Fox News host Laura Ingraham prompted a podcast guest to reveal her previously secret role in helping Donald Trump create a list of conservative judges he promised to appoint to the Supreme Court, which helped persuade conservatives of his bona fides during the 2016 presidential campaign.
You may recall that in May, 2016, after joking that he might appoint his sister to the Supreme Court, Trump released a list of potential nominees “as part of an effort to quell concerns that he would not select conservative jurists,” as The New York Times reported. The Times also noted, “The Trump campaign did not share how it settled on the names, but Mr. Trump has previously said that he was seeking guidance from conservative groups such as the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation.”
It turns out then Fox-contributor Laura Ingraham had a big hand in it, at least according to her podcast guest yesterday. Media Matters caught the discussion between Ingraham and conservative Carrie Severino who is out with a new book about the Supreme Court.
Notice how Ingraham pushed Severino into talking about her role and, at the same time, claimed she didn’t bring it up on Fox News because she didn't want it “to be in any way about me.” I suspect that translates to: I didn’t want this to be in any way about a Fox personality working to elect Trump, especially since this appears never to have been disclosed at the time.
From the Media Matters transcript, with my emphases added:
INGRAHAM: Carrie one more question. We didn't get to it on Fox because I don't want this to be in any way about me. But apparently you did uncover something about my role in the, sort of related, to the judicial process up -- leading up to 2016. What did you uncover?
SEVERINO: Yeah that was really another fun thing we learned. We were talking about the list -- and I think it's important to understand where we are now to understand this whole process, and how important that list was in Donald Trump's campaign. One of the things that we learned, Laura, was how you were instrumental in helping him crytallize that list, not just as an advisory rule, but as this is the group I'm choosing from. So after he put out the first list, and Ted Cruz and a lot of others were critical saying, well that's nice to say I'll choose someone like these people, but you need to say this is going to be the only list so you actually locked are down. And we learned that you were helpful in brokering that process, which was really the key thing along with adding Mike Lee to that list, that helped Trump, or helped Cruz finally come to the conclusion that he wanted to fully support Trump. And I think for a lot of other Americans as well.
Whatever Ingraham’s contractual obligation at the time, she certainly had an ethical obligation to reveal her role in this process, especially when she subsequently covered Trump’s two Supreme Court picks as a host. But don't expect any disciplinary measures from Fox.
Listen to Ingraham’s humble brag below, from the July 10, 2019 Laura Ingraham Show Podcast, via Media Matters: