Yesterday Bret Baier took little tiny baby steps toward walking back an obviously false report about how an indictment was supposedly pending in the Clinton Foundation case.
At the same time, no one was walking back Brit Hume's claim that the FBI was ready to say at least five different foreign agencies had hacked Hillary Clinton's server. Both of these leaks broke on Wednesday night, were clearly from FBI sources, and both were reported exclusively on Fox News.
Apparently Baier came by his information by way of Brit Hume, who apparently picked up a hot tip from Rudy Giuliani, who apparently picked up a hot tip from the New York FBI office. Talk about a game of telephone.
So far today, Giuliani has admitted that the FBI leaked information to him which he planned to use against Hillary Clinton. And now, we have Bret Baier not only walking back his report, but retracting it entirely.
On the claim of a hack, Baier explained that he "was quoting from one source about his certainty that the server had been hacked by five foreign intelligence agencies."
He continued, "And while others believe that is probable because of the confirmed hacking of email accounts Secretary Clinton communicated with, as of today there are still no digital fingerprints of a breach no matter what the working assumption is within the bureau."
Then he retracted his claim of a pending indictment and added an apology on top.
"I explained a couple of times yesterday the phrasing of one of my answers to Brit Hume on Wednesday night, saying it was inartful, the way I answered the last question about whether the investigations would continue after the election," Baier recounted. "And I answered that, yes, our sources said it would. They would continue to likely to an indictment."
He continued, "Well, that just wasn't inartful, it was a mistake, and for that I'm sorry. I should have said, they will continue to build their case."
"Indictment obviously is a very loaded word, Jon, especially in this atmosphere and no one knows if there would or would not be an indictment no matter how strong investigators feel their evidence is," he added.
To summarize, some rogue FBI agents leaked to Giuliani or directly to Fox News. Fox News ran with the story, using the word "indictment." The story is now out there, but Baier has retracted it.
Nevertheless, Donald Trump is making the claim in every rally he holds. So, mission accomplished, Fox News. This might actually have been worse than calling Florida early in 2000.