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How Fox & Friends (barely) covered reports that Trump tried to fire Robert Mueller

 

It didn't happen, but if it did happen it's fine

 

ff-trump-mueller-fake.jpg

 

The revelation that President Donald Trump ordered the firing of special counsel Robert Mueller last June only to reverse course when the White House counsel threatened to resign rather than carry out that order is currently dominating the news cycle. The story was first reported by The New York Times and has since been confirmed by several other outlets. But if you tuned in this morning to the president’s favorite news show, Fox News’ Fox & Friends, you may have missed the news.

The program barely mentioned the story this morning, giving it a total of six minutes and 16 seconds of discussion* over the course of three hours. Co-hosts Steve Doocy, Ainsley Earhardt, and Pete Hegseth regularly shill for the president on matters large and small, but -- like some of their colleagues -- seemed baffled as to how to spin the Mueller report in Trump's favor. They alternated between suggesting that everyone should take the president at his word that the story is “fake news,” claiming that even if it did happen it was no big deal, and saying that no one cares about it. Notably, the hosts largely avoided discussing the portion of the story in which White House counsel Donald McGahn threatened to resign rather than ask the Justice Department to dismiss Mueller.

Fox & Friends opened its 6 a.m. hour by mocking the Times’ story and highlighting the president’s response.

 
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Fox & Friends on Trump trying to fire Mueller: "Well, the president says it's fake news, that happened last June, it's something we have to tell you about because it's a headline on the NY Times. What do you think about that? Do you even care?"

 
 
 

In rapid succession, Hegseth said the report was “typical New York Times” because it was based on anonymous sources, claimed that it “screams of a leak from the special counsel,” and suggested it was old news because reporting at the time indicated that “the president wasn't happy with Bob Mueller” before concluding that the Times provided “some new details that may or may not actually be true.”

Earhardt then promptly moved on, saying: “All right, well, the president says it's fake news. That happened last June. Do you -- it's something we have to tell you have about because it is a headline on The New York Times. What do you think about that? Do you even care? Something you probably do care about is immigration.” The hosts did not reference Fox chief national correspondent Ed Henry’s report last night confirming that the White House counsel and other aides had talked Trump out of firing Mueller.

And that one-minute 13-second discussion was basically it for the program’s coverage of the story in the first hour (aside from a passing mention in an unrelated segment and an insipid tease of the second hour). While MSNBC and CNN covered the news far more extensively, Fox & Friends quickly moved on to stories more promising for its audience, including segments on “downfalls of the single-payer system” and how New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo “wants free college for Dreamers.”

Incidentally, Pete Hegseth is in the Brian Kilmeade chair this morning for extra hackery.

 

As of 6:30 am, that one minute 13 second segment is Fox & Friends' entire coverage of Trump trying to fire Mueller. Here's what they're covering instead. pic.twitter.com/mf7RCk3Ixa

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter
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The second hour of Fox & Friends brought another brief discussion of the story, as Fox chief White House correspondent John Roberts, who is with Trump at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, said the president had been “dealing with” the story that day and confirmed that the president had discussed firing Mueller last summer. With that, Doocy changed tacts, asking Roberts, “Doesn't the president of the United States have the authority to fire anybody in the administration he wants to?” Roberts replied that the president could ask Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to fire Mueller, but could not do it directly.

Hegseth then again mentioned that the president had called the story “fake news,” before saying that even if it is true, it’s not worthy of the level of attention it has gotten from the “fake news, so-called mainstream media.” According to Hegseth, “It's a huge difference between talking and taking action,” and because the president hadn’t actually fired Mueller, “we didn’t learn anything new” from the Times report.

“He says it's fake news,” added Earhardt. “So let's move on to talk about something that you all care about. That's the wall. And that's keeping America safe.” And move on they did, with second-hour segments focusing on how “FBI texts revealed pro-Clinton bias” and how former President Barack Obama had taken undue creditfor economic growth in the U.S.

