Fox News Panics Over Trump Indictment
Fox News struggled in real time to process the first criminal charges ever brought against a president on Thursday night, as the network recoiled from the news that a Manhattan Grand Jury has voted to indict former president Donald Trump.
Gasps could be heard around the set of The Five as the news broke, and anchors lashed out at Prosecutor Alvin Bragg — and in some cases their co-hosts, while reacting to the news.
Host Jesse Watters — keying off the case likely revolving around a hush money payment to Stormy Daniels — railed that there’s no criminality in paying off one’s former lovers. (The legal issue at hand isn’t that Trump paid her, it’s whether the manner of payment ran afoul of New York law and federal election law.
“If you get a haircut a couple of weeks before the election and you pay for it out of your own pocket, not campaign funds, how is that a campaign finance felony?” Watters said. “You’re going to get a haircut anyway. You wanted to look good anyway. Just like he would have paid off this woman anyway, whether he was running for president or not.”
“You think a public affair with a porn star is the same as getting a touch-up on your hair?” countered host Jessica Tarlov.
Later in the show, Watters complained that “Democrats” just indicted Trump “over sex.”
“We were told during the 90s that it was just sex, and it was just a private deal and it had nothing to do with politics, nothing to do with policy. Weren’t we told that?” Watters was referencing the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal. He did not note that former president Bill Clinton was impeached over his sexual relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
Fellow host Greg Gutfeld had choice words for Bragg, calling him an “incompetent boob,” and asserting that the charges against Trump would elevate him to “folk hero” status. “Basically it’s one party hunting another,” said Gutfeld. “He’s going to be a political prisoner getting prosecuted over politics.”
While the network had reportedly implemented a “soft ban” on Trump appearances in recent months, the former president made his return to Fox News earlier this week in an extended interview with host Sean Hannity. Now that Trump and Fox have begun to make amends, the president can take full advantage of the network’s willingness to defend him, no matter the cost.