Icky Facto? Fox News Defends Getting Campaign Dirt on Hillary Clinton from Hostile Foreign Countries

On Laura Ingraham’s Thursday night Fox News program she hosted former federal prosecutor and Fox contributor, Andrew McCarthy. The segment was focused on the recent bombshell disclosure about Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen. The report alleges that Cohen is prepared to testify that Trump knew in advance about the meeting his son and senior campaign staff had with Russian operatives pitching negative information from Hillary Clinton’s stolen emails.

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Cohen’s testimony would make Trump’s repeated prior claims of having no knowledge of the meeting a lie (Trump lied? Shocking, isn’t it?). On Friday morning Trump reiterated his ignorance of the meeting in a tweet that also disparaged Cohen. But all of that was of little concern to Ingraham and her guests. For the most part the conversation was typically defensive of Trump and sought to malign Cohen’s credibility. Ingraham even offered the long-ago debunked excuse that the meeting was only about Russian adoptions and was an attempt to lobby Trump’s people to support repealing the Magnitsky Act that imposed sanctions on Russia. Don Jr’s own emails refuted that red herring with a subject line that read “Russia – Clinton – private and confidential.”

In addition to trying to dismiss and trivialize the significance of the Cohen revelations, Ingraham and company likewise argued that there wasn’t anything wrong with the apparent collusion by Trump with Russia to steal the 2016 presidential election. She actually defended the practice of getting campaign dirt from hostile foreign countries. Although she did manage to criticize Clinton in a bizarre rant (video below):

“Hillary Clinton paid for dirt that was assembled by the Russians in the form of the Steele dossier. She actually went further than meeting with someone. Her people actually paid for it. They got dirt and then it ended up making its way all the way through the U.S. government.”

Ingraham is to truth what Donald Trump is to, well, truth. Clinton did not pay for “dirt that was assembled by the Russians.” Her campaign paid an opposition research firm whose activities were first funded by a conservative Republican website. That firm hired a former British intelligence officer, Christopher Steele, to gather information about Trump and his associates. It was Steele, an American ally who the FBI regarded as credible and trustworthy, who assembled information that he obtained from his sources. The Russians had nothing to do with “assembling” the data, and Clinton had no interactions with Russians or Steele. And while portions of the dossier were cited in FISA warrant applications, they were merely a part of the evidence that the government presented.

So Ingraham was just mouthing off with a flurry of false, right-wing, Trump-sponsored talking points. And if that wasn’t bad enough, her guest, McCarthy, concurred with the opinion that there was nothing to see here:

“I don’t think that it’s bad if campaigns are turning to foreign governments for dirt. It’s not collusion. It’s not something that’s impeachable. It’s icky. But that’s what this is.”

Actually, when campaigns turn to foreign governments for dirt, that absolutely is collusion by definition. It is also conspiracy to aid and abet a foreign government’s interference with an election. And that’s both illegal and impeachable. But I’ll give McCarthy credit for at least admitting that “It’s icky.” I guess that’s a legal term that Fox News contributors use to sound smart.

How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
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