It has never been more clear that Fox News is making executive decisions for the President of the United States. Donald Trump watches Fox News for hours every day (and night) and there have been many stories about how he has been influenced by the conservative news channel.
“Trump declassified sensitive materials because Fox News hosts Lou Dobbs, Sean Hannity, and Jeanine Pirro asked him to. Materials that he never bothered to read himself and his own Justice Department said couldn’t be released without jeopardizing ongoing investigations.”
Trump declassified sensitive materials because Fox News hosts Lou Dobbs, Sean Hannity, and Jeanine Pirro asked him to. Materials that he never bothered to read himself and his own Justice Department said couldn’t be released without jeopardizing ongoing investigations. https://t.co/sqawVswcUw
— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) September 19, 2018
Not only that, but the Washington Post is confirming that Trump had never read the materials that he ordered declassified.
The Monday order was very specific in that it said to declassify precisely those pages of the FISA warrant application to surveil Carter Page that were mentioned in a news conference held by 12 members of the House who are very loyal to the president.
Also, Trump ordered the department to declassify text messages involving former FBI agent Peter Strzok, Justice Department official Bruce Ohr and others who have been called enemies by Trump and Fox News.
According to the Post:
“Those elected officials and the Fox News hosts who echoed their demand insisted that the declassifications would demonstrate anti-Trump rot in the Justice Department. Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) promised that revelation would help Republicans win in November.”
As the Post points out, however, it’s very odd that Hannity, Pirro or Dobbs would call for the release of classified material since none of them has a security clearance. They could not possibly have known what was actually in the documents.
Which means that all the Fox News people got their information from Republican House members such as Nunes, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Rep.Mark Meadows of North Carolina. After being briefed by the House members they went on TV to call for documents to be declassified just assuming that they contained what was promised.
As President of the United States, Donald Trump is allowed to read every classified document in the United States government. But this doesn’t mean that he actually reads anything.
In an interview yesterday Trump admitted that he hadn’t read the material he was ordering be exposed to the public.
“I have not reviewed them,” he said in response to a question. “I have been asked by many people in Congress as you know to release them.”
Then he added:
“I have watched commentators that I respect begging the president of the United States to release them. . . . I have had many people ask me to release them. Not that I didn’t like the idea, but I wanted to wait. I wanted to see what, you know, where it was all going. And I think this whole, it’s a hoax. You know Gregg Jarrett wrote a book called the Russian Hoax. It actually is a hoax. I call it a witch hunt, but it’s a hoax. Beyond a witch hunt.”
“I have been asked by so many people that I respect. ‘Please’ — the great Lou Dobbs, the great Sean Hannity, the wonderful great Jeanie Pirro.”
Pirro, Trump said, “takes it so personally” because this is “one of the great scandals in the history of our country.”
Very few people, including the president, the Fox News hosts, or members of the public, know what’s contained in those classified materials.
Before they are released, the Justice Department will redact the sensitive information in the interests of national security.
When that happens, the GOP House members and the Fox News hosts and Donald Trump will then claim that the FBI and Justice Department are hiding evidence of wrongdoing.
And that may serve the political goals of Trump and his allies. All they want to do is make our country’s top law enforcement agency look bad.
What they are doing is a desperate ploy to undermine this law enforcement agency. They want to destroy its credibility as Trump looks for a way out of the legal trouble that he is in. But the footsteps of Robert Mueller are growing louder every day, and there is nowhere for Donald Trump to hide.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.