Missiles fell, lives were lost, and millions of civilians hoped to escape with their lives as Russian President Vladimir Putin launched at attack on Ukraine. It’s a war, a humanitarian crisis, a tragedy, a horror, and a time when real journalists are counted on to provide timely, accurate, and pertinent information. Or, as Fox News saw it, it was a perfect time to host Donald Trump for him to spew the same tired bullshit he does any time anyone hands him a microphone.
And spew he did. Trump dialed into Laura Ingraham’s program, and while the screen showed the night sky in Kyiv, the former president turned full-time shitposter prattled through his usual string of petty grievances. Taking a cue from Ingraham, Trump claimed Putin’s invasion was the result of the Biden administration’s “weakness,” “incompetence,” and “stupidity.” At that point, Trump had been talking for exactly 15 seconds and without falsely claiming to have won the 2020 election, so, naturally, he shifted course. “And it all happened because of a rigged election.”
He went on to blame inflation and threw in a dig about immigration because Trump. “That includes millions of people pouring in on a monthly basis far more than 3 million people and they’re coming from 129 different countries. We have no idea what’s happening and they’re destroying our country.”
If you have a strong enough stomach, you can listen to it all here.
Here's Donald Trump on Fox News saying Russia's invasion of Ukraine "all happened because of a rigged election."
Laura Ingraham then briefly cuts him off to air the Ukrainian envoy's speech. (Of course, she then pulled out of the speech to go back to Trump.) pic.twitter.com/7ZfSp7icQ1
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) February 24, 2022
Here’s the thing: Of course Trump is going to take a horrific moment and bring it around to self-aggrandizement and petty grievance. It’s his version of the inhale-exhale cycle. It’s literally all he does and all he can do.
But even for Fox News, it’s a remarkably odious decision to make him the de facto quarterback of a section of your coverage. At a time when people of all political leanings desperately wanted and needed to know what was happening in a foreign country, Fox served their viewers a heaping helping of Trump’s semi-sentient ranting.
(It’s also, we might add, a bit rich from a network that spent the early years of the Iraq war insisting that criticism of the president during war — in that case, President George W. Bush — was borderline treasonous.)
But it’s Fox News and it’s 2022, so things can always get worse, and, of course, they soon did. Ingraham then interrupted Trump off to cut to Ukrainian Ambassador Sergiy Kyslytsya speaking at the UN about the offensive.
This is incredible, in the worst way possible. Laura Ingraham is blaming the Russia investigation for Russia’s decision to declare war on Ukraine.
I am speechless. pic.twitter.com/wgEgFIefAv
— Caroline Orr Bueno, Ph.D (@RVAwonk) February 24, 2022
Ingraham, however, did not end the rehashing of MAGA old wounds during the program, choosing to somehow tie the Mueller investigation to the attack on Ukraine as well.
“Tens of millions of dollars that were spent on that ridiculous Mueller investigation, we’re paying the price right now,” she said. “I think the world is paying the price at least the world that cares about this region. We wasted an opportunity. You just heard president Trump — he wanted to work with Putin and try to avoid what people thought was kind of building over a course of many years preceding the Trump Administration. He was unable really to do a lot and that it was a tacit admission on his part, he wasn’t able to do a lot. I lay the blame at the feet of the people who tried to hound him out of office.”