NY Times' Healy: Why Is The White House Trusting A Fox Analyst More Than The FBI?

Video ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

From the March 17 edition of CNN's New Day:

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CHRIS CUOMO (CO-HOST): Let's just look at this as fact. You had strong and wrong. Sean Spicer saying, "No, this is on you, media. This is on you. There are plenty of reports." One of them that he mentioned was this Fox News accusation about British intel. What does it mean if [National Security Adviser H.R.] McMaster had to talk to British intel and call that unintentional bringing them into this? Essentially it's an apology.

PATRICK HEALY: Right. I mean Sean Spicer can blame the media all he wants. They can sit in that press room and to sort of come up with different spin every day and use the air quotes that the administration seems to want to put its claims and its policy in. But the reality is there's accountability. You can't just sort of cite random news reports and then elevate it to accusing one of America's closest allies of essentially spying on a presidential candidate without giving any kind of evidence. I mean normally, you don't see a White House go beyond just regurgitating a news report and going toward making actual allegations without any kind of evidence. And why do it against the British? I mean why start picking fights with your own friends? 

POPPY HARLOW (CO-HOST): They're a critical ally, right? So, here's what the British spy agency known as GCHQ [Government Communication Headquarters] said. Let me read this: "Recent allegations made by media commentator Judge Andrew Napolitano about GCHQ being asked to conduct, air quotes, 'wiretapping' against then-president-elect are nonsense. They are utterly ridiculous and should be ignored." Let's talk about the danger here, because I do think the -- look, the bar is lower, some would say, for this president when it comes to the word choices he uses, even about our allies, right? But where is the real danger in this?

HEALY: Right. I mean, the real danger is that the White House is choosing to use a talking head, Judge Andrew Napolitano, on Fox News as some kind of, basically of evidence of wrongdoing that their own FBI has been saying behind the scenes, and I think we're going to see saying next week is untrue. Why are they trusting Judge Andrew Napolitano more than the FBI and more than James Comey? They could have cleared this up two weeks ago by simply going and saying, "Was there a FISA warrant on Trump Tower?" If they are going to make charges, again, against Great Britain for doing this, they need to provide evidence.

[...]

HEALY: The bottom line in this is very clear. The longer that the administration plays this game with words where the danger is coming up where they are basically making accusations out there and putting things out there that they can't defend, credibility goes down. Credibility goes down. And, frankly, from at least the White House briefing podium, it's all about credibility. 

Previously:

After Trump Names Him As A Source, Fox Anchor Says There Is "No Evidence ... So Far" Backing Up Trump's Lie 

Reporter Blasts Sean Spicer For Quoting Sean Hannity Over FBI Director And Intelligence Committees 

Sean Spicer Cited A 9-11 Truther To Accuse The British Of Spying On Trump For Obama

White House Press Secretary Referenced A Russian Network Conspiracy Theory But Accused Journalists Of Pushing "False Narrative"

Fox News Conspiracy Theory That Obama Asked British Intelligence To Wiretap Donald Trump Echoes RT Interview

Posted In
The Presidency & White House, National Security & Foreign Policy
Network/Outlet
CNN
Person
Patrick Healy, Andrew Napolitano, Sean Spicer
Show/Publication
New Day
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