Fox News anchor Chris Wallace claimed that recent criticism regarding the FBI and special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation was not against the agency in general. Yet multiple figures at his own network have criticized the FBI in broad terms, suggesting the agency was “like the old KGB,” that it was participating in “a coup,” and acted as if it was in “a third world country.”
Fox’s Chris Wallace claims “no one is talking” about the FBI “in general” with Mueller probe criticism
FBI agent removed from Mueller’s FBI investigation after anti-Trump text messages discovered. An FBI agent who was involved with the FBI’s Russia probe was removed from the probe after anti-Trump text messages he sent were discovered, according to The New York Times. The Times noted that special counsel Robert Mueller “removed Mr. [Peter] Strzok,” the agent, from his team as soon as he became aware of the texts.” From the December 12 article:
A top counterintelligence agent, Peter Strzok, exchanged the messages with Lisa Page, a senior F.B.I. lawyer. Some messages criticized Mrs. Clinton’s team, the Obama administration, Congress and other Democrats. But the two appeared appalled at some of Mr. Trump’s comments during the campaign and feared that he would politicize the F.B.I.
For example, after Mr. Trump made an apparent sexual allusion related to the size of his hands, Ms. Page wrote: “This man cannot be president.” In another exchange, Mr. Strzok wrote of a potential Trump presidency, “I’m scared for our organization.” He also referred to Mr. Trump as a “douche.” The messages were turned over to Congress and obtained by The New York Times.
Mr. Strzok went on to become one of the top investigators for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III. But over the summer, Mr. Mueller removed Mr. Strzok from his team as soon as he became aware of the texts. Their release is certain to fuel suspicion among Republicans that the investigation into connections between the Trump campaign and Russia was politically motivated from the beginning. [The New York Times, 12/12/17]
Chris Wallace: “Nobody is talking about the FBI in general” with Mueller probe criticism. Discussing the FBI agents’ texts, Fox News anchor Chris Wallace claimed, “Nobody is talking about the FBI in general,” and that only “individual actors” were being criticized. From the December 17 edition of Fox Broadcasting Co.’s Fox News Sunday:
CHRIS WALLACE (HOST): But, congresswoman, look, nobody is talking -- this is a red herring. Nobody is talking about the FBI in general. Everybody agrees that it's a good, solid agency. We’re talking about individual actors here. When you read those texts where they just trash Trump, they say that he's loathsome, that he's an idiot, and then specifically this August 2016 one where they talk about “we’ve got to have an insurance policy in case he gets elected.” You don't find that troubling? [Fox Broadcasting Co., Fox News Sunday, 12/17/17]
But multiple Fox figures have criticized the FBI in broad terms
Fox's Gregg Jarrett: The FBI is “like the old KGB” and a “shadow government.” Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett claimed Mueller’s probe showed that the FBI was acting as a “shadow government” and was “like the old KGB.” From the December 6 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
GREGG JARRETT: I think we now know that the Mueller investigation is illegitimate and corrupt. And Mueller has been using the FBI as a political weapon. And the FBI has become America's secret police. Secret surveillance, wiretapping, intimidation, harassment, and threats. It's like the old KGB that comes for you in the dark of the night, banging through your door.
SEAN HANNITY (HOST): By the way, this is not a game, this is not hyperbole you’re using here.
JARRETT: No. Ask Paul Manafort. They came for him and broke through his front door in the darkness of night.
HANNITY: And if it can happen to him, Gregg –
JARRETT: It can happen to all of us. Absolutely. The FBI is a shadow government now. [Fox News, Hannity, 12/6/17]
Fox’s Lou Dobbs: “The most corrupt" FBI "in our country’s history” is investigating Trump. Fox Business host Lou Dobbs claimed “we have the most corrupt FBI, the most corrupt Justice Department in our country's history.” From the December 15 edition of Fox Business' Lou Dobbs Tonight:
LOU DOBBS (HOST): We now know, I think it’s safe to say, we now know that we have the most corrupt FBI, the most corrupt Justice Department in our country's history. I mean it’s been demonstrated, Congress has yet to act. There should be people going to jail right now. It is so clear, the actions of so many who've tried to frustrate the Constitution and a duly elected president. [Fox Business, Lou Dobbs Tonight, 12/15/17]
Fox’s Jeanine Pirro: There needs to be a “cleansing” at the FBI, which has the “stench” of “a third world country.” Fox host Jeanine Pirro claimed that the FBI had been overrun by anti-Trump people who “set events in motion to destroy the republic” and called for a “cleansing” at the FBI because the “stench” from the agency was “like that of a third world country.” From the December 9 edition of Fox News’ Justice with Judge Jeanine:
JEANINE PIRRO: There is a cleansing needed in our FBI and Department of Justice. It needs to be cleansed of individuals who should not just be fired, but who need to be taken out in handcuffs.
The stench coming out of the Justice Department and the FBI is like that of a third world country, where money, and bullies, and clubs decide elections. It all started when Cardinal [former FBI Director James] Comey destroyed our FBI with political hacks to set events in motion to destroy the republic because they didn’t like the man we chose to be our president. Well it’s time to take them out in cuffs. [Fox News, Justice with Judge Jeanine, 12/9/17]
Fox’s Tucker Carlson: The FBI “considers itself above the law.” Fox host Tucker Carlson, discussing Mueller’s probe and terrorism cases, claimed that the FBI was “out of control” and “considers itself above the law.” From the December 4 edition of Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight:
TUCKER CARLSON (HOST): The FBI is out of control. And not just in the Trump investigation, but much more broadly. An agency charged with enforcing the law clearly considers itself above the law. [Fox News, Tucker Carlson Tonight, 12/4/17]
Fox’s Jesse Watters: FBI may have tried to launch “a coup” against Trump. Fox News host Jesse Watters claimed that the FBI may have tried to “destroy” Trump’s presidency “for partisan political purposes” as part of “a coup.” From the December 16 edition of Fox News’ Watters’ World:
JESSE WATTERS (HOST): Is the FBI part of the resistance? That is the subject of tonight’s Watters’ Words.
So the investigation into Donald Trump’s campaign has been crooked from the jump. But the scary part is we may now have proof the investigation was weaponized to destroy his presidency for partisan political purposes and to disenfranchise millions of American voters. Now, if that’s true, we have a coup on our hands in America. [Fox News, Watters World, 12/16/17]