Fox Business anchor Maria Bartiromo is still in the running for a promotion to a prime-time slot on Fox News, either despite or because of her long track record of spreading conspiracy theories on the air. And during her interview Thursday morning with former President Donald Trump, Bartiromo continued to support Trump’s lies about the 2020 election — complaining only that a person could get in trouble for saying such things.
Voting machine company Smartmatic has sued both Fox News and Bartiromo personally, for the role that she and the network played in spreading Trump’s baseless claims that voting machines used in the election were part of an elaborate international plot to switch votes.
Thursday morning on Bartiromo’s show, Trump continued to assert that he had won the election, claims which led to the siege of the Capitol on January 6 by a mob of his supporters. (Trump also promoted the secretive ballot “audit” now being conducted by the Arizona state Senate and false claims about legions of Democratic attorneys urgently coming into the state.)
Bartiromo responded: “I mean, the bigger question that I'm asking is, whether you believe that or not, you're not allowed to say it, right? I mean, you get hammered if you speak what you feel is truth, honestly. You get hammered on social media.”
Bartiromo was a major promoter of the Trump campaign’s debunked claims about the election results, claiming at one point that an “intel source” had told her that “President Trump did in fact win the election,” and also urging that alleged election thieves be sent to prison. She also responded to the January 6 insurrection by alternately claiming that Trump’s supporters “feel robbed” and baselessly alleging that “Democrats infiltrated … and put on MAGA clothing.”
And with Trump using Fox as a continued platform to promote his Big Lie, Bartiromo’s big concern is that a person might face repercussions “if you speak what you feel is truth, honestly.”
Update (4/29/21, 4:45 p.m. EDT): Fox has uploaded only brief clips from the interview to its YouTube and Facebook accounts — none of which include Trump’s repeated lies about the election nor Bartiromo’s approving responses. (YouTube officially banned content that engages in denial of the 2020 election’s legitimacy, in the wake of January 6 — though enforcement has been spotty.)