comScore

WATCH LIVE: BERNIE AND AOC TOGETHER IN NYC

7 Wildest Ways Fox & Friends Tried to Defend Trump Against ‘Punk’ Whistleblower — In One Segment

There are still a ton of open questions about the whistleblower complaint made by a U.S. intelligence official against President Donald Trump. We know from reporting that it concerns multiple actions on behalf of the president, including a “promise” to the president of Ukraine. While Democrats in Congress have sounded the alarm on the complaint, the White House and Justice Department have sought to keep it quiet.

There is speculation that Trump’s contacts with the foreign leader have to do with attempts by his supporters (most notably, Rudy Giuliani) to pressure Kiev into investigating Trump’s political rivals, including Joe Biden. Meanwhile, the United States was withholding military aid to Ukraine.

Giuliani appearing on CNN for a wild interview with Chris Cuomo Thursday night denied he had asked Ukraine to investigate the Bidens before admitting seconds later he had asked Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.

Fox & Friends dismissed the story on Friday morning, and one segment mocking media overreaction to it was remarkable. Not least, because one can imagine the reaction on Fox & Friends if President Barack Obama promised military aid to Ukraine in exchange for the country investigating his political opponents (How do you say “meltdown” in Ukrainian?)

Here are the wildest defenses in one segment featuring the Fox & Friends hosts, Geraldo Rivera and Newt Gingrich:

Brian Kilmeade erects a strawman: “Everyone thinks the world is going to end”

Kilmeade started off by recapping the story — mocking “other channels” for “hyperventilating” — and framing the whistleblower nefariously: “Someone was listening in on Donald Trump’s call with a world leader. He, or she, was so concerned they went to the inspector general.”

He then scoffed at attempts by lawmakers to get to the bottom of it: “Adam Schiff gets wind of this, thinks it’s a huge controversy, everyone thinks the world is going to end.”

Steve Doocy cites Michael Caputo to dismiss whistleblower as “a holdover from the Obama administration”

Doocy summed up some rampant speculation from Michael Caputo, a former Trump aide, who earlier on Fox had accused the anonymous whistleblower of being an anti-Trump Obama loyalist.

Caputo said on Fox & Friends: “It’s also coming from, what people say at the Washington Post, is an intelligence community source that has now left the administration. That sounds an awful lot like an Obama plant to me.”

Doocy echoed that speculation in our segment: “[Caputo] said that what he’s read is the fact that apparently this was somebody from the intel community, the whistleblower was, who has now left the administration, and his suggestion is it was probably somebody, a holdover from the Obama administration. And this is his glancing blow on the way out the door.”

Geraldo Rivera says the story is “annoying” and the whistleblower is “a punk snitching out the president” and part of the “deep state”

Geraldo Rivera hates punk snitches. They annoy him. And he’s certain this whistleblower is a punk snitch. Also, deep state. He argued:

“Regardless of what he worked for, who he worked for before, this is annoying, this is a punk, a punk who’s snitching out the president’s phone calls to a foreign leader. Imagine that the president, our leader, is talking to the leader of another country. And you got all these, you know, deep state people listening in and the first chance they get they run to Adam Schiff and say, hey, you know, we have this urgent, serious leak.”

Kilmeade notes the Ukrainian president is a comedian

At one point, Rivera defended Trump’s call to the new president of Ukraine, former comedian Volodymyr Zelensky, by noting that Trump doesn’t always speak in the most professional of ways.

“They say he’s the Ukrainian comedian president!” Kilmeade concurred. “The new Ukrainian comedian president.”

Geraldo Rivera raises questions about Biden: “That is the real headline”

The end goal of all of this for Trump allies, of course, is to raise the specter of corruption on behalf of the Bidens. Rivera managed to do that job subtly in this Fox segment:

“I am intrigued though by the Joe Biden story. Is this the fatal flaw in the vice president’s campaign for president? Did he intervene to help Hunter, his son, in a deal gone bad with a Ukrainian company? Did he, say, remove a prosecutor? If that is true, that is the real headline. That will be the ripple that turned into a tidal wave that affects the election.”

Ainsley Earhardt says media is “huffing and puffing” over the story despite their knowing nothing about it

“We don’t even know the substance of this complaint,” Earhardt said, making a good point. (I just note, however, it’s still a big news story that a Trump official lodged a formal whistleblower complaint!)

“We don’t even know what it involves,” she continued. “And if you watch the media, they are just huffing and puffing about this, they can’t even believe it. Is this just another ‘gotcha, we’re finally going to get him’ moment?”

Newt Gingrich falsely claims the New York Times retracted its Kavanaugh story

Gingrich took a swing at the New York Times at the end of the segment, referring to the paper that has been leading coverage of the whistleblower story as a “pathetic rag.”

He also made this false claim:

“The New York Times has become a pathetic rag, constantly having to retract things such as it did with Justice Kavanaugh,” Gingrich said.

The New York Times did not retract the story on Brett Kavanaugh. The piece — the excerpt of a book on the Supreme Court justice — was updated to include crucial information that had been omitted, and an editor’s note was added. Not good, but not a retraction.

Watch above via Fox News.

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

Filed Under:

Follow Mediaite:


Aidan McLaughlin is the Editor of Mediaite. Send tips via email: [email protected] Ask for Signal. Follow him on Twitter: @aidnmclaughlin