Fox News hosts have launched an all-out attack on Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his probe into whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians during the 2016 presidential election. CNN gathered a string of recent clips that are simply jaw-dropping monologue from Jeanine Pirro calling for a purge at the FBI and the Department of Justice:
There is a cleansing needed in our FBI and department of justice. It needs to be cleansed of individuals who should not just be fired but who need to be taken out in handcuffs. The stench coming out of the Justice Separtment and the FBI is like that of a third world country. Time to take them out in cuffs.
Calling for politically motivated arrests of FBI agents and lawyers at the Department of Justice! Of course, Pirro neglected to mention that she’s got her own axe to grind here: her husband was once convicted on 34 counts of tax evasion and conspiracy.
Newt Gingrich had the gall to go on Fox News and say “Mueller is corrupt, the senior FBI is corrupt.” But it wasn’t so long ago Gingrich felt very differently about Robert Mueller, who is a Republican and was appointed to lead the FBI by a Republican president. Here’s what ‘ole Newt had to say back in May, when Mueller was first appointed as special counsel.
After a string of clips showing Fox News is actively engaged in public relations warfare, propaganda for the Fox News base, Carl Bernstein calls it plainly: Fox News hosts are “abetting a cover-up.”
What the jaw-dropping round-up of attacks on Mueller and listen to Bernstein’s analysis. Video and full transcript below:
BRIAN STETLER: We know the president watches and listens to these shows. What’s the impact of this anti-mueller campaign? Back with me now Carl Bernstein. Carl, you say this is abetting a cover-up?
CARL BERNSTEIN: Yes. It abets a cover-up because there is a cover-up going on in the White House and among Trump’s aides and former aides relating to these investigations. We don’t know what the cover-up is about, whether it constitutes an obstruction of justice or a criminal conspiracy at this point. Though there’s some evidence that suggests it might be the case. But yes, because the commentators that you are hearing and showing there are not open in any way to the best obtainable version of the truth, to facts, to context, who seem to be oblivious of the serial lying of the president of the United States, and members of his family, and those on his staff and those in the Trump organization. Yes, they are abetting a cover-up. More important, where we need to go again is the idea of making the conduct of the press the issue, the conduct of the prosecutors the issue, making the conduct of everyone the issue except the president of the United States and those around him, including those who have pleaded guilty already.
BRIAN STETLER: I’ve seen differing opinions about the real purpose of this anti-Mueller rhetoric. You know, you see some people say this is about goading Trump to fire Mueller. Others saying this is impeachment politics, Mueller will find something damaging, that impeachment proceedings will begin and attacking Mueller is a way to give Republicans a defense in an impeachment proceeding. How do you see it? Is it an attempt to goad trump into firing Mueller?
CARL BERNSTEIN: That’s a little overcomplicated. I think there is an attempt to defend Donald Trump by his base and by many, many Republicans on Capitol Hill and also ordinary Republican voters to defend him at any cost including the cost of the truth. Because unlike Watergate, let’s go back to Watergate, and look at who the heroes were. They were Republicans who said you know we have a criminal
president of the United States, the fact that he is a Republican does not excuse him of criminality and he needs to leave office. We don’t seem to have that same attitude among mainstream Republicans as well as Republicans of the Congress of the United States today about the fairness of an open inquiry into Donald Trump and what might have occurred in his campaign related to the undermining of an election apparently by the Russians according to our Intelligence agencies. We are in a situation today in which again everyone’s conduct except those under investigation is suspect. It doesn’t make sense. It’s not logical. But we also are not living in a logical time.
I mentioned this cold civil war a few moments ago in the earlier segment and I think we need to look at so much of our culture in terms of the cold civil war
and the willing participation of combatants, incidentally, on all sides of the cold civil war and willingness to be oblivious to facts is undermining our very culture and system. And these attacks are the most prominent evidence of how we are undermining truth and indeed abetting a cover-up by not being willing to look at what is staring us in the face and that is, first of all, the lies of the president of the United States. Why is he lying? These same commentators at Fox and elsewhere ought to be asking. Doesn’t mean necessarily he ought to be impeached, there’s impeachable evidence. That’s what the Mueller investigation is about. To find out is there a real conspiracy? What is the conspiracy if it exists, et cetera, et cetera? But it is a legitimate inquiry being conducted legitimately and the fact that Mueller has isolated a couple of people in his investigation who seem to have expressed some political beliefs that are anti-Trump is more evidence of Mueller’s attempt to conduct a fair and impartial and factual investigation rather than the contrary.