Steve Hilton isn't a U.S. foreign policy expert. He's a British political consultant and commentator who used to advise Prime Minister David Cameron. He promotes "populist" politics and apparently is quite adept at selling a pack of lies.
On Fox News' Outnumbered today, Hilton spun a fanciful tale about Joe and Hunter Biden, John Kerry, and Burisma, the Ukrainian gas company which put Hunter Biden on the board and on retainer to give advice. It is so fanciful, in fact, that I personally transcribed it so I could be sure of what I was hearing.
Because the only real corruption allegation here is against Joe Biden. He was in charge of Ukraine policy. He supervised billions of dollars of aid that went from the U.S. taxpayer to Ukraine. Much of that went to Burisma, a gas company that was paying his son.
Okay, stop. Forget the business with the ugly bureaucracy, etc. That's just a smear on the career diplomats at the State Department who have served Republican and Democratic administrations alike faithfully.
That claim about "billions of dollars of aid" going to Burisma? That's just a lie, plain and simple. I poked around the dark corners of the Internet looking for that one, but it appears to be something Hilton just made up on the fly. Here's an actual factual timeline of events, just for reference.
Foreign aid comes in different sizes and ways. Biden's threat to Ukraine to pressure them to fire their corrupt Prosecutor General did not involve direct aid, but instead was $1 billion in loan guarantees. You can read the full timeline here, but one thing that is not ever -- NEVER -- mentioned? Direct payments to Burisma. Hilton just made that up because otherwise there was nothing corrupt about the transaction at all.
But wait, there's more. Hilton was just warming up. Having pulled the lie out of his hat, he expanded on it:
There’s a further element of corruption that needs to be looked into and again something that Ukraine should investigate which is John Kerry’s corruption. He was Secretary of State at the time. He was also involved in channeling money to Ukraine. His former chief of staff was hired by Burisma soon after Hunter Biden went on the board. They hired John Kerry’s former chief of staff while he was Secretary of State, paid him money from Burisma, could have come from the U.S. taxpayers. That money is circling back to Democratic senators who then write to the Administration calling for more money to be sent to Burisma.
So again, here we have Hilton living in Fantasyland, the place in his head where perhaps he invents ways that Republicans might behave corruptly. But the only way it works is again somehow for American dollars to go to Burisma, and there is literally zero evidence of that. American aid has been in the form of military aid, loan guarantees and arms sales, not some stipend to the Ukrainian gas company.
Marie Harf had finally had enough of his nonsense, calling him out for having no evidence for any of his allegations.
A cross-talky back-and-forth ensued, with Harf finally reminding him that she worked at the State Department and knew there was no evidence of what he alleged.
Hilton shouted, "Then you’re covering up the corruption too! Defending it!"
"Are you kidding me?!" Harf shot back. "Steve, I’m on this couch with you talking about the news. Please don’t accuse me of covering something up."
"You ARE, because you’re saying there’s no evidence," Hilton insisted.
Mercifully, Adam Schiff's press conference began and they had to stop. We cut that out of the video above, but then they returned to the fight when it was over.
Once again, Hilton is making up his own story without regard to any facts.
Marie Harf shut it all down:
Frankly, Fox News should suspend Steve Hilton for accusing a co-host of one of their shows of some conspiracy to engage in a far-ranging coverup simply because she worked for the State Department. That was just a guilt-by-association move, it was harassment, it was bullying, and it should not be allowed under the personnel policy, much less the editorial policy.
But then again, no one should be allowed to just spew their fantasy about how things happened with absolutely no basis in fact on the air either, and yet that happens every day in every hour of their broadcast.