Then around 7:30 a.m., the hosts turned to someone else who is paid to defend the president, White House senior communications adviser Mercedes Schlapp, to briefly discuss the story. Doocy introduced the interview by claiming that the story said that Trump had asked McGahn to fire Mueller and McGahn had replied, “You know what, I’m not going to do that, it would be bad politically,” presenting it as a simple dispute rather than, as the Times reported, McGahn threatening to quit rather than carry out Trump’s order and the president backing down.

Here are Doocy’s “questions” on the subject to Schlapp, who admitted she hadn’t actually talked to the president about the incident:

  • “So the president says The New York Times story ain’t true.”
  • “You know the interesting thing though, Mercedes, about this story is, had the president actually done it, that would be a big story. But ultimately doesn’t the president talk to a bunch of his advisers and say, ‘should we do this, should we do that.’ He never did it!”

And that was basically it on the subject. The rest of the hour featured important stories like a report that John Kerry is considering a 2020 presidential run. And the 8 a.m. hour was largely consumed by the hosts previewing, airing live, and then praising the president’s remarks at Davos.

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EXECUTIVE BRANCH CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES BY PRESIDENTIAL ADMINISTRATION
ADMINISTRATION PARTY

YEARS IN

OFFICE

CRIMINAL

INDICTMENTS

CRIMINAL

CONVICTIONS

PRISON

SENTENCES

BARACK OBAMA Democratic 8 0 0 0
GEORGE W. BUSH Republican 8 16 16 9
BILL CLINTON Democratic 8 2 1 1
GEORGE H. W. BUSH Republican 4 1 1 1
RONALD REAGAN Republican 8 26 16 8
JIMMY CARTER Democratic 4 1 0 0
GERALD FORD Republican 2.4 1 1 1
RICHARD NIXON Republican 5.6 76 55 15

Overall, Richard Nixon’s administration had the most criminal indictments and convictions. Wikipedia’s list enumerates 13 specific individuals who were convicted and imprisoned over Watergate alone, but notes that a total of 69 officials were indicted for the scandal and 48 were either convicted or pleaded guilty. (Nixon himself is not included; after his resignation, President Gerald Ford gave him a blanket pardon, sparing him from any potential indictments. However, his first vice president, Spiro Agnew, is included for indictments unrelated to Watergate.)

The Reagan Administration is next with 26 indictments and 16 convictions (including guilty pleas), followed by the George W. Bush Administration with 16 indictments, all ending in convictions or guilty pleas. The Nixon Administration had at least 15 people serve at least some time in prison for their crimes, while Bush 43’s administration had at least 9 and the Reagan Administration had at least 8. (Scooter Libby’s sentence is included here even though Bush pardoned him in 2007 before he was sent to jail, since the pardon did not expunge the crime and the pardon itself is a political act, not a judicial determination. But others whose convictions were later overturned—like Oliver North’s and John Poindexter’s—are included under indictments but not convictions since it wouldn’t be appropriate for us to second-guess the courts’ reasoning for overturning those convictions.) 

All those Clinton White House “scandals”? Despite hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on hearings on Whitewater, Travelgate, the use of the White House Christmas card list, and other oddities, almost all resulted in absolutely nothing. Clinton himself isn’t included. As with Nixon, the impeachment proceedings themselves should count as an indictment, and in the end his only citation was for contempt of court, which I didn’t interpret as the same as an indictment. (I will update this if folks show me this was incorrect.) The only indictments for his administration were of his Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy (who was acquitted of all 30 charges) and of Espy’s chief of staff Ronald Blackely, who was convicted of making a false statement and sentenced to 27 months in prison. 

The George H. W. Bush Administration only had a single criminal indictment, but it’s notable for two reasons. It was the only time that a U.S. treasurer has ever gone to prison. But Catalina Vasquez Villalpando’s conviction and sentence is probably less notable than who didn’t go to jail: President Bush 41 himself escaped potentially ruinous scandal by granting clemency to six people indicted in the Reagan Administration’s Iran-Contra scandal, thereby avoiding trials that could have exposed Bush 41’s involvement.

