During a widely criticized interview with Sean Hannity of Fox News Wednesday night, George Zimmerman said, I feel that it was all God's plan and for me to second-guess it or judge it... before trailing off. During the nearly hourlong interview, Zimmerman also repeatedly claimed his only motivation for killing Trayvon Martin was self-defense and had nothing to do with racism.
Zimmerman, seated next to his attorney Mark O'Mara, said at one point that he felt sorry for polarizing the country.
I do wish there was something -- anything -- I could have done that wouldn't have put me in a position where I had to take his life, Zimmerman said. I hate to think that because of this incident, because of my actions, it's polarized and divided America, and I am truly sorry.
Those comments contrasted with ones he made at another point in the interview. When Hannity asked Zimmerman if he regretted getting out of the car to follow Martin, regretted carrying a gun, and if he felt like he would have survived to participate in the interview itself had he not had a gun, Zimmerman responded each time with No, sir.
Trayvon Martin was unarmed when he was killed Feb. 26 by Zimmerman, who is charged with second-degree murder and is out on bail.
The Martin family responded Thursday morning when they appeared on CBS.
I simply really don't know what God George Zimmerman's worshiping, because there's no way that the God that I serve had in his plans for George Zimmerman to murder my son, Trayvon Martin's father said.
Zimmerman's God's plan comment has attracted the most attention since Wednesday night's interview but others factors have naturally come under the microscope as well.
When Zimmerman's previous attorneys held a news conference in April they told the media that Zimmerman had contacted the Fox News host, notes The Huffington Post.
We learned that he had contacted Sean Hannity of Fox News directly, not through us, and we believe, I can't confirm this, we believe that he spoke directly with Sean, off the record, and he's not even willing to tell us what our client told him, attorney Hal Uhrig said.
Columnist Jonathan Capehart of The Washington Post wrote that Zimmerman should regret Hannity's softball and leading interview. His sentiments have been echoed from almost every corner aside from Fox News.
Capehart and his fellow critics noted the lack of tough questions in Hannity's interview and that he almost was helping Zimmerman at times.
Why do you think that he was running then? Hannity said at one point.
Um, maybe I said he was running but he was more skipping, going away quickly. He wasn't running out of fear, Zimmerman responded.
You can tell the difference? Hannity asked.
He wasn't running, Zimmerman said.
Okay, because that's what you said to the dispatcher that he was running, Hannity said before moving onto another question.
The transcript of the entire interview is available on Fox News's website.
Instances like this -- and there were many similar ones throughout the hour -- have drawn predictable outrage onto Fox News, often accused of twisting or ignoring the facts to stir the emotions of the audience. Hannity has even been accused of offering to pay for Zimmerman's legal fees in exchange for the interview, a claim both parties denied.
Zimmerman's attorney was also criticized for even letting his client appear on television before the trial begins.