Fox News figures are minimizing reports that a second whistleblower has spoken with the intelligence community inspector general about President Donald Trump's efforts to pressure the Ukrainian president to investigate Joe Biden.
Network personalities are now insisting that the account of the second whistleblower, who reportedly has firsthand information that supports the original complaint, is unnecessary -- even though the network spent last week insisting that the first whistleblower’s complaint is illegitimate because it lacked firsthand knowledge of some events.
On October 6, an attorney representing the first whistleblower said that “multiple” whistleblowers have now come forward to provide corroborating information and at least one has spoken to the inspector general, though a formal complaint has not been filed. The attorney, Mark Zaid, said that the second whistleblower “doesn’t need to” file a separate complaint because their firsthand knowledge supports the original whistleblower’s account.
The news of the second whistleblower comes as Trump’s allies on Fox News and in the Republican Party struggle to maintain a consistent argument on the case. Now, some on Fox News are insisting that a second whistleblower is unnecessary because the White House has released a transcript memo of the July 25 call between Trump and the Ukrainian president that was the subject of the first whistleblower complaint. Yet the network spent last week fervently arguing that the original whistleblower’s complaint was not legitimate because it included some non-firsthand allegations -- even though the transcript memo was available at the time, and it seemingly confirmed “the central elements laid out” by the first whistleblower. Others on Fox have dismissed the second whistleblower as part of a Democrat-led attack.
Fox contributor Dan Bongino dismissed the second whistleblower’s rumored firsthand knowledge of events by saying, “You know who else has firsthand knowledge of the president’s call with the Ukrainian president? The president of the United States, and everyone in America who’s actually seen the transcript.”
Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy asked, “If the transcript is out there and we’ve seen the phone call, what could -- a lot of people are going, ‘I don’t know exactly what this second whistleblower would say that’s different from the first whistleblower.’” His guest, Bryan Dean Wright, agreed that “the transcript is out, we know what was said,” and claimed that the new whistleblower may be politically biased against the president, saying that reporting of a second whistleblower “begs the bigger question of what kind of whistleblower is this?”
Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade baselessly suggested that Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) “is scripting this whole thing” such that the whistleblowers will “come forward one at a time.”
As the news of a second whistleblower broke on Fox & Friends Weekend, co-host Pete Hegseth lashed out at the “whistleblower, who’s actually a leaker,” saying that the person “hates the president, so pushes information. … Then you got another one and another one and another one, and the media will run around saying second whistleblower, third whistleblower, fourth whistleblower.” He said the latest whistleblower is “yet another piece of information that isn’t confirmed in any way” and claimed that “it’s really just the deep state rearing its head because they’ve hated this president from the beginning.”
On America’s Newsroom, Fox contributor Sol Wisenberg asserted that “the whole business about first- or secondhand knowledge is irrelevant now because we have a transcript.” Wisenberg later repeated his doubts about the second whistleblower’s importance and questioned the basis for the entire Trump-Ukraine complaint, saying, “I don’t see the relevance since the White House itself released the transcript. … I don’t think this makes any difference on the question of the hour, which is will the president be impeached or not, and should he be impeached? Is this even a crime and even if it is a crime, is it the kind of crime that constitutes a high crime or a misdemeanor?”