Crimes_by_Admin.png Executive branch criminal actions from Richard Nixon through Barack Obama.

Comparing scandals by party

Just glancing at the chart above, it’s pretty clear which administrations are the most criminal, but let’s roll up the data anyway.

EXECUTIVE BRANCH CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES BY PARTY SINCE 1968
ADMINISTRATION

TOTAL YEARS

IN OFFICE

CRIMINAL

INDICTMENTS

CRIMINAL

CONVICTIONS

PRISON

SENTENCES

DEMOCRATIC 20 3 1 1
REPUBLICAN 28 120 89 34
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AVERAGE EXECUTIVE BRANCH CRIMINAL ACTIONS BY YEAR SINCE 1968
ADMINISTRATION

AVERAGE #

INDICTMENTS

PER YEAR

AVERAGE #

CONVICTIONS

PER YEAR

AVERAGE #

IMPRISONMENTS

PER YEAR

DEMOCRATIC 0.15 0.05 0.05
REPUBLICAN 4.29 3.18 1.21

Even when we standardize it by getting annual averages, GOP administrations still have 29 times more indictments, 64 times more convictions, and 24 times more prison sentences. 

Crimes_by_Admin_Party_comp.png Average annual executive branch criminal actions by party dating back to 1969.
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Criminal actions included in this data

This list was compiled from Wikipedia’s List of Federal Political Scandals in the United States. I did not research each individual case, so the numbers of those who served prison sentences may be an undercount if it was not specifically noted on Wikipedia’s list. 

President Barack Obama’s Administration

  • No appointed officials have faced criminal prosecution.

President George W. Bush’s Administration

  • Felipe Sixto—Office: Special Assistant for Intergovernmental Affairs as well as Duty Director at the Office of Public Liaison. Crime: Misuse of grant money from the U.S. Agency for International Development from before he took office. Result: conviction and imprisonment
  • Scott Bloch—Office: head the United States Office of Special Counsel. Crime: pleaded guilty to criminal contempt of Congress for withholding information from a congressional investigation. Result: conviction and imprisonment
  • Lewis “Scooter” Libby—Office: Chief of Staff to Vice President Dick Cheney. Crime: perjury and obstruction of justice in the Valerie Plame case. Sentence: imprisonment (commuted by George W. Bush)
  • John Korsmo—Office: chairman of the Federal Housing Finance Board. Crime: pleaded guilty to lying to Congress. Result: convicted but not imprisoned
  • Darleen A. Druyun—Office: Principal Deputy Undersecretary of the Air Force. Crime: pleaded guilty to inflating the price of contracts to favor her future employer, Boeing. Result: convicted and imprisoned
  • David Safavian—Office: General Services Administration Chief of Staff. Crime: found guilty of blocking justice and lying in the Jack Abramoff Scandal. Result: convicted and imprisoned
  • Roger Stillwell—Office: Staff in the Department of the Interior. Crime: Pleaded guilty to participating in the Jack Abramoff scandal. Result: convicted (imprisonment suspended)
  • J. Steven Griles—Office: Deputy to the Secretary of the Interior. Crime: pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in the Jack Abramoff Scandal. Result: convicted and imprisoned
  • Italia Federici—Office: staff to the Secretary of the Interior, and President of the Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy. Crime: pled guilty to tax evasion and obstruction of justice. Resulted: convicted but not imprisoned
  • Jared Carpenter—Office: Vice-President of the Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy. Crime: pled guilty to income tax evasion. Result: convicted and imprisoned
  • Mark Zachares—Office: staff in the Department of Labor. Crime: bribed by Abramoff and guilty of conspiracy to defraud. Result: convicted but not imprisoned
  • Robert E. Coughlin—Office: Deputy Chief of Staff, Criminal Division of the Justice Department. Crime: pleaded guilty to conflict of interest after accepting bribes from Jack Abramoff. Result: convicted but not imprisoned
  • Kyle Foggo—Office: Executive director of the CIA. Crime: was convicted of honest services fraud in the awarding of government contracts. Result: convicted and imprisoned
  • Claude Allen—Office: Advisor on Domestic Policy. Crime: series of felony thefts in retail stores. Result: convicted by not imprisoned
  • Lester Crawford—Office: Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. Crime: pleaded guilty to conflict of interest. Result: convicted but not imprisoned
  • Bernard Kerik—Office: nominated to be Secretary of Homeland Security but confirmation derailed. Crime: employing an undocumented nanny two and other improprieties, and later two counts of tax fraud and five counts of lying to the federal government. Result: convicted and imprisoned

