn't hold up with Wood, who insisted that the third client's name be disclosed publicly at Monday's hearing.

Cohen's attorneys said the client did not want to be associated with their client. After being told by Wood that the name had to be revealed, Harrison said Hannity's name out loud.

It was not immediately clear what legal work Cohen provided for Hannity. In a tweet, Hannity said it was "almost exclusively about real estate."

Cohen facilitated a $130,000 hush payment to porn star Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about an affair she says she had with Trump. He also facilitated the Broidy payment after a Playboy playmate said he impregnated her.

During his Monday show, Hannity, who said he utilizes eight separate attorneys, said the media was going "nuts" about the story because they think Cohen was involved in "a big settlement case for Hannity."

"They're hoping for the worst when it relates to any conservative," he said.

Hannity and Cohen did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

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SEE ALSO: Fox News star Sean Hannity revealed to be Michael Cohen's mysterious 3rd client — along with Trump and a man who paid off a Playboy playmate

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