National Security & Foreign Policy

Issues ››› National Security & Foreign Policy
  • Supporters Of Rex Tillerson, Trump's Pick For State, Have Exxon Ties Of Their Own

    Mainstream Outlets Tout Support Of Gates, Rice, And Baker, But Ignore Their Stakes In Exxon

    ››› ››› NINA MAST

    After President-elect Donald Trump announced ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as his pick for secretary of state, morning news shows and newspapers noted that prominent figures including James Baker III, Robert M. Gates, and Condoleezza Rice have expressed support for Tillerson, with some mentioning that such support adds credibility to the pick. But those outlets failed to disclose that all three figures have considerable financial ties through their businesses to Tillerson, ExxonMobil, and the oil company’s Russian business ventures.

  • In The Clash Between US Intelligence Agencies And Russia, Fox's Tucker Carlson Picks Russia

    Blog ››› ››› NICK FERNANDEZ

    Fox News host Tucker Carlson has repeatedly downplayed the claims that Russia was involved in interfering in the 2016 presidential election, and in several interviews over the last week he attacked those supporting reports from the government agencies that found Russia played a role in getting Donald Trump elected. But Carlson’s personal effort to spin away the Russian interference in the American political system downplays its severity and runs counter to the warnings issued by American and international intelligence experts.

    On the December 7 edition of Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight, Carlson hosted Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, to discuss Russian interference in the presidential election. Throughout the contentious interview, Carlson downplayed the U.S. intelligence community’s allegations that Russian intelligence services interfered in the American election, claiming the reports were made “without any evidence.” He also chastised Schiff for providing his evaluation of the classified evidence, saying, “I just think if you’re going to make a serious allegation about an actual country with an actual government, you ought to know what you’re talking about. And you don’t.”

    Since his interview with Schiff, Carlson has hosted two Democratic strategists on his show to relitigate the Schiff interview, prefacing the segments with a clip from the combative discussion earlier in the week. In both segments, Carlson downplayed the significance of a foreign power intervening in our election, suggesting that the reaction to the findings has been “disingenuous” because, as Carlson admitted, “There’s almost no institution in Washington that hasn't been hacked, probably in some cases by the Russians. Also the Chinese. And yet, you haven't seen any kind of response like this.” Carlson also argued that because “bad intelligence” led the United States into Iraq in 2003, he is correct to be skeptical.

    During Carlson’s appearance on the December 12 edition of Fox & Friends -- his first since The Washington Post reported that “Intelligence agencies have identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and others, including Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman” -- he argued that the cyberattacks actually provided a public benefit because “voters got more information than they would have had otherwise.” He also again acknowledged Russian interference by saying the Russians have been hacking Americans “for years” and “so have the Chinese.” Later that day on his own show, Carlson hosted Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and asked him indignantly why he should trust the intelligence community “that missed the fall of the Soviet Union,” adding, “It's pretty lame if that's your job and you miss like, everything.”

    Given Carlson’s previous praise for Putin and his ongoing failure to acknowledge Russia's confirmed role in the presidential election, his most recent unwillingness to accept the findings of the American intelligence community is not surprising. Carlson has made a point of repeatedly and unequivocally insisting that the U.S. intelligence community was pushing “an utterly unsubstantiated claim from the Clinton campaign that” the cyberattacks on American political institutions are “a Russian propaganda effort.” But considering the intelligence community’s findings since the election, Carlson’s repeated denials of the severity of Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election seem to be getting more and more desperate.

    While Carlson fails to accept the CIA’s conclusions, the allegations of Russian hacking have been corroborated by intelligence agencies in the United States and internationally. The Department Of Homeland Security and Office of the Director of National Intelligence issued a joint statement on election security stating that the “U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of e-mails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations.” And the intelligence services of various American allies also allege that Russian cyberattacks “represent a fundamental threat to … sovereignty” and “should be a concern to all those who share democratic values.” Even Republican senators on Capitol Hill have issued warnings and called for investigations into the matter, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who stated that the Russians “are not our friends.”

