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Fox’s Jesse Watters is pushing a bizarre conspiracy theory that Joe Biden has been blackmailed by the FBI as an “intelligence op” to control the White House

Jesse Watters, the recently named host of Fox News’ coveted 8 p.m. timeslot, has spread a baseless conspiracy theory that President Joe Biden was groomed and blackmailed by the FBI as part of a long-running intelligence operation. 

After two congressional Republicans publicized a supposed whistleblower’s account claiming the Justice Department and FBI received an unverified allegation about “an alleged criminal scheme involving then-Vice President Biden and a foreign national relating to the exchange of money for policy decisions,” Watters suggested that the FBI had evidence of decades’ of Biden’s bribery schemes and even installed him as president — possibly with help from the CIA. 

There has been no actual evidence behind this absurd conspiracy theory, let alone the bribery accusations made by Republicans, which goes to show that following Tucker Carlson’s departure from Fox News, the network’s status as a right-wing propaganda machine with no regard for honest reporting has not changed with his replacement

Below is a timeline cataloging Watters’ escalation of his bizarre conspiracy theory that the FBI is using evidence of Biden’s supposed bribery schemes to blackmail him and consequently control the White House:

  • Watters: “The guy is a walking blackmail operation. The Department of Justice knows the dirt, the FBI knows the dirt, China has dirt on him. The whole world has dirt on the Bidens. The world has the country by the Bidens.” [Fox News, The Five, 5/10/23]

  • Jesse Watters Primetime ran a chyron stating “Feds now own Biden.” Watters claimed “the former FBI director’s paying off the Bidens, and the current FBI director is covering up for the Bidens, and the last five CIA directors are helping the Bidens win elections.” The host added, “He’s a mark and he does what he’s told, obviously.” [Fox News, Jesse Watters Primetime, 5/10/23]

  • Watters claimed the FBI installed Biden as president as “an intelligence op” after blackmailing him for a decade: “Joe Biden's been groomed his whole career to take orders,” he added. “The FBI put their guy in the White House.” [Fox News, Jesse Watters Primetime, 6/5/23]

  • Watters said the FBI redacted the information about audio recordings from a Ukrainian businessman because they were “either covering up for Joe Biden for political reasons, or they’re blackmailing Joe Biden.” [Fox News, Jesse Watters Primetime, 6/12/23]

  • Watters attempted to rationalize this conspiracy theory by suggesting that the FBI or CIA had tapes of “Joe Biden cutting corrupt deals with Ukraine,” which “would explain our theory that the FBI’s been blackmailing Joe Biden. It also explains why Joe Biden must be protected and reelected in order to keep the tapes quiet and the money flowing.” [Fox News, Jesse Watters Primetime, 6/15/23]

  • Watters claimed “the Biden family has been an intelligence op for at least a decade.” Later in the segment, he added, “Joe Biden’s a money laundering operation for foreign nationals and American intelligence.” [Fox News, Jesse Watters Primetime, 6/15/23]

  • As Watters asked guest Mike Davis if it was “the best thing for the American defense industry, the American intelligence industry” to have “a president that they can control,” his show aired a chyron stating: “Intel community likes having Biden in power.” Davis responded that Biden is “the perfect guy to put in the White House if you want a puppet to control.” [Fox News, Jesse Watters Primetime, 6/15/23]

  • Watters claimed the FBI and the CIA were using his son's laptop to blackmail Biden: “They can just dangle it in front of Joe and he has to do whatever they say or else.” [Fox News, Jesse Watters Primetime, 6/21/23]

  • Watters: “I know Joe Biden is an intelligence op.” [Fox News, Jesse Watters Primetime, 6/26/23]