Fox “straight news” anchor Bret Baier boosted an exchange between Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) and acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor during the November 13 impeachment inquiry hearing, spinning Taylor’s response to the misleading GOP stunt question in favor of President Donald Trump.
During Wednesday’s impeachment hearing, Ratcliffe asked Taylor and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent, “Are either of you are here today to assert there was an impeachable offense in that call?” Ratcliffe was referring to Trump’s July 25 call with the Ukrainian president, which is the basis of a whistleblower complaint that triggered the impeachment inquiry. As Taylor began to answer, Ratcliffe quickly withdrew the question. Taylor attempted to elaborate on his answer, but Ratcliffe kept interrupting him, trying to move on to the next question. Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) then asked Taylor to finish his answer, and Taylor said that he was not there to “decide about the impeachment" and that the decision about impeachment is left to Congress, not witnesses.
Soon after, Baier, who is part of Fox’s news division handling coverage of impeachment, tweeted that Taylor’s answer to Ratcliffe’s question was “silence,” which made “quite a moment” -- even a “sound bite” in itself. Baier’s interpretation implies that Taylor’s silence could be construed as a denial that Trump’s actions were impeachable, when in reality, Taylor was saying that it is not his job to determine whether Trump’s actions were impeachable.
Following the conclusion of Wednesday’s hearings, Baier appeared on Fox News Reporting and described Ratcliffe’s question as a “key moment.” Baier did not air Taylor’s answer about it not being up to him to determine impeachable offenses.