    While many have rallied around the idea that Russia’s role in the election requires investigation, at least Carlson will have one ally in his opposition. Earlier this year, like Carlson, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the hack was “important” because the “content [of the hacked emails] was given to the public.” Considering Carlson’s role as a prime-time TV news host, his failure to inform his viewers of the seriousness of the intelligence community’s evaluations on Russian interference in the 2016 election -- and his defense of Russia and echoing of the Russian president -- are especially problematic. And they provide the Russian government with a major defender in American media.

  • Here Is How Trump's Media Allies Reacted To CIA Report That Russian Government Intervened In Election To Help Trump

    ››› ››› BOBBY LEWIS

    After an anonymous source within the Central Intelligence Agency told The Washington Post the agency has “high confidence” that the Russian government intervened in the 2016 election to assist President-elect Donald Trump, right-wing media outlets quickly sought to delegitimize the allegations by claiming the CIA is too partisan to be trusted, or that the hacking was in reality a “false flag” attack by another actor. 

  • House Benghazi Committee Shuts Down After Spending $7.8 Million Taxpayers Dollars In A Media Fueled Witch Hunt 

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    After two and a half years, the House Benghazi Committee has ended their right-wing media endorsed attempt to blame Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration for the deaths of four Americans during the 2012 attack on a temporary diplomatic facility in Benghazi, Libya.

    The House Select Committee on Benghazi was created in May 2014 “to form a 12-member committee to investigate the Obama administration’s handling of the 2012 attacks” after Fox News’ unrelenting coverage of the attack for two years despite a review by the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and an independent report by the State Department Accountability Review Board (ARB) found no wrongdoing by the administration.

    Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton became the focal point of conservative media smears when the committee revealed that Clinton had been using a private email server during her time at the State Department. Right-wing media relentlessly attacked Clinton on the private server, repeatedly claiming released emails revealed Benghazi “smoking gun[s].” They didn’t.. Adding to the political nature of the committee was admissions by Republicans that the purpose of the investigation was to damage the likely Democratic nominee for president, Hillary Clinton.

    After more than two years and $7.8 million dollars, the House Benghazi Committee shutdown. USA Today reported that while the House Benghazi Committee “accused the government of incompetence at various levels … the [final] report did not single out wrongdoing by then secretary of state Hillary Clinton.” And while Republicans on the committee called the investigation and the report a “‘final, definitive accounting’” of the attack, Democrats “contended all along that the committee was a political effort to taint Clinton”:

    WASHINGTON — The special congressional investigation into the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi is officially over now that the panel filed its final report the day before the House adjourned for the year.

    The Select Committee on Benghazi initially released its findings in June but remained in place for months afterward trying to declassify supporting documents like emails and interview transcripts for public release.

    The final report, not including dissenting views from committee Democrats, clocks in at more than 322,000 words. It was added to the official House record without fanfare on Dec. 7 by Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., the panel’s chairman.

    The panel, which spent more than $7.8 million over two and a half years, disbanded at the end of the 114th Congress, before a new Congress begins in January.

    [...]

    Democrats contended all along that the committee was a political effort to taint Clinton, an allegation that got some traction when House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told Fox News that because of the committee, "her numbers are dropping."

    The panel’s top Democrat, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, said Monday that the final report was a “desperate rehash.”

    “Republicans voted on this partisan report five months ago, but delayed filing it and completing the committee until after the election,” Cummings said. “Republicans promised a process that was fair and bipartisan, but the American people got exactly the opposite.”

  • The Worst Of Fox's Allen West, Potential Trump Administration Appointee

    Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

    Fox News contributor and former Rep. Allen West (R-FL) said today on Fox News Radio that he was able to “sit down and interview for a potential position in” President-elect Donald Trump’s administration. West has a long history of pushing smears, lies, and incendiary rhetoric, especially against Muslims.

    West served in the U.S. Army but was "stripped of his command after pleading guilty to assaulting an Iraqi detainee during interrogation,” as The Boston Globe noted. Gen. James Mattis, who is Trump’s pick for defense secretary, reportedly criticized West as a “commander who has lost his moral balance or has watched too many Hollywood movies.” After leaving the military, West became a one-term congressman and subsequently a political commentator.

