Fox News aired disgraced, and now criminally indicted, former President Donald Trump’s full post-arraignment speech in which he repeated numerous lies about the 2020 election. The right-wing propaganda network allowed the lies on air even as it’s about to go on trial in a defamation lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Systems in response to countless similar lies Fox aired about the 2020 presidential election.
The judge presiding over the $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit against Fox recently ruled that it’s “CRYSTAL clear” (emphasis original) that statements aired on Fox in the aftermath of the election about Dominion were false. The case is scheduled to go to trial on April 17. Yet even in the face of legal jeopardy, Fox still chose to air Trump’s entire prime-time speech following his arraignment Tuesday in Manhattan. The spectacle — which was effectively a campaign rally for the leading contender for the 2024 Republican nomination — contained numerous lies about the 2020 presidential election, including misinformation about the presidential election results in Georgia, a state in which Dominion voting machines were used. (Trump also made multiple other false claims in his speech.)
In contrast to Fox’s irresponsible decision to give Trump unbridled air time to lie to its audience, MSNBC declined to air the speech at all, with host Rachel Maddow explaining, “There’s a cost to us as a news organization of knowingly broadcasting untrue things.”
Barely a minute into his speech, Trump was spewing lies about the 2020 election, referencing what he called “the unconstitutional changes to election laws by not getting approvals from state legislators.” This is a reference to emergency measures taken in some states to ease voting access during the pandemic in the interest of public health and safety. In reality, state legislatures are not the sole authority on the conduct of elections, and in many cases state courts allowed the emergency measures, or the legislatures had already passed legislation allowing election officials to ease voting requirements.
Trump then launched directly into another lie, referencing “the millions of votes illegally stuffed into ballot boxes and all caught on government cameras.” There were several false right-wing claims of supposed “ballot stuffing” caught on video during the election, but they were debunked, and in at least one case showed ballot stuffing in Russia, not the United States.
Later in his speech, Trump defended his phone call to election officials in the state of Georgia in which he demanded they “find” him thousands more votes, and which is currently the subject of a criminal investigation, claiming there was “election fraud specifically in Georgia.” Georgia election officials debunked Trump’s lies about fraud in the state during the call. Additionally, lies spread by Fox News and the Trump campaign about an election worker in the state “turned [her] life upside down. … All because of lies.”
Dominion voting machines were used in Georgia, tying this Fox-aired speech containing election lies back to the ongoing defamation case against the network. Fox peddled election lies and conspiracy theories hundreds of times in the wake of the 2020 presidential election, many of which were bogus accusations against Dominion.
You can view Trump’s full April 4 campaign speech, as it aired on Fox, below.