Watch: Fox News' Chris Wallace debunks White House spin on whistleblower complaint
In two minutes, Wallace exposed the lies being circulated by Trump’s supporters around the recent whistleblower complaint.
“Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace said Friday that the White House and Donald Trump’s supporters were not being truthful when it came to the recent whistleblower complaint alleging wrongdoing by the president.
“The spinning that’s been done by the president’s defenders over the last 24 hours since this very damaging whistleblower complaint came out, the spinning is not surprising, but astonishing. And I think deeply misleading,” Wallace said, during an interview with colleague Sandra Smith.
The complaint, rumored to have been filed by a CIA agent, was first made public last week and outlines a number of concerns about a July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
During that call, Trump attempted to persuade Zelensky to launch an investigation into Trump’s 2020 election rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, whose son sat on the board of a Ukrainian energy company until recently. Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, have claimed Biden used his power of office to stop an investigation into that energy company in 2016, though there is no evidence to support this.
Soliciting election assistance from a foreign national is illegal, according to the Federal Election Commission and the intelligence community inspector general.
“The whistleblower says that there was a troubling call in which the president asked the Ukrainian president to investigate and to look at the allegation of misdoing by Vice President Biden and by his son,” Wallace continued. “We now have a rough transcript of that phone call and that’s exactly what happened.”
Wallace went on to defend the whistleblower complaint as accurate, with regards to Trump blocking military aid to Ukraine, as well as Giuliani’s involvement with a number of Ukrainian officials.
He emphasized that the whistleblower “exactly followed” the proper procedures to lodge her or his complaint.
“First of all, he or she went to the CIA general counsel and raised these concerns. The general counsel looked into it, not a full investigation but looked into it, and found the concerns credible,” Wallace said. “Then the whistleblower went to the intelligence community inspector general with a formal whistle-blower complaint. The inspector general looked into it and found this credible.”
As Wallace notes, the whistleblower indeed followed the proper legal channels, despite the fact that Trump has questioned their patriotism and even suggested they, and anyone who communicated with them, should be summarily executed for treason.
At roughly the same time Trump called for the death of American intelligence officials in his own administration, his acting director of national intelligence told Congress that the whistleblower “did the right thing” and would be protected from retaliation efforts.
The schism within Trump’s own administration is mirrored at his favorite cable news channel.
Fox News has always been Trump’s go-to outlet for fawning media coverage. But ever since the scandal surrounding Ukraine broke, fissures have grown at the largely pro-Trump network.
Earlier this week, daytime anchor Shepherd Smith railed against primetime host Tucker Carlson for allowing a guest to criticize Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano. Carlson refused to defend Napolitano when a guest called him a “fool,” prompting Smith to call Carlson “repugnant.” The feud started because Napolitano suggested Trump was a criminal, a legal conclusion Smith said was supported by many Fox News legal analysts.
Vanity Fair reported there was a schism within the network about how to handle the matter. According to the report, former House Speaker Paul Ryan, who slavishly pushed Trump’s agenda while in Congress and is now a board member at Fox News, had become embarrassed by Trump’s behavior and said he finally “has the power to do something about it.”
Others at the network wanted to continue supporting Trump, despite the apparent abuses of power.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
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