    West has repeatedly used toxic rhetoric about a variety of topics. He called President Obama an "Islamist" and "disgusting racist”; said the "Democrat Party is an anti-Semitic party"; and falsely accused dozens of congressional Democrats of being "members of the Communist Party.” He claimed that Islam “is not a religion” and “we need to have individuals stand up and say that” and his Facebook page posted (then removed) an image praising efforts to “exterminate Muslims." He also questioned the “loyalties” of Senator-elect Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), who received the Purple Heart, and said feminists are "neutering American men and bringing us to the point of this incredible weakness."

    Here’s some of what West would bring to a potential Trump administration:

    West’s Toxic History As A Military Commander And Commentator

    West Was "Stripped Of His Command After Pleading Guilty To Assaulting An Iraqi Detainee​." The Boston Globe noted in 2003 that West was "stripped of his command after pleading guilty to assaulting an Iraqi detainee during interrogation. ... The military said that during an interrogation of an Iraqi police officer Aug. 20 near the village of Taji, north of Baghdad, West fired his pistol near the head of the prisoner, threatened to kill him, and allowed his troops to beat the man." [Boston Globe, 12/14/03Media Matters, 2/8/10]

    Gen. Mattis Reportedly Said Of West’s Behavior: “Commander Who Has Lost His Moral Balance Or Has Watched Too Many Hollywood Movies.” Roll Call noted that Gen. James Mattis, who was nominated to be defense secretary by Trump, reportedly criticized West for his actions as a commander:

    West drew Mattis’ scrutiny after he was reprimanded for firing a weapon near the head of prisoner he was interrogating while he was an artillery battalion commander in Iraq in 2003.

    In putting together documents to prepare his Marines for deployment to Iraq, Mattis pointed to the case of West as a “commander who has lost his moral balance or has watched too many Hollywood movies,” defense writer Thomas Ricks wrote in his book “Fiasco.” [Roll Call, 12/6/16]

    West Left Conservative Website After He Reportedly "Had An Anti-Semitic Exchange With A Staffer, Calling Her A 'Jewish American princess.'" West left the conservative website Pajamas Media after, according to BuzzFeed, West had "an altercation with a female staffer in which he allegedly called her a 'Jewish American princess' ... Asked specifically whether he referred to the employee as a 'Jewish American princess,' West said simply, 'There was an exchange, that's all.'" [BuzzFeed, 9/26/13]

    West Heavily Plagiarized A Viral Internet Story. West plagiarized from a viral internet story in a piece attacking the Obama administration for purportedly ignoring the deaths of law enforcement officers. West lifted at least six paragraphs (including typos) from the story, which was previously posted on sites like Yahoo! Answers, Free Republic, Facebook, and the comments section of various websites. [Media Matters, 12/12/14]

    West’s Long History Of Smears And Lies

    West Questioned The "Loyalties" Of Decorated Veteran And Illinois Sen.-Elect Tammy Duckworth. During an 2014 appearance on a conservative radio show, West said of decorated veteran Tammy Duckworth and her position on the response to the 2012 Benghazi attack: “I just don't know where her loyalties lie. You know, for her to have been a veteran, a wounded warrior for the United States Army, she should know that this is not the right thing. And hopefully, you know, she will remember the oath of office that she took as an Army officer and not the allegiance I guess she believes she has to the liberal progressives of the Democrat Party." [Media Matters, 5/22/14]

    West: Islam “Is Not A Religion” And “We Need To Have Individuals Stand Up And Say That." West claimed that "Islam is a totalitarian theocratic political ideology, it is not a religion. It has not been a religion since 622 AD, and we need to have individuals stand up and say that." [Media Matters, 5/17/13]

    West: "The Black Community Was Stronger" And Had "Better Education Opportunities" During Segregation. [Fox Business, Varney & Co., 9/28/16]

    West’s Facebook Page Posted An Image Praising Mattis For Alleged Plan To “Exterminate Muslims.” West’s Facebook page posted an image claiming that Trump picked Mattis for defense secretary in order to “exterminate Muslims.” His editor-in-chief later claimed that the image was posted “without Allen West’s knowledge or consent.” [BuzzFeed, 12/11/16]

