As the Russia investigation begins to close in on Donald Trump, it just so happens Fox News pundits are doing their best to pre-discredit the Russia investigation by FBI’s special counsel, Robert Mueller. This morning, Fox & Friends cohost Steve Doocy suggested the whole Russia investigation was some kind of Hillary Clinton/Democratic plot.
Yesterday, Fox News Trumper Newt Gingrich got some friendly air time on Fox News Sunday to call Mueller’s investigation “a witch hunt” after he had tweeted that “Republicans need to focus on closing down independent counsel because it clearly isn’t independent.”
Today, Fox & Friends [of Trump] seemed to think it was their mission to help that cause.
First, cohost Ainsley Earhardt expressed her gratitude that Trump “has the money to hire attorneys, because you have got to fight back in these situations.” She added, “If Mueller is going after him and his character, he is saying, ‘I’m going to fight back,’ because he says there is no investigation here. The FBI, James Comey, former FBI director said that, said three times in his meetings with him, ‘We’re not investigating you.’”
Actually, that is not at all what Comey said. John Dean who, as former counsel to Richard Nixon, knows a thing or two about presidential investigations, has a good explanation of why that's a complete misinterpretation of what Comey said. In a column urging Trump to hire “a good criminal lawyer, fast,” Dean wrote:
"There has been much debate since Comey was fired by Trump whether it was true as stated in the letter dismissing the FBI chief whether Trump had been told by Comey on three occasions, as he claimed, that he was not under investigation. Comey quickly cleared up that the matter. He agreed that he had given President Trump information that the president might have believed were assurances that he was not under investigation, but he was only referring to a counter-intelligence investigation.
In short, the FBI does not believe Trump is a spy or Russian agent, but the former director refused to say in open session whether the president is currently under criminal investigation. By not absolving Trump of a criminal inquiry, it was very clear that what Comey was saying was that Trump is under investigation by the Special Counsel Mueller to determine whether he colluded with the Russian’s hacking of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential bid, and related matters. These related matters could include Trump’s financial ties to Russian oligarchs, which many Trump watchers believe could spell trouble, even if he was not involved in collusion."
But, predictably, neither of the two other cohosts corrected Earhardt. Maybe they were too busy thinking up their own ways to try to discredit the investigation.
The most creative smear came from cohost Steve Doocy:
DOOCY: We know – and we were talking to the author of [the book, Shattered] on the night Hillary lost, lost the presidency, it was devised by Robby Mook and John Podesta that they would say that, essentially, Russia hacked the election, and blame the Russians and they continue that narrative to today and look how it’s manifested itself! It’s extraordinary!
Cohost Brian Kilmeade added his unique take:
KILMEADE: One of the most extraordinary under-reported things - not unreported, but under-reported things that came out of James Comey’s testimony was, “I knew, after I found out what the president thought, when he tweeted out, I said I woke up in the middle of the night and I said to myself, 'I’ve got to go get my side of the story out, I’m going to call my professor at Columbia, who called The New York Times.'” […] And then at the end of it he said, “And I knew if I released this it would result in a special counsel.”
Oh, really? Guess who is running a special counsel? Your buddy, Robert Mueller. I know he’s got this great reputation, but they’ve worked together for 30 years, hand in hand. So he says, “Wait a second. You put this out there to get a special counsel, and now the president has got to feel as though he’s going to get a fair shake at this?” This is dangerous, especially if you look at the quality of criminal attorneys. This guy’s putting together a murderer’s row of criminal attorneys that is going to examine the Trump administration.
Media Matters caught Fox’s Gregg Jarrett and Byron York also doing their part to attack Mueller’s investigation.
Watch the Trump Friends propagandize below, from the June 12, 2017 Fox & Friends, via Media Matters.
It would have been a carefully considered decision to accept a little shock-horror-probe by staging that very public meeting in order to avoid the light-years-worse situation of Loretta being forced to give the yea/nay decision on prosecuting Hills if Comey had said there was a case to answer. The whole charade was all about giving Loretta a good excuse to recuse herself.
For those tasked with cleaning up after Trump, normalization of the concept of “Trump’s self-inflicted wounds” (TSIW) takes the blame off the cleaner uppers while also making TSIW appear as a glitch or therapeutically correctable tic rather than as a sign that Trump is in over his head due to his profound character flaws. Gingrich perhaps helped develop Fox’s detoxifying spin on TSIW. Fox steers viewers to dismissive or excusing explanations of TSIW, such as that these wounds are inevitable side-effects of, and pale in comparison to, Trump’s Andrew-Jacksonianly bold leadership or his maverick authenticity or as Paul Ryan would have it, Trump’s inexperience, as though he were capable of learning. Most on Fox implicitly compare TSIW to a bus driver unnecessarily hitting bumps in the road, actively ignoring that this abjectly unfit driver has also chosen the wrong road to the wrong destination.
Trump friend Chris Ruddy, the CEO of Newsmax, who suggested the president was already thinking about “terminating” Mueller in an interview with Judy Woodruff of “PBS NewsHour.”
“I think he’s considering perhaps terminating the special counsel,” said Ruddy. “I think he’s weighing that option.”
From sweet little me: Seems obvious that F & F received their marching orders from Dear Leader to start planting the seed in his supporters heads.
Trump actually tried to take Fox’s advice and hire competent attorneys expert in obstruction cases. Four law firms turned him down because he’s too obstinate. So he’s stuck with his personal attorney who is his pit bull for civil lawsuits.
Just try to take dumbass Gingrich’s advice and dump Mueller. After firing Comey that’s really a winning strategy.
“Fox & Friends” smearing Comey was bad enough. Mueller too? These clowns are ’effing idiots.