Fox News, which is often in sync with U.S. President Donald Trump both rhetorically and politically, is joining some Republican leaders in sounding the alarm that Trump’s latest conspiracy theory, “Spygate,” may finally be a step too far and even a threat to rule of law in the U.S.
Trump and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani have been alleging that former President Obama placed “spies” in his presidential campaign as a means to gather intelligence for both Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration.
Fox News anchor Shepard Smith, who is the channel’s regular fact checker and Trump foil, went point by point through Trump’s Tuesday tweets, ripping the alleged scandal to shreds.
“President Trump has also claimed the feds spied on his campaign with an informant. The president calls it ‘spygate,’” Smith said on-air, “Fox News can confirm it is not. Fox News knows of no evidence to support the president’s claim.”
Earlier in the week, Fox News judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano weighs in with Martha MacCallum on Tuesday's edition of “The Story.” Napolitano also said, “there is no evidence for that whatsoever” and added, “if they [the FBI] were there for some nefarious reason, like former Mayor Giuliani suggested, to gather data from the campaign and pass it to the West Wing and Mrs. Clinton, I'd want to see evidence before I made an allegation that outrageous.”
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Also on Tuesday, with Martha MacCallum, Fox ran an interview with former House Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy saying, "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," he added, with regard to how the Trump campaign was treated.
To date Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s year-long investigation in the allegations that the Trump presidential campaign colluded with Russia has yielded either indicted or gotten guilty pleas from 19 people and three companies — that we know of.
That group is composed of four former Trump advisers, 13 Russian nationals, three Russian companies, one California man, and one London-based lawyer. Five of these people (including three former Trump aides) have already pleaded guilty.
The most damning commentary on Trump’s “Spygate” allegation so far comes from Republican commentator and strategist Steve Schmidt - who was chief campaign manager for John McCain in 2008.
"For 240 plus years, the rule of law has held in the United States of America. And the spinning of these conspiracy theories, the constancy of the attacks, the victimization that Trump puts upon himself, always blaming someone, this nefarious conspiracy, this is the hallmark of autocratic leadership back to the beginning of time. This is not normal in a democratic republic like the United States. And it should be opposed," Schmidt told MSNBC.
"There is a second scandal, and that is the complicity of the majority party, the Republican party, in the Congress," Schmidt said. "The fact is that there is not one of them, not one who will stand up and say that we are a country of laws, that no person is above the law, that these institutions are vital and necessary and objective truth matters. This is propaganda. This is what propaganda looks like. It's what it smells like. We have never seen anything like it. What we're seeing is an attack from within on vital institutions like a person's body would be attacked by a flesh-eating bacteria. And it is unprecedented in America."