    West Called Obama And Attorney General Holder "Vile And Disgusting Racists." West wrote of President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder: "How long will it be before 'you people' realize you have elevated someone to the office of president who abjectly despises you -- not to mention his henchman Holder. Combined they are the most vile and disgusting racists." [AllenBWest.com, 1/14/14, via Media Matters

    West: "Barack Hussein Obama Is An Islamist." West wrote on his website that Obama "is purposefully enabling the Islamist cause" and concluded: "Sorry, but I can only explain this one way: Barack Hussein Obama is an Islamist in his foreign policy perspectives and supports their cause. You can go back and listen to his 2009 speech in Cairo, where Muslim Brotherhood associates were seated front and center." West repeated his claim in the media, telling Boston Herald Radio that "deep down inside, you know, Barack Hussein Obama has an Islamist sympathy ... I don't understand where this president's loyalties lie, and I have to ask the question, whose side is he on?" [AllenBWest.com, 8/13/14; Boston Herald Radio, Trending Now, 8/19/14]

    West's Response To Whether Obama Is A Muslim: "The President Has An Eastern Orientation, I'll Put It That Way." At a July 2014 event hosted by Republicans, West didn't dispute an audience member who falsely claimed that "Obama is a Muslim." Instead, West responded that he's "not going to get into that" but the president "has an Eastern orientation, I'll put it that way." He later added: "Don't care whether or not he's a Muslim. I care about his orientation. And his association." [Media Matters, 7/15/14]

    West Said Holder Is A "Worse Threat" Than Al Qaeda. In a fundraising email, West claimed that Holder was a "bigger threat to our Republic" than terrorist Ayman al-Zawahiri, a former deputy of Osama bin Laden. [Media Matters, 6/7/13]

    West: The “Democrat Party Is An Anti-Semitic Party." During an interview on Boston Herald Radio, West claimed Obama was "withholding" aid to Israel, and that the "Democrat Party is an anti-Semitic party." [Boston Herald Radio, Trending Now, 8/19/14]

    West Compared Democrats To Nazis, Called Media "Complicit." West told reporters in December 2011: "If Joseph Goebbels was around, he'd be very proud of the Democrat Party, because they have an incredible propaganda machine ... Let's be honest, you know, some of the people in the media are complicit with this and enabling them to get that type of message out." [Media Matters, 5/17/13]

    West Falsely Accused Dozens Of Congressional Democrats Of Being Communists. West accused roughly 80 Democratic House members of being "members of the Communist Party. ... It's called the Congressional Progressive Caucus." [Media Matters, 5/17/13]

    West Attacked Gold Star Father Khizr Khan For “A Damn Politicized Stunt” When Khan Spoke At The Democratic National Convention. [Media Matters, 8/1/16]

    West Claimed He Was The Victim Of “Sharia Law” At Walmart Because An Employee Under 21 Couldn’t Sell Him Alcohol. West wrote a post originally headlined, "Sharia law comes to Walmart?" In the story, he recounted a weekend trip to Walmart, where a "Muslim employee" manning the cash register was unable to sell him alcohol. His site later posted an update noting that in reality, “employees under 21 years old are prohibited from selling cigarettes and alcohol.” [Media Matters, 5/11/15]

    West Told Military To Disobey Commander-In-Chief. In 2014, the Defense Department announced it would expand an existing program, Military Accessions Vital to National Interest (MAVNI), to allow recruiters "to target foreign nationals with high-demand skills, mostly rare foreign language expertise or specialized health care training." West responded by telling members of the armed forces to disobey their orders. He wrote: "Barack Hussein Obama took out his pen and ordered our Military to enlist illegal aliens. In other words, this charlatan has allowed those who have disrespected our Constitution and are not citizens to take an oath to support and defend the very document, our rule of law, of which they are in violation." He added: "This is an illegal order and should not be followed by our Military." [Media Matters, 9/26/14]

    West Invokes Slavery To Attack Democrats. West has claimed that Democrats are keeping black voters on a "plantation." He also said that "the Democratic appetite for ever-increasing redistributionary handouts is in fact the most insidious form of slavery remaining in the world today" and President Obama would "rather you be his slave." [Media Matters, 5/17/13]

