Shepard Smith lit into Donald Trump yesterday for spending his weekend “misrepresenting the truth” in a tweetstorm attacking Oprah Winfrey and the FBI but not one word denouncing Russia following the indictment of 13 Russians for meddling in our 2016 election.
Smith is at least the second Fox host to shred Trump’s weekend behavior. As we previously noted, Fox host Neil Cavuto teamed up with “political guru” Larry Sabato to do the same yesterday afternoon. It’s worth pointing out that Cavuto is also the Senior Vice President, Anchor and Managing Editor of Business News for Fox News and Fox Business.
So what’s going on here? In my view, this is a reflection of the discontent of some important people at Fox, not any kind of serious change of direction. We’ve previously noted Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace speaking out against attacks on the media by opinion hosts. It was a barely-concealed message to his colleagues. And some at Fox have said they're horrified by their own network’s Russia coverage.
In any event, it’s clear that there’s a cadre of news people who are making a point of distancing themselves from the sycophantic propaganda going on in most of Fox News’ programming.
Smith opened his show with swipes at Trump
SMITH: The president spent the weekend defending himself, misrepresenting the truth and attacking others — from his phone in Florida.
The president attacked the Justice Department, the FBI and his National Security Adviser, H.R. McMaster. He attacked Congressman Adam Schiff, Democrats and the DNC. He attacked Hillary Clinton, President Obama, the previous Congress and the news media before going after Oprah Winfrey.
He did not attack Vladimir Putin or Russia. Nor did he express concerns that the Russians attacked the United States. Nor did he pledge in any way to measures in place to stop future attacks.
The president stormed Twitter from Mar-a-Largo, after the special counsel, Robert Mueller, gave the most concrete evidence yet of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
Smith displayed on the screen Trump’s tweet blaming the Russia investigation for the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable. They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign - there is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 18, 2018
“There’s a problem there,” Smith continued. Although he noted the FBI failure in properly dealing with a warning about shooter Nikolas Cruz, Smith also said, paraphrasing Republican Senator Tim Scott, “The school shooting and the Russia investigation are two separate issues.” That's in direct contrast to what Fox Business host Trish Regan said on Friday.
Smith smacked down Trump’s claim the indictments exonerated him of collusion with Russia and proved there had been no influence on the outcome of the election
After a summary of the die-in protest by Washington, D.C. students near the White House, Smith returned to the Russia investigation and Trump’s attack on McMaster after he said that evidence of Russia’s interference is now “incontrovertible.”
General McMaster forgot to say that the results of the 2016 election were not impacted or changed by the Russians and that the only Collusion was between Russia and Crooked H, the DNC and the Dems. Remember the Dirty Dossier, Uranium, Speeches, Emails and the Podesta Company!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 18, 2018
SMITH: Fact check: First, the indictment had nothing to do with the collusion investigation. It was about Russian meddling. The collusion investigation, according to our reporting, is ongoing. Second, the extent to which Russian meddling did or did not affect the results of the election is an open question.
Smith also exposed Trump’s lie that he “never said” Russia had not meddled in the 2016 election
I never said Russia did not meddle in the election, I said “it may be Russia, or China or another country or group, or it may be a 400 pound genius sitting in bed and playing with his computer.” The Russian “hoax” was that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia - it never did!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 18, 2018
SMITH: But the reality is the president has questioned the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election over and over and over again. He called the Russia investigation a “hoax,” [unintelligible], a Democratic excuse for the election loss and a waste of taxpayer dollars, just to get started.
Smith posted a September, 2017 Trump tweet calling the investigation a “hoax” as proof. He also noted Trump saying that he believed Russian President Vladimir Putin was sincere when he said he didn’t interfere in the 2016 election.
Smith called out Trump’s failure to denounce Russian meddling: ‘Not Once… Not Anywhere’
SMITH: The president’s spokespersons have been on television denouncing the Russian meddling, the president has not. Not once. Not on camera, not on Twitter. Not anywhere.
Watch the kind of reporting that will be ignored by most of the rest of the Fox hosts below, from the February 19, 2018 Shepard Smith Reporting, via Raw Story.