- Fox News hosts shrugged off a report that President Donald Trump wanted to fire Robert Mueller, the special counsel leading the FBI’s Russia investigation.
- They repeated the president’s assertion that the report, from The New York Times, was fake news.
“Fox & Friends” on Friday morning both dismissed a bombshell New York Times report that President Donald Trump ordered the firing of the special counsel Robert Mueller last June and suggested that Americans don’t care whether the president tried to obstruct the FBI investigation Mueller is leading into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.
The president called the report “fake news” on Friday morning.
“Fake news, folks,” Trump told reporters in Davos, Switzerland, where he is attending the World Economic Forum. “Fake news. A typical New York Times fake story.”
The “Fox & Friends” hosts quoted the president, cast doubt on the quality of The Times’ sources, and suggested that the reporting that Trump pressured his aides to fire Mueller was unimportant.
“Speaking of typical New York Times, you look in the first paragraph – all of this reporting based on four people who are told of the matter,” said Pete Hegseth, one of the hosts, adding that the story “screams of a leak from the special counsel.”
Moving from amused to frustrated, Ainsley Earhardt, another host,suggested the story was old and asked viewers whether they cared about the president’s reported actions.
“The president says it’s fake news, that it happened last June,” Earhardt said. “It’s something we have to tell you about because it is a headline on The New York Times. What do you think about that? Do you even care?”
Pivoting to the show’s next segment on Congress’ immigration debate, Earhardt said, “Something you probably do care about is immigration.”
Just after the Times story broke on Thursday night, other Fox News hosts also dismissed and attempted to discredit it.
With a major story breaking about the president and the rule of law in America, this is Fox News now. It’s no wonder that so many remain uninformed about serious challenges facing our nation. pic.twitter.com/fpnFVPifiI
— Evan McMullin (@Evan_McMullin) January 26, 2018
“At this hour, The New York Times is trying to distract you,”Sean Hannity said on his program.
He later backtracked.
“So we have sources tonight just confirming to Ed Henry that yeah, maybe Donald Trump wanted to fire the special counsel for conflict,” he said, referring to the Fox News correspondent who had published a story describing a source as confirming some of the details in the Times article.
“Does he not have the right to raise those questions?” Hannity said. “You know, we’ll deal with this tomorrow night.”
Hannity then quickly cut to a police car chase in Arizona.
Watch the Hannity clip:
Sean Hannity: The New York Times is trying to distract you. They say Trump tried to fire Mueller, but our sources aren’t confirming that!
Sean Hannity, minutes later: Alright, yeah, maybe our sources confirm Trump wanted to fire Mueller. But so what? That’s his right. Anywho… pic.twitter.com/yUIt7Un56d
— Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) January 26, 2018
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.