Newsweek’s Christina Zhao reports on feedback given from Chris Wallace, of Fox News, on the Mueller report. And, what we can expect from opposing agendas:
Fox News host Chris Wallace fact-checked a disputed element of the special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation yesterday, noting that his setting the record straight would “drive some of” the network’s viewers “nuts.”
During an America’s Newsroom segment on Friday morning, Wallace agreed that Donald Trump “got a complete clean bill of health when it came to collusion and a kind of mixed bill of health when it came to obstruction” and noted that, when the report comes out that “Democrats are going to go after him again.”
Wallace and Fox News journalist Bill Hemmer went on to discuss how the Democrats would likely respond to the release of Mueller’s full report. “There’s no question you’ll see people like Adam Schiff, people like Elijah Cummings, head of House Oversight, continue to go after President Trump the way Democrats [sic] in 2016 went after Hillary Clinton on emails and Benghazi, you know it continues to put them on the defensive, it continues to energize the base,” Wallace said. “But Nancy Pelosi said this week, as soon as the report came out, ‘We gotta pivot and focus on issues that actually affect people’s lives.”
Later in the discussion, Bill Hemmer aired a clip of Rush Limbaugh talking about the “accountability for the Mueller matter” on Bret Baier’s show. “They began an investigation based on a phony dossier that was created and written by associates of Hillary Clinton,” Limbaugh said. “It was opposition research. This is outrageous what has happened here. There needs to be an investigation into this.”
Hemmer argued that Democrats would focus on whatever’s redacted in the Mueller report to poke holes in Trump’s exoneration. “My guess is that for most people they’ve either made up their minds and they’ve moved on and there’s not a lot of convincing at this point forward,” he said.
Wallace, however, fact-checked Limbaugh on the origins of the probe, noting that it may not be exactly what Fox News viewers would want to hear. “I know this is going to drive some of our viewers nuts. The Trump investigation did not start with the FISA warrant and Carter Page and even the dossier.”
“It started in June and July of 2016 when George Papadopoulos had spoken to a Russian agent and spoke to an Australian diplomat and said he had heard they had information on –– dirt on Hillary Clinton,” the host continued. “That’s when the investigation started. So it wasn’t October, it wasn’t September. It was in July and it was George Papadopoulos. Not to say that the FISA warrant was a legitimate basis… for inquiry, but that is not where the investigation started. It’s just a fact.”
Hemmer questioned Wallace’s comments, saying “I think we would add ‘we think’ in quotes because the story is not entirely yet revealed,” to which Wallace responded: “I don’t think there’s any doubt that they started investigating.”
“Everybody agrees they started investigating in the summer of 2016. Look, I’m not saying that what they did was right or any of that, but we know that’s when the investigation started. There’s been documentation of that,” the host added.
The completion of Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion between Trump’s campaign team and Kremlin officials was announced a week ago. Although Attorney General William Barr released a four-page summary of Mueller’s findings, demands for the full report to be made public has only continued to ramp up in recent days.
Mueller’s report, containing almost 400-pages of findings not including exhibits, will be heavily redacted when released. According to CNN, Barr laid out four reasons to Congress on why some parts of the report will be redacted and revealed that it’s expected to be released mid-April or sooner.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, on Friday, tweeted that “redactions are unacceptable.”
“Congress has asked for the entire Mueller report, and underlying evidence, by April 2,” he wrote. “That deadline stands. In the meantime, Barr should seek court approval (just like in Watergate) to allow the release of grand jury material. Redactions are unacceptable.”