President Bill Clinton’s Administration

  • Mike Espy—Office: Secretary of Agriculture: Crime: indicted on 30 counts of receiving improper gifts. Result: found innocent of all charges
  • Ronald Blackley—Office: Chief of Staff to the Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy. Crime: perjury. Result: Convicted and imprisoned

President George H. W. Bush’s Administration

  • Catalina Vasquez Villalpando—Office: Treasurer of the United States. Crime: pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and tax evasion. Result: convicted and imprisoned
  • Iran-Contra Affair pardons—President George H. W. Bush granted clemency to five convicted government officials from the Reagan Administration as well as to Caspar Weinberger, whose trial had not yet begun. This action prevented any further investigation into the matter, potentially protecting Bush from being personally implicated. (Results tallied under the Reagan administration.)

President Ronald Reagan’s Administration

  • Melvyn Paisley—Office: Assistant Secretary of the Navy. Crime: pleaded guilty to accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes. Result: convicted and imprisoned
  • James E. Gaines—Office: Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy. Crime: accepting an illegal gratuity, and theft and conversion of government property. Result: convicted and imprisoned
  • Victor D. Cohen—Office: Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force. Crime: pleaded guilty to accepting bribes and conspiring to defraud the government, the 50th conviction obtained under the Operation Ill Wind probe. Result: convicted and imprisoned
  • James G. Watt—Office: Secretary of Interior. Crime: charged with 25 counts of perjury and obstruction of justice. Result: convicted but not imprisoned
  • Deborah Gore Dean—Office: Executive Assistant to Samuel Pierce, Secretary of Housing & Urban Development. Crime: 12 counts of perjury, conspiracy, bribery. Result: convicted and imprisoned
  • Philip D. Winn—Office: Assistant Secretary of HUD. Crime: pleaded guilty to bribery. Result: convicted by not imprisoned
  • Thomas Demery—Office: Assistant Secretary of HUD. Crime: pleaded guilty to bribery and obstruction. Result: convicted but not imprisoned
  • Joseph A. Strauss—Office: Special Assistant to the Secretary of HUD. Crime: convicted of accepting payments to favor Puerto Rican land developers. Result: convicted but not imprisoned
  • Silvio D. DeBartolomeis—Office: Assistant Secretary of HUD. Crime: convicted of perjury and bribery. Result: convicted but not imprisoned.
  • Lyn Nofziger—Office: White House Press Secretary. Crime: indicted for lobbying. Result: convicted, but conviction overturned on appeal.
  • Caspar Weinberger—Office: Secretary of Defense. Crime: indicted on two counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice relating to the Iran-Contra Affair. Result: indicted by pardoned by George H. W. Bush before trial
  • Robert C. McFarlane—Office: National Security Adviser. Crime: convicted of withholding evidence in Iran-Contra Affair. Result: convicted but not imprisoned, later pardoned by George H. W. Bush
  • Elliott Abrams—Office: Assistant Secretary of State. Crime: convicted of withholding evidence in the Iran-Contra Affair. Result: convicted but not imprisoned, later pardoned by George H. W. Bush
