President Trump has made it clear he likes what he hears on Fox News. The network often covers the president favorably, bringing on conservative commentators that push the president’s agenda and, at times, explore far-right conspiracy theories.
But in an unusual shift Tuesday, three different voices on Fox News pushed back against the president’s most recent conspiracy theory. A Fox News guest, commentator and anchor all rebuked claims from the president and his allies that the FBI planted a “spy” in his campaign in an effort to undercut his candidacy.
Outgoing Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), the House Oversight Committee Chairman and Trump supporter, said in an interview on Fox that the FBI was justified in using a secret informant to assist in the Russia investigation. Gowdy, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, attended a classified Justice Department briefing last week over the FBI’s use of the confidential source, identified as Stefan A. Halper.
“President Trump himself in the Comey memos said if anyone connected with my campaign was working with Russia, I want you to investigate it, and it sounds to me like that is exactly what the FBI did,” Gowdy told host Martha MacCallum. “I think when the president finds out what happened, he is going to be not just fine, he is going to be glad that we have an FBI that took seriously what they heard.”
“I am even more convinced that the FBI did exactly what my fellow citizens would want them to do when they got the information they got, and that it has nothing to do with Donald Trump,” Gowdy said. Asked about the president’s tweets on the subject, he added that such statements could be subject to questioning by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.
“If I were his lawyer, and I never will be, I would tell him to rely on his lawyers and his (communications) folks,” he said.
Asked to respond to Gowdy’s remarks, a Fox News commentator known for defending the president also cast doubt on Trump’s “Spygate” claims. Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano (better known and often quoted by Trump as Judge Napolitano) said claims that the FBI placed an undercover spy on Trump’s campaign “seem to be baseless.”
“There is no evidence for that whatsoever,” Napolitano said. The fact that the FBI source spoke with “people on the periphery of the campaign,” he said, “is standard operating procedure in intelligence gathering and in criminal investigations.”
Read More at WaPo