On Fox & Friends, it’s not news that the president reportedly tried to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller last summer. The news is that Donald Trump is calling that report “fake news.”
Last night, Sean Hannity first dismissed The New York Times bombshell as a mere “distraction” that he and his sources could not confirm. But by the end of his show, he had to admit that Fox News reporting had independently confirmed the scoop and shifted into defense mode. “Does he not have a right to raise those questions?” the host asked indignantly.
Eight hours later, the hosts of Fox & Friends were apparently still where Hannity started.
Steve Doocy began the show’s 6 a.m. hour by holding up the cover of today’s New York Times, which says, “apparently, the president of the United States wanted to fire Robert Mueller.”
“But the president, in Davos, he doesn’t think the story was all that true, maybe calling it fake,” co-host Pete Hegseth added, before cutting a clip of Trump yelling “fake news” at reporters who asked him about in Switzerland.
Agreeing with the president, Hegseth called the report a “typical New York Times” story given that “all of this reporting is based on four people who are told of the matter.” He added, “It also screams of a leak from the special counsel” and suggested that details in the story “may or not be true.”
“All right, well, the president says it's fake news,” Ainsley Earhardt jumped in, trying desperately to move on to their next topic. “That happened last June. Do you—it’s something we have to tell you have about because it is a headline on The New York Times. What do you think about that? Do you even care?”
Like Hannity, Fox & Friends more or less ignored the reporting of their colleague Ed Henry, who confirmed in a story Thursday night that Trump “told top officials this past June that he wanted to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, but was talked out of doing so by White House counsel Don McGahn and other aides.”
So, in little more than a minute, the three hosts made the transition that took Hannity close to an hour. According to Trump’s most loyal Fox News hosts, the Mueller story is probably “fake news,” but even if it’s not, “who cares?”