Step Smith, Fox News’ single rational anchor, used his show to speak out against the network today, a now-common occurrence for the cable news veteran.
Specifically, Smith slammed the biased effort of his coworkers to schedule guests who will advise Trump against sitting down with special counsel Robert Mueller.
“There appears to be a concerted effort to put a bunch of people on television, having seen those questions, and to say into the television — like this channel — ‘don’t do it Mr. President, don’t do it.’”
Smith is referring to the recently leaked list of questions Mueller reportedly plans to ask Trump should they ever manage to sit down for an interview.
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The segment featured Reuters reporter Jeff Mason who acknowledged that Trump is known for watching television, particularly the Fox News channel. “He’s got a lot of surrogates, as we call them, or friends out there who speak for him or speak on behalf of his advisers,” Mason said.
Smith interjected, reiterating his initial point, “And they all say ‘don’t do it.'”
The president and his clown car of a legal team (two new departures were announced just this morning, including longtime Trump ally Ty Cobb) are currently in negotiations with Mueller about the aforementioned interview.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a recent addition to Trump’s team of lawyers (though not a replacement for today’s resignations), indicated earlier that a decision on the interview is “several weeks away.”
Trump himself has vacillated between his willingness to meet with Mueller, initially indicating he was open to the possibility. As Smith pointed out in his segment today, though, repeated exposure to Fox News‘ propaganda eventually eroded the president’s willingness to comply.
Trump’s final straw landed when his former attorney Michael Cohen was subject to an FBI raid. His desire to cooperate all but dissolved, even though the raid was not part of Mueller’s investigation, but rather a Southern District of New York probe per Mueller’s referral.
On Monday, The New York Times reported the list of questions supposedly drafted by Mueller and his team for the interview in question. The “leak” was quickly throttled by the president, who continually refers to the probe as a “witch hunt.”
Subsequently, a Tuesday report by The Washington Post revealed that Trump’s lawyers had actually penned the questions based on a discussion of potential topics Mueller might discuss with Trump as his legal team frantically tries to prepare the erratic president for what may very well promise to be a career-ending interview.
Mueller is now considering issuing a subpoena to force Trump to appear in court, since his closest allies at Fox keep telling him to steer clear.
It’s difficult to say why Fox News has retained Shep Smith as an anchor, considering he’s one of the only actual journalists in the station’s employ and routinely calls out Trump’s hypocrisy and constant scandal.
Regardless of their intentions, at least there’s one voice of reason on the payroll.
Check out Shep’s commentary below.
Shep Smith calls out people on his own network speaking directly to Trump through the TV telling him not to talk to Robert Mueller pic.twitter.com/lx4giKDRdt
— Media Matters (@mmfa) May 2, 2018