    West Agreed With Radio Host That "Khmer Rouge Feminists" Are Attempting A "Coup" Against The Military. During an appearance on Michael Savage's radio program, West agreed with Savage's assertion that "Khmer Rouge feminists" are attempting a "coup" against the military by proposing to change the military chain of command in sexual assault cases. West also criticized liberals for wanting to "put women into combat arms units ... so that they can meet some socially engineering goal or egalitarian goal." [Media Matters, 6/6/13]

    West: Feminists Are "Neutering American Men." West has criticized liberal women for "neutering American men and bringing us to the point of this incredible weakness" and said "we are not going to have our men become subservient." He was also denounced for comments about Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) in which he wrote to her, "You have proven repeatedly that you are not a Lady, therefore, shall not be afforded due respect from me!" [Media Matters, 5/17/13]

    West: "Fishy" Focus On Kidnapped Nigerian Girls Is Meant To Distract From Benghazi. West wrote a post headlined, "Focus on Boko Haram right now seems fishy to me," which accused the Obama administration of disingenuously caring about the kidnapping of Nigerian schoolgirls by the Boko Haram terrorist organization, claiming the administration was attempting to distract the public from "all the scandals facing the Obama administration, especially Benghazi and the Select Committee." [Media Matters, 5/12/14]

    West: Obama "Purposefully Creating Drama" Like Malaysia Airlines MH17 Crash. West wrote on his website:

    Sadly, hundreds of Ukrainians and 298 souls on MH17 have paid the price for the weakness and abject cowardice of Obama's "flexibility."

    And here in America we quibble over a lawsuit against this charlatan.

    The blood on Vladimir Putin's hands was poured by Barack Obama who is indirectly responsible, accountable and no different than Neville Chamberlain's weakness in the face of the 20th Century maniacal dictator Adolf Hitler.

    So much for no drama Obama. He is purposefully creating drama globally. [AllenBWest.com, 7/18/14, via Media Matters]

    West's Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric. West has warned that illegal immigration is like an "invasion into your country." He's also accused Democratic officials of being "almost treasonous" by inviting undocumented immigrants to attend a hearing on the DREAM Act. [Media Matters, 5/17/13]

    West Hyped Hoax Story Of An ISIS Inspired Stabbing Of Teacher At French Preschool. [Media Matters, 12/14/15]

    West Likened Photo Of Black Women Graduating From West Point To Confederate Sympathizers. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 5/11/16]

  • Possible Trump Pick John Bolton Says Allegations Of Russian Electoral Interference Could Be A “False Flag”

    Bolton Previously Suggested Sanders Supporters May Have Hacked DNC In A “Disinformation” Effort To Implicate Russia

    Blog ››› ››› ZACHARY PLEAT

    Fox News contributor John Bolton aided President-elect Donald Trump’s efforts to undermine the CIA’s assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election on Trump’s behalf, repeatedly suggesting the hacking could be a “false flag operation.” Bolton was previously under consideration for secretary of state and is currently a front-runner for deputy secretary of state in the Trump administration.

    The Washington Post reported on December 9 that “the CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency.” An anonymous U.S. official briefed on the intelligence said this was “the consensus view” of the intelligence community. Trump, in a Fox News Sunday interview that aired on December 11, called the assessment “ridiculous,” adding that he doesn’t “believe it at all.”

    Bolton, in appearances on Fox News on December 11 and 12, suggested that the hacking could have been a “false flag operation” meant to misleadingly implicate Russia.

    On Sunday’s America’s News Headquarters, Bolton acknowledged the seriousness of a foreign government intervening in the presidential election, but questioned the assessment that Russia did so. Bolton said, “It’s not at all clear to me, just viewing this from the outside, that this hacking into the [Democratic National Committee] and the [Republican National Committee] computers was not a false flag operation.” Bolton claimed that, because the FBI was unable to find evidence that Russia had hacked Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s private server, it was unlikely that Russia would have hacked the DNC and RNC computers and left fingerprints for the CIA to find. Bolton’s claim was based on the unfounded assumption that Russia did successfully hack Clinton’s computer. Bolton also suggested that it was possible someone in the Obama administration or the intelligence community was behind the alleged false flag, answering that “we just don’t know” when asked if he believed that could have happened.  

