Fox & Friends absurdly suggested that payments by Organizing for America -- which a co-host misidentified as Obama for America -- to the law firm that also paid Fusion GPS could mean that former President Barack Obama indirectly funded the Fusion-created dossier on President Donald Trump. This line of attack stemmed from a report by The Federalist and has spread to other right-wing media, pro-Trump outlets, and fake news purveyors.
The segment featured Tom Fitton, president of the conservative group Judicial Watch. About an hour after it aired on Fox & Friends, Trump, who has been known to tweet along with the program, also tweeted a similar line of attack in an attempt to discredit the dossier, which allegedly details Trump ties to Russia. Parts of the dossier have actually been corroborated.
From the October 30 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends:
STEVE DOOCY (CO-HOST): Well, it’s the newest question regarding that dossier on Trump: What did former President Barack Obama know? Well, a new report finds that his campaign organization, OFA -- Obama for America -- paid nearly $1 million to that same law firm that funneled the money to Fusion GPS, the firm behind the dossier.
DOOCY: OK, so since -- let’s see, since April of 2016, OFA, Obama for America, paid $972,000 to Perkins Coie, the same outfit that was giving the money to Fusion GPS. What do you think that's about?
TOM FITTON: Well, that's the question we want answered. The money, including a $700,000 chunk, went over there around the time Fusion GPS began working for Hillary Clinton's campaign and the Democratic National Committee to find dirt on President Trump or President-elect Trump or candidate Trump by traveling to Russia and colluding with the Russians. President Obama had it in for President Trump, then at the time the candidate. He campaigned so close -- so much for president -- well, Hillary Clinton, that it hadn't been done like that in 100 years. And, look, then you had the dossier being used by the Obama FBI, the Obama Justice Department, maybe the Obama CIA, to target team Trump. So, you’ve got questions whether Obama the politician knew as a result of his running the DNC and his White House political operation and these payments, and, of course, what Obama the president knew. Either way, the questions need to be answered.
DOOCY: So you want to know what did now-former President Barack Obama know about the dossier and all this stuff, right?
FITTON: Yes. I think it's a question we need answered because if the dossier, which is a political document created to destroy President Trump or the candidate Trump, was used by his FBI and CIA, did they know that this was nothing but a political attack on Trump and they shouldn't really have anything to do with it?
DOOCY: Yeah. And Tom, it sounds like the dossier was used to justify unmasking a number of names.
FITTON: Well, we don't know what it was justified to do. It might have been justified -- it might have been justified to use the CIA, the FBI, NSA to spy on team Trump. That's the most disconcerting thing. Did they use this to go after team Trump and spy and, of course, the unmasking came improperly afterwards. And then thirdly, are we in the midst of a major criminal investigation against the president of the United States as a result of this dodgy dossier, which was a political hit job on Mr. Trump?