Fox News figures laud Trump’s choice to nominate William Barr as attorney general

Melissa Joskow / Media Matters

On December 7, President Donald Trump announced via Twitter that he will nominate former Attorney General William Barr to lead the Department of Justice. Barr, who served as attorney general to President George H.W. Bush, has publicly supported Trump’s 2017 decision to fire FBI Director James Comey. He has also entertained right-wing conspiracy theories surrounding Hillary Clinton’s purported role in the Uranium One deal and has echoed some right-wing talking points to delegitimize special counsel Robert Mueller, raising questions about his impartiality. 

Fox News figures, however, claimed that Barr is “an absolutely brilliant choice” for attorney general and his “very competent” and “ethical” conduct will bring “a level of stability and knowledge to the Justice Department” that is currently lacking. 

Fox host Laura Ingraham: “I could not be happier” with the nomination. Her guest, paleoconservative Pat Buchanan, said Barr was “hugely qualified” and that Buchanan did not know “anything derogatory or negative about him.”

Fox & Friends: Fox's flagship morning show selectively presented praise of Barr, including law professor Jonathan Turley calling Barr “an absolutely brilliant choice” and Karl Rove saying he would be “effective” and bring “gravitas,” “maturity,” and “balance.” The praise was followed by Brian Kilmeade calling the choice “readily applauded” and saying it was “laughable that Democrats want to make sure [he's] not going to interfere with the Mueller probe.”

Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich: Barr is a “very smart” man of “great integrity” who “brings a level of stability and knowledge to the Justice Department.”

Fox contributor and former host Mike Huckabee called Barr a “smart choice” and noted that he’s “tied to the Republican establishment way more so than to President Trump.” Huckabee suggested that Barr’s ties to the Republican establishment will help him get Senate confirmation. 

Fox Business’ Lou Dobbs: “From the positions he's taken -- his straightforward style I really like, and if the president is impressed by him, that should be it.” Frequent Fox guest Ed Rollins added that Barr is “a very competent person” and Trump needs someone who can “clean house” at DOJ. 

Fox senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano: Barr is “of the highest ethical reputation” and suggested that he would refuse any orders from Trump that he found to be unlawful or inappropriate.

Fox contributor Andrew McCarthy: Barr is “fabulous pick” with whom he “couldn't be more pleased.”

Fox regular and former Deputy Attorney General Tom Dupree: Barr is “a good choice” who “knows how the Justice Department operates” and will “have the courage to stand up” to any illegal orders from Trump.