After the breaking news that Attorney General Jeff Sessions lied about contacts with Russia during his confirmation hearing, the three cohosts on Fox & Friends got busy with a totally fair and balanced discussion full of pro-Sessions talking points and all but ignoring the damning information.
In case you missed it last night, The Washington Post dropped a bombshell: United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke twice last year with Russia’s ambassador to the United States despite having twice denied during his confirmation hearing, under oath, having had any contact with Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Although Fox ignored the breaking news last night, this morning, the Fox Friends were ready to present the White House talking points as news, with no pesky questions asked.
Sessions’ spokeswoman, Sarah Isgur Flores has said:
“There was absolutely nothing misleading about his answer,” spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said. “Last year, the Senator had over 25 conversations with foreign ambassadors as a senior member of the Armed Services Committee, including the British, Korean, Japanese, Polish, Indian, Chinese, Canadian, Australian, German and Russian ambassadors. He was asked during the hearing about communications between Russia and the Trump campaign—not about meetings he took as a senator and a member of the Armed Services Committee.”
And from her mouth to the Fox News airwaves. Transcript via Media Matters, with my emphases added:
STEVE DOOCY (CO-HOST): Apparently as a U.S. Senator, [Attorney General Jeff Sessions] met twice in the last year with the Russian ambassador. Once he was at a Heritage Foundation event at National Harbor. There were lots of ambassadors there. There were a bunch of politicians. Apparently when he was walking off the stage, Mr. Sessions, the Russian ambassador walked up to him and shook his hand, and they said—
BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): One of 23 ambassadors at the Heritage meeting, which was taking place at the RNC.
DOOCY: At National Harbor.
AINSLEY EARHARDT (CO-HOST): So it wasn’t like a specific one-on-one meeting? He was meeting with lots of these ambassadors once?
KILMEADE: After his speech.
Flores and Sessions have defended his omission by claiming that Sessions’ contact with the Russian ambassador was not about “any issues of the campaign.”
Of course, the Fox Friends bought that explanation without hesitation:
EARHARDT: But he wasn’t lying because he said, “I didn’t talk with a Russian official about the campaign.”
DOOCY: It was in his capacity as a U.S. Senator, not as a campaign surrogate. So that is the difference. But, nonetheless, Democrats smell blood and so they’re going to—you’re going to see this a lot today.
But Sessions' excuse is not only incredible, it’s nearly as damning as lying under oath.
According to a New York Times timeline, both of Sessions’ meetings with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak occurred after it was known Russia had hacked the Democratic National Committee. Sessions’ second, private meeting with Kislyak was after the FBI had announced it was investigating the hacking. What kind of U.S. Senator, acting in his official capacity, would not bring this up?
And if Sessions didn’t care, as an American senator, about Russia’s attack on the DNC (which he should have), shouldn’t he have at least been worried that Russia was up to no good regarding Trump? Sessions was the leader of Trump’s national security advisory committee. If there were no ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, shouldn’t Sessions have been very, very concerned about Russia’s intentions/actions with the Trump campaign?
Of course, not one of the Friends thought of this or, if they did, they kept it to themselves. They did, however, get very busy pointing fingers at the Democrats and the media:
DOOCY: [I]t does sound as if he did have one meeting as a U.S. Senator with the Russian ambassador in his office. But the headline is the Democrats want blood. And they say, “Look, he can’t investigate the Russia stuff because he’s got a tie to the Russians.”
BRIAN KILMEADE: All right so The New York Times has a story today that said the Obama administration had scrambled to keep this so-called intelligence together and keep it from the Trump administration in order to, I guess, a lot of people feel, make sure that they can move forward with an investigation, maybe without the Trump administration knowing. Even the State Department led by John Kerry also took part in intelligence sharing. They claim the Dutch and British also have information about meetings between Trump officials and—they claim to—Trump officials and Russian officials.
EARHARDT: Is the article suggesting then, in your opinion, that they’re releasing this information after Donald Trump had a great speech and the country’s talking about that?
KILMEADE: Not The New York Times or Washington Post story, I’ll tell you that. But the timing is interesting.
DOOCY: The timing is suspicious.
EARHARDT: The timing’s interesting. Well Jeff Sessions, he released a statement. He says, “I never met with any Russian officials to discuss issues of the campaign. I have no idea what this allegation is about. It is false.”
KILMEADE: Other networks are doing special programming around this because they’d rather talk about anything but what went on with that speech yesterday.
Doocy closed the discussion by saying, “We just wanted to explain from the get-go what’s going on."
Watch the Republican Rehab job below, from the March 2, 2017 Fox & Friends, via Media Matters.
The sad thing is the Fox News propaganda is what far too many Americans want to hear. Fox spent much of yesterday thumping their chests they’re the most popular cable channel. Yep, even more popular than ESPN.
As long as the MSM normalizes Fox’s bulls—t by ignoring it while GOPTV™ unprofessionally tears down the rest of the media on continual basis – now with the aid of Der Furor’s bully pulpit – right-wingers will win the mind share game with voters.
Fox News’ wet dream is now reality. The House, Senate, and White House are under control of their disciples. Now we’re down to Republican Social Darwinism screwing their low education base. With the help of GOPTV™, the Republicans have had much success selling transferring wealth to the wealthy and affluent as the best way to lift the prospects of the new GOP voter bases of mostly white males incompetent at transitioning to a modern economy. Is the only way to derail the propaganda for America to epically fail? I’d hate to think that’s where we’re headed because so many people will get crushed in the process.