Brit Hume Spars With Stephen Hayes and Bill Kristol Over ‘Bizarre’ Weekly Standard Anti-Trump Editorial

For many conservatives it almost felt like when your favorite uncles start arguing with each other at the Thanksgiving table.

Fox News Senior Political Analyst and elder statesman Brit Hume took to Twitter Friday afternoon to publicly criticize an anti-Trump editorial in The Weekly Standard titled “The Surrender.” Hume’s colleague, Fox News Contributor and Weekly Standard Editor-In-Chief Steve Hayes responded and it, as they say, was on:

Hayes’ response, suggesting Hume hadn’t read or understood the editorial, brought many responses from across the Twitter universe that follows the two well-respected pundits. Many conservatives lining up on either side of the Trump/Never Trump teams defined in last year’s election as well as liberal reactions best summed up by this tweet:

Indeed, the back and forth between the two “Fox News All Stars” was a rare, public display that only escalated after Bill Kristol, a former long-time Fox News contributor and the Editor-at-Large (formerly EIC) at Weekly Standard chimed in with a rebuke of Hume’s critique.

Hume continued the public spat by responding to Kristol in kind:

Meanwhile, Wyoming Republican Liz Cheney (daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney, raised the stakes for Team Standard by siding with Hume in the debate:

This was a significant development because Cheney should be just the kind of Republican politician perfectly suited for The Weekly Standard’s editorial team and, presumably, their target audience. She is a solid conservative with an unimpeachable pedigree and has received relatively glowing coverage on the pages of the stalwart conservative magazine.

Kristol then engaged in a 10-tweet mini-explanation of the Standard’s editorial by laying out the underlying premise of the column in stark and certain terms.

The manifesto is remarkably revealing considering Kristol goes on the record dividing the conservative political class into distinct groups. In Kristol’s world view, he and fellow Never Trumpers are the “Dissenters.”

Those who are not Never Trump are either “Simple-minded true believers,” or “Fellow travelers” and “Collaborators.” Those latter two labels carry some pretty heavy baggage in the context of American political history and were clearly used to arouse passions and tweak Kristol’s former colleague, Hume.

Hume did not let the tweet storm go un-responded. He presented it to his followers with his trademark, pithy preface:

No response from Kristol or Hayes as of the publishing of this article, but within the corridors of the DC pundit class, the Direct Messages over this public spat were flying fast and furious and it will be interesting to see if the tense words find their way onto the set when Hayes and Hume get to work this week.

(Editor’s Note: The author of this column worked briefly in early 2017 as the Online Editor for The Weekly Standard.)

This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.

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