Ainsley Earhardt's effort to rehabilitate Donald Trump's lie about having taped conversations with former FBI Director James Comey may have just backfired bigly.
As in Part 1 of the interview, Melania Trump was on hand for this one, too. The sole purpose of her presence seemed to be to make Trump look like a family man (and not the guy whose hand she publicly batted away on video). But for most of the interview, she said nothing, her face frozen that may or may not be the result of botox. Nevertheless, her glinty-eyed expression always looks like she is calculating where her next dollar is coming from. But hey, at least she was dressed.
After establishing that Melania loves living in the White house, Earhardt moved on to ask Trump about his revelation that he did not secretly record then-FBI Director James Comey as previously threatened.
“Why did you want him to believe you possibly did that?” Earhardt asked.
First, Trump tried to excuse his lie by blaming President Barack Obama and saying that he thought maybe Obama had installed a recording system (transcript excerpts via Media Matters, with minor edits and emphases added):
TRUMP: Well I didn’t tape him. You never know what’s happening when you see that the Obama administration, and perhaps longer than that, was doing all of this unmasking and surveillance. And you read all about it and I’ve been reading about it for the last couple of months about the seriousness of the - and horrible situation with surveillance all over the place. And you’ve been hearing the word “unmasking,” a word you probably never heard before.
So you never know what’s out there, but I didn’t tape and I don’t have any tape but I didn’t tape.
Then Trump suggested he lied to keep Comey honest:
TRUMP: But, when he found out that there may be tapes out there, whether it’s governmental tapes or anything else, and who knows, I think his story may have changed. I mean, you’ll have to take a look at that because then he has to tell what actually took place at the events. And my story didn’t change. My story was always a straight story. My story was always the truth. But you’ll have to determine for yourself whether or not his story changed. But, I did not tape.
This is complete baloney. As Salon pointed out, Trump later characterized Comey as a liar after his Senate testimony.
"Earlier this month, Trump accused Comey of lying under oath to Congress. During a news conference with the Romanian president inside the White House Rose Garden, Trump said that Comey made false statements in his testimony and that he was willing to provide his own, truthful version of events under oath."
But Earhardt saw nothing not to admire. “That was a smart way to make sure he stayed honest in those hearings,” she chirped.
Trump replied, “Well, it wasn’t very stupid, I can tell you that. He did admit that what I said was right. And if you look further back, before he heard about that, I think maybe he wasn’t admitting that, so, you’ll have to do a little investigative reporting to determine that. But, I don’t think it’ll be that hard. "
With the Trump-glorification efforts perhaps having backfired, Fox spent some time having Earhardt and her two cohosts try to spinTrump’s remarks:
“What’s wrong with saying, ‘Hey, you better tell the truth?’” cohost (and supposedly objective reporter) Ed Henry “asked.”
“It was just saying just tell the truth. Tell the truth,” Earhardt predictably agreed.
“And that’s all the president wanted,” cohost Steve Doocy claimed. “James Comey and the others to say. ‘Look, you’re telling everybody else I’m not under investigation. I can get stuff done with my administration. Just tell somebody, would you?’ Well now we know because Comey testified.”
Watch Trump potentially open himself up to a new charge of law-breaking below, from the June 23, 2017 Fox & Friends.
Fox & Friends image via Mediaite video screen grab.
Geraldo put a beam of pride on Ed’s face when he mentioned Fox News is the hand-picked news network of Trump.