Fox News’ Cavuto Live show did a solid twofer for Donald Trump and Trump lackey Ron DeSantis this weekend when it gave the GOP candidate more free airtime to attack the Mueller investigation.
Instead of focusing on why the FBI thought it necessary to send an informant to talk to two Trump campaign advisers during the 2016 campaign (because agents received evidence that the pair had suspicious contacts linked to Russia), Fox trotted out DeSantis to attack the FBI for, essentially, doing its job. And, of course, deflect attention from what Russia was doing and who may have been helping them do it.
Earlier this month, Politico exposed how Fox has played kingmaker for DeSantis, who just happens to be Trump’s favorite candidate in Florida’s gubernatorial GOP primary, to the tune of $7.1 million in “national publicity value.”
Before bestowing this latest media gift to DeSantis, host Neil Cavuto paved the way for the pro-Trump messaging by saying he didn’t see “much of a difference” between the word “informant” and Trump's term, “spy.” Of course, DeSantis didn’t either. But as Vox explains, there is a difference: the informant was probably looking for information about Russia’s election interference, not a spy looking for dirt on the Trump campaign.
Cavuto said, “Someone who shouldn’t be there, shouldn’t be there. … It’s maybe more akin to ‘Someone-Who-Shouldn’t-Be-There-Gate.’” Which was a backhanded way of attacking the FBI for looking into Russian interference.
“I don’t care whether you like the president or dislike the president, that’s weird. The whole thing is weird.” Cavuto said. It’s not half as weird as a Commander-in-Chief, the Republican party and a news network deliberately undermining an investigation into Russian interference because Dear Leader doesn’t want Americans to know what he’s been up to.
“It is a big deal, Neil,” DeSantis said, as if he were acting on behalf of Americans and not Trump and/or Russia. DeSantis went on to “ask” “why the heck” didn’t the FBI go to the Trump campaign and brief them on the bureau’s concerns? He concluded, “The use of, yes, a spy was directed every bit as much against Donald Trump as it was against Russia.”
Apparently, both Cavuto and DeSantis missed that Fox News’ own reporting found there was “no evidence that an intelligence source was embedded in the Trump campaign.”
However, Cavuto said that “maybe” the campaign wasn’t told because it was suspected “they were part of the problem.”
“Well, there was no evidence to support that,” DeSantis claimed.
FACT CHECK: Yes, there was evidence. The New York Times reported (our emphases added):
"F.B.I. officials concluded they had the legal authority to open the investigation after receiving information that [Trump campaign adviser George] Papadopoulos was told that Moscow had compromising information on Mrs. Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails,” months before WikiLeaks released stolen messages from Democratic officials."
But Cavuto did not correct DeSantis.
Surely Cavuto knew that calling out a candidate’s dishonesty and obstructionism of a counterintelligence investigation is not the way to help a network elect him.
Watch Fox toss aside truth and the good of the country in favor of pro-Trump messaging and propaganda above, from the May 26, 2018 Cavuto Live.
Newshound Ellen also contributed to this post.
Crossposted at News Hounds.
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