  • Alan D. Fiers—Office: Chief of the CIA’s Central American Task Force. Crime: convicted of withholding evidence. Result: convicted but not imprisoned, later pardoned by George H. W. Bush
  • Clair George—Office: Chief of Covert Ops-CIA. Crime: convicted on 2 charges of perjury relating to the Iran-Contra Affair. Result: convicted but pardoned by George H. W. Bush before sentencing
  • Oliver North—Office: National Security Council staff member. Crime: convicted of accepting an illegal gratuity, obstruction of a congressional inquiry, and destruction of documents. Result: conviction overturned because it conflicted with the immunity he had been granted in exchange for congressional testimony 
  • John Poindexter—Office: National Security Advisor. Crime: convicted of 5 counts of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, perjury, defrauding the government, and the alteration and destruction of evidence. Result: conviction overurned by the Supreme Court
  • Duane Clarridge—Office: CIA senior official. Crime: indicted on 7 counts of perjury and false statements relating to the Iran-Contra Affair. Result: indicted but pardoned before trial by George H. W. Bush
  • Richard V. Secord—Office: major general in the Air Force. Crime: pleaded guilty for organizing the Iran arms sales and Contra aid in the Iran-Contra Affair. Result: convicted but not imprisoned
  • Thomas G. Clines—Office: intelligence official. Crime: convicted on four income tax counts, including underreporting of income to the IRS and lying about not having foreign accounts. Result: convicted and imprisoned
  • Joseph F. Fernandez—Office: CIA Station Chief of Costa Rica. Crime: Indicted on five counts in 1988. Result: case dismissed when Attorney General Dick Thornburgh refused to declassify information needed for his defense in 1990.
  • Michael Deaver—Office: Deputy Chief of Staff. Crime: pleaded guilty to perjury related to lobbying activities. Result: convicted but not imprisoned
  • Anne Gorsuch Burford—Head of the EPA. Crime: Cut the EPA staff by 22 percent and refused to turn over documents relating to the Sewergate Scandal to Congress. Result: convicted of contempt but not imprisoned
  • Rita Lavelle—Office: an EPA Administrator. Crime: misused “superfund” monies and was convicted of perjury. Result: convicted and imprisoned
  • Melvyn R. Paisley—Office: Assistant Secretary of the Navy. Crime: participating in the Operation Ill Wind defense procurement scandal. Result: convicted and imprisoned
  • J. Lynn Helms—Office: head of the Federal Aviation Administration. Crime: plea bargained charges by the Securities and Exchange Commission with diverting $1.2 million from an issue of tax-exempt municipal bonds to his own personal use. Result: convicted but not imprisoned
  • Peter Voss—Office: US Postal Service Board of Governors. Crime: theft and accepting payoffs. Result: convicted and imprisoned

President Jimmy Carter’s Administration

  • Bert Lance—Director of OMB. Crime: indicted for misuse of funds during the sale of a Georgia bank to BCCI. Result: acquitted of all nine counts

President Gerald Ford’s Administration

  • Earl Butz—Office: Secretary of Agriculture. Crime: charged with tax evasion for failing to report more than $148,000 in 1978. Result: convicted and imprisoned

