Add Chris Wallace to the list of Fox News hosts willing to value their journalistic credibility over their job security by daring to criticize President Trump on the network that is normally his most reliable propaganda outlet.
Wallace had the temerity to remind the president that he can really only blame himself for the ongoing investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team into the undermining of America’s electoral integrity by Russia, the Trump campaign’s possible links to the meddling, and the administration’s efforts to impede the investigation.
“The only person the president can blame for that is himself,” Wallace said on Fox News Friday.
According to a report on The Hill, the Fox News host made the claim as Trump once again attacked his pick for Attorney General, former Senator Jeff Sessions, for recusing himself from Russia investigation after assuming the role of head of the Justice Department.
Wallace, unlike the president, remembers that it wasn’t Sessions’ recusal that resulted in the appointment of Mueller to the Special Counsel job, but Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey that triggered the decision to bring in Mueller, a respected former FBI leader himself, to lead the probe that began during Comey’s watch at the bureau.
“You know, things have changed, and obviously the decision in the spring of 2017 to recuse himself and everything that has flowed from that has made a big difference,” Wallace said.
“Remember, the recusal of Sessions did not lead to the special counsel. It was the firing of Comey, of James Comey, the FBI director that led to the appointment of the special counsel,” the Fox News host insightfully explained.
Sessions felt duty bound to recuse himself from the investigation after a previously undisclosed conversation with former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak came to light after the Attorney General had already testified during his confirmation hearings that he had held no conversations with Kremlin officials during the Trump campaign.
With his credibility in tatters and the potential for perjury charges for lying to Congress, Sessions felt recusal was his only option. President Trump obviously feels otherwise, given the number of denigrating tweets he’s sent aimed at his Attorney General, whom he thinks has the primary role of being loyal to the president himself rather than the rule of law and the Constitution that both he and Sessions swore to uphold.
In keeping with Wallace’s characterization of Trump as his own worst enemy, Trump’s attempts to fire Sessions for his disloyalty and what the president sees as his failure to protect him are now being investigated by the Special Counsel’s office as evidence of Trump’s obstruction of justice in halting the Russia “Witch Hunt” as he likes to call (and capitalize) it.
While Trump has recently said that he would keep Sessions on as Attorney General at least until after the midterm elections in November, that may be simply the result of pressure from Republican leaders in Congress who know that any action to shut down the Mueller investigation will trigger a public controversy that could impede any chance they may have left to retain control of of the legislative branch.
Hopefully, that ship has long since sailed even without any further potential obstruction from the president. That Fox News hosts are now willing to defy Trump on the issue is a good sign about where things are headed.
You can watch Chris Wallace’s comments on Trump’s responsibility for his own troubles here.
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