While much of the Twitterverse seemed to conclude that Donald Trump promoted Fox’s Justice with Judge Jeanine show on Saturday because she opened with a blistering attack on Paul Ryan, we believe a tease about “stunning new details” on “Trump wiretap claims” was the real reason. Unfortunately for Trump, Pirro had no new details, stunning or otherwise.
On Saturday, Donald Trump’s favorite morning show, Fox & Friends, did its part for the Russia Deflection team with a segment aimed at validating Trump’s wiretapping lie. Host Clayton Morris teased “a possible smoking gun” in a discussion with former CIA officer Col. Tony Shaffer. He helpfully called the matter “worse than Watergate” but also imparted no new information.
Throughout the Shaffer discussion, Fox displayed a promo graphic for the Judge Jeanine show on the bottom right declaring: “TRUMP WIRETAP CLAIMS” and “STUNNING NEW DETAILS.”
Shaffer: Trump Wiretap Case 'Worse Than Watergate'https://t.co/j74MDmc5Sr— FoxNewsInsider (@FoxNewsInsider) March 25, 2017
Not long afterward, Trump tweeted a rare promotion for someone other than himself:
That night. Pirro opened her show not with any “Stunning New Details” on “Trump Wiretap Claims” but with her attack on Ryan. Much of the Twitterverse speculated about whether that was what Trump wanted people to watch.
We believe otherwise. Pirro subsequently said she did not discuss her open with Trump and there is no reason to doubt her.
Axios came to the same conclusion we did and made an additional point about the illogic of Trump secretly using Pirro to go after Ryan:
Behind the scenes: Judge Jeanine was blindsided by Fox’s promotional banner, according to a source familiar with the situation. She had no “stunning new details” to share with her viewers; just her regular show. Her opening monologue — in which she called for Paul Ryan to resign — made people think that Trump had colluded with her in some grand conspiracy to bring down the Speaker.
A couple of points: Those who know Trump well find that conspiracy laughable. Trump has never been afraid to attack Ryan publicly, and it’s hard to imagine he’d go to such elaborate and coordinated lengths to do so now. Trump and Ryan spoke for nearly an hour yesterday and the President called the Speaker again today. Ryan’s spokeswoman AshLee Strong tells me Trump made it clear to Ryan “his tweet had nothing to do with the speaker.”
So we believe Trump expected "stunning new details" and/or a "smoking gun" on Pirro's show.
In fact, Pirro never even mentioned any “stunning new details.”
Here's how she introduced her segment:
PIRRO: House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes has stirred up a hornets’ nest this week when he announced he got his eyes on intelligence that indicated President Trump and his team were swept up in some sort of incidental surveillance activity after the November election.
It was an explosive allegation that could lend credence to President Trump‘s Tweets earlier this month alleging he was spied on by President Obama.
Actually, no. Trump’s tweet, that Obama tapped his phones at Trump Tower, was not proven by what Devin Nunes said. In reality, he specifically contradicted the claim:
Pirro made excuses for Trump’s accusation with her guest, Carrie Cordero, a former national security lawyer with the Department of Justice.
PIRRO: We’ve got the president who took enormous criticism for suggesting President Obama had wiretapped him and I think that you and I can both agree that that may not have been the terminology that should have been used. It was too specific. You and I, both lawyers. The president not. Can we agree on that?
No, Cordero did not agree:
CORDERO: The president tweeted one thing and then this week [FBI] Director Comey testified that what he had tweeted…
PIRRO (interrupting): The question that I’m asking you is that someone who’s not a lawyer is not as specific as you and I might be since I have done wiretaps and you have engaged in them as well.
Not surprisingly, Pirro was utterly unconcerned about the investigations into Russia’s influence on our election as well as whether there were any ties with the Trump team. Instead, Pirro focused on the possible crime of “unmasked” names swept up in “incidental collection." Then she painted President Obama as the real criminal.
PIRRO: The names of the individuals who are not being investigated are unmasked and then, just coincidentally, President Obama, who we know hates Trump, decides that he’s gonna disseminate information among 16 other intelligence agencies and then the names of those individuals are leaked to the press, I think these people should be indicted. That’s a felony.
I care about felonies! I care about crimes!
Except about the crimes that Trump and his associates may have committed, even if it’s treason.
Pirro also cared about attacking the House Intelligence Committee – which just happened to have held a hearing last week that was, in the words of Fox host Chris Wallace, “a bad day for the Trump White House.” Pirro shouted, “As far as I’m concerned, these intelligence committees… they’re political!” She even worked in a Benghazi reference.
So, unless you think it’s stunning that a Fox host would ignore the possibility of traitors in the White House while suggesting that Benghazi is a bigger crime, anyone expecting any new details, stunning or otherwise, would have been sorely disappointed by this discussion.
But Trump was undoubtedly pleased and gratified.
Watch the deflection below, from the March 25, 2017 Fox & Friends and Justice with Judge Jeanine.
Correction: The author of this post was originally misidentified as Brian.
Trump and “Fox & Friends” have a long-standing symbiotic relationship. IMHO, “Fox & Friends” had a huge role in creating political Donald with their weekly Thursday games of softball over many years. Other than Trump butt plug Hannity, no other Fox show pimps Donald harder than “Fox & Friends”. Which is why Trump is a big fan publicly applauding his curvy couch cheerleaders as shining examples of journalistic integrity.
What I find hilarious is this is a rare example of Fox’s coordinated propaganda getting public exposure beyond the bubble.
I’m hoping Trump’s craziness burns out the Fox News propaganda factory. Sure, the hard core Kool Aid drinkers will never give up their addiction. But I hope it ends the influence of their propaganda beyond that.
But more seriously, I wonder whether this had to do with James Rosen’s ostensible “smoking gun” hyped report about Trump surveillance that never materialized.
I forgot about that! Will have to remember if she goes on another tear about illegal surveillance.