President Richard Nixon’s Administration

  • Spiro Agnew—Office: Vice President. Crime: convicted of tax fraud stemming from bribery charges, accepting a plea bargain that allowed for no prison time in exchange for his resignation. Result: convicted but not imprisoned
  • Watergate—Burglary and “bugging” of the Democratic Party National Headquarters at the Watergate Hotel and subsequent cover up. Crime: 69 government officials were charged and 48 convicted or pleaded guilty. Result: 48 convictions, at least 13 prison sentences.
    • John N. Mitchell—Office: Attorney General. Crime: convicted of perjury. Result: convicted and imprisoned
    • Richard Kleindienst—Office: Attorney General. Crime: convicted of “refusing to answer questions.” Result: convicted and imprisoned
    • Jeb Stuart Magruder—Office: Head of Committee to Re-elect the President. Crime: pleaded guilty to 1 count of conspiracy. Result: convicted and imprisoned
    • Frederick C. LaRue—Office: Advisor to Attorney General John Mitchell. Crime: convicted of obstruction of justice. Result: convicted and imprisoned.
    • H. R. Haldeman—Office: Chief of Staff for Nixon. Crime: convicted of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and perjury. Result: Convicted and imprisoned
    • John Ehrlichman—Office: Counsel to Nixon. Crime: convicted of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and perjury. Result: Convicted and imprisoned
    • Egil Krogh—Office: aide to John Ehrlichman. Crime: crimes relating to Watergate. Result: convicted and imprisoned
    • John W. Dean III—Office: counsel to Nixon. Crime: convicted of obstruction of justice. Result: convicted and imprisoned
    • Dwight L. Chapin—Office: deputy assistant to Nixon. Crime: convicted of perjury. Result: convicted and imprisoned
    • Herbert W. Kalmbach—Office: personal attorney to Nixon. Crime: convicted of illegal campaigning. Result: convicted and imprisoned
    • Charles W. Colson—Office: special counsel to Nixon. Crime: convicted of obstruction of justice. Result: convicted and imprisoned
    • Herbert L. Porter—Office: aide to the Committee to Re-elect the President. Crime: convicted of perjury. Result: convicted and imprisoned
    • G. Gordon Liddy—Office: Special Investigations Group. Crime: convicted of burglary. Result: convicted and imprisoned
  • Maurice Stans—Office: Secretary of Commerce. Crime: pleaded guilty to 3 counts of violating the reporting sections of the FEC Act and 2 counts of accepting illegal campaign contributions. Result: convicted but not imprisoned
  • Harry Shuler Dent—Office: Presidential Counsel and Strategist Harry Shuler Dent. Crime: pleaded guilty to violations of Federal election law. Result: convicted but not imprisoned
  • Jack A. Gleason—Office: White House Aide. Crime: pleaded guilty to violations of Federal election law concerning an illegal fund-raising operation run by the White House. Result: convicted but not imprisoned
  • Richard Helms—Office: Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Crime: pleaded no contest to misleading Congress concerning assassination attempts in Cuba, anti-government activities in Chile and the illegal surveillance of journalists in the US. Result: convicted but not imprisoned
  • Donald Segretti—Office: Political Operative for the Committee to Re-Elect the President. Crime: ran a “ratBad wording” campaign of dirty tricks for Nixon, pleaded guilty to distributing illegal (forged) campaign literature. Result: convicted and imprisoned.
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4 minutes ago, 123urout said:

Hey moonbats, when you wake up and realize you are incoherent, powerless, irrelevant twits, you can finally face the facts........BOO!

 

Trump is playing you morons like fiddles, American people LOVE IT!

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16 minutes ago, 123urout said:

trump-best-president.jpg

 

 

15 minutes ago, Five By Five said:

At least someone is acting like they know what is going on

 

big-thumbs-up-smiley-emoticon.gif     1495.jpg.0e8ab033e784155ee45aba9752bb301    big-thumbs-up-smiley-emoticon.gif

 

 

Quote

 

The KARMAnator!!!

landscape-1495145243-mueller.jpg

"Everyone got their hammers?? We're gonna crush that loudmouthed-f-u-c-k-e-r like a bug!!

This is long-overdue!!!"

 

 

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23 hours ago, 123urout said:

Hey moonbats, when you wake up and realize you are incoherent, powerless, irrelevant twits, you can finally face the facts........BOO!

 

Trump is playing you morons like fiddles, American people LOVE IT!

right up until Trump broke it off in their asses, over shutting the government down.

They still can't figure out why Trump didn't "own" that. 

 

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On 1/26/2018 at 10:31 AM, 123urout said:

You've chosen to ignore content by Five By Five. Options

 

 

trump-reagan-was-the-best-president-of-m

 

 

 

DEMONRATS ARE SHAKING UNCONTROLLABLY........HELL TO THE YA THEY BETTER BE!THEY ARE IRRELEVANT TWITS!

 

Reagan_-_1984_landslide_map.jpg

 

 

Democrats got a total azz whoopin by Trump tonight

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