Fox continues to give Rep Devin Nunes (R-CA) cover for muddying the waters in the Mueller investigation. And in other news, water is still wet.
As we already discussed here, President Obama dared to say out loud what anyone with a functioning brain already knows about Fox "news" viewers... that they're living on what amounts to a different planet in that right wing bubble than the majority of the rest of us, or say, people who listen to NPR.
The right-wing freakout over his comments was swift and widespread. Hannity and fellow Trump suck-up Newt Gingrich attacked Obama as the one who is supposedly out of touch and opined that the media just wants to destroy Trump. Right-wing websites from Newsbusters, to Newsmax, to The Washington Free Beacon, to you-name-it chimed in.
And of course Hannity and Gingrich weren't the only ones on Fox attacking Obama. This Saturday, the yappers on Fox & Friends decided to use President Obama's comments not only to attack him, but to also advance the latest push by House Intelligence Chair Devin Nunes to continue pushing the debunked "unmasking" fake "scandal."
VITTERT: If you're watching this program, I think you're on planet earth. Fox has not extended out our broadcast reach beyond the solar system.
HEGSETH: That we know of.
CAMPOS-DUFFY: But if you're Barack Obama and you know Devin Nunes might be dropping something at the end of the month that proves that your administration was spying on Trump, on Donald Trump as a campaigner, as a candidate, you might want to discredit Fox, because I can guarantee you, we'll be the only ones covering that.
In Fox-land, the only reason President Obama said what he did about Fox is because he knows Nunes is about the expose him for the already debunked conspiracy theory that the Obama administration illegally spied on the Trump campaign, which Fox's Ed Henry wrote about in an article for Fox here: Nunes charges 'abuse' of government surveillance by FBI and Justice officials.
Sonam Sheth and Natasha Bertrand have more on that and Nunes recent maneuvers during the debate over whether to reauthorize the surveillance law at Business Insider: Trump bucked his own White House on a controversial surveillance law after watching Fox News:
The House has been gearing up for a FISA fight since late December, when it was due to be reauthorized. Congress extended it to January 19, but the new bill has pitted House committees against each other — people working on the Intelligence and Judiciary committees have told Business Insider they've been "stuck in FISA hell" for weeks.
Nunes enters the fray
Republican Rep. Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, inserted a last-minute "unmasking" provision that would change the intelligence community's process for identifying US citizens caught up in foreign surveillance.
The provision, which was ultimately scrapped, threatened to derail the committee's FISA bill, two sources told Business Insider. The Daily Beast first reported on Nunes' efforts.
Nunes was forced to step aside from the committee's investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 US election after he told reporters he had seen classified documents that raised questions about whether the Obama administration had improperly unmasked members of the Trump campaign. He was recently cleared by the House Ethics Committee, but he has continued to investigate potential improprieties by the Justice Department and FBI.
Section 702 of FISA came under scrutiny as the intelligence community began looking into Russia's election interference and whether the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow to sway the race in his favor.
Over the past year, Trump and his backers have characterized reports that detailed communications between Trump campaign associates and Russians before the election as evidence of illegal wiretapping. Trump also accused former President Barack Obama of ordering the unlawful wiretapping of Trump Tower during the campaign.
Neither the White House nor the US intelligence community can legally surveil US persons without cause. But under Section 702, the identities of Americans whom foreigners are speaking with or about may be included — but "masked" — in intelligence reports summarizing the communications.
Such was the case with Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser whose communications with Sergey Kislyak, who until last summer was Russia's ambassador to the US, were incidentally collected as part of routine intelligence-gathering while the US monitored Kislyak.
Nunes is still doing his best to interfere with the Mueller investigation despite his supposed recusal, and Fox continues to aid and abet him.