    Later Sunday on Fox Report, Bolton defended his assertion, saying that he meant to call the CIA’s assessment a “false flag in the sense that this conclusion that the Russians did it, I think, is arrived at too easily.”

    On Monday’s Fox & Friends, Bolton then said, “I think it’s at least a question to be asked, whether or not this was a false flag operation with some foreign government other than Russia.”

    During his Fox & Friends appearance, Bolton also addressed news reports about his comments from the previous day, saying they claimed "I said on Fox yesterday that I thought the Obama administration had conducted the hack into the RNC and the DNC," and calling it “typical bad reporting." He added, “I have never believed that. I didn’t believe that yesterday, I don’t believe it today.” But both CBS News and Politico explained that Bolton in fact did suggest just that. From the CBS News article (emphasis added):

    Though Bolton didn’t elaborate on the term “false flag,” he seemed to be suggesting that someone in the Obama administration or the intelligence agencies could have been attempting to falsely lead the public into believing Russia was to blame for the hacking.

    Shawn followed up by asking, “Are you actually accusing someone here in the administration or in the intelligence community of trying to throw something?”

    Bolton was not specific: “We just don’t know,” he replied. “But I believe that intelligence has been politicized in the Obama administration to a very significant degree.”

    After Bolton made his third appearance on Fox to claim that the hacking could be a “false flag operation,” former Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page said the “U.S. government might have deliberately orchestrated cyberattacks to make it look as though they were coming from Russia,” according to New York Times reporter Ivan Nechepurenko.

    This is not the first time Bolton has tried to discredit accusations that Russia interfered in the election. In July, while discussing the first dump of DNC emails by WikiLeaks, Bolton suggested that supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders might have actually hacked the DNC and framed Russia. Bolton claimed, “Somebody who wanted to cast blame on the Russians could put in those indications of other Russian hacking efforts. If I were a Bernie Sanders supporter, and I wanted [the DNC emails] out, and I were good at computers, maybe I'd do that.”

  • Pundits Defend Trump’s Dangerous Phone Call With Taiwan’s President

    Experts In Asian Pacific Studies And International Relations Warn It “Raises The Risk Of Diplomatic Disaster”

    ››› ››› NINA MAST

    Pundits are defending President-elect Donald Trump’s protocol-shattering phone conversation with Taiwan president Tsai Ing-wen as “terrific” and saying it will have “no cost to America,” but experts in Asian Pacific studies and international relations warn that the move “does not bode well for US-China relations” and “raises the risk of diplomatic disaster.”

  • Architect Of CIA's Waterboarding Program And Fox & Friends Host Mislead About Torture

    ››› ››› NICK FERNANDEZ

    Fox host Brian Kilmeade praised waterboarding, claiming it “yield[ed] tremendous results,” during an error-filled interview with psychologist James Mitchell, the man who created the CIA’s so-called “enhanced interrogation” program. Mitchell and Kilmeade promoted numerous misleading arguments about the supposed effectiveness of torture as a form of interrogation while promoting Mitchell's upcoming memoir. Fox figures have previously spoken out in support of reinstating waterboarding as an interrogation technique, even though experts have condemned the practice, saying that it constitutes torture, is illegal under American and international law, and “yielded no intelligence.” 

  • Morning Joe Hosts, After Carrying Water For Trump And Meeting Him Privately, Aghast That Anyone Questions Their Impartiality

    ››› ››› KATIE SULLIVAN

    Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, co-hosts of MSNBC’s Morning Joe, have met privately with Donald Trump while Scarborough is reportedly advising the president-elect, yet both still reject media criticism of their overly positive coverage of the former reality show celebrity. On the November 29 edition of Morning Joe alone, the hosts carried water for President-elect Trump on five separate topics, including criticizing journalists for scrutinizing his extensive conflicts of interest and reporting on Pro-Trump “fake news.”