When interviewing White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, Fox News ran a banner asking: “A coup in America?” Then, Fox host Jesse Watters suggested that a “coup” might be underway in the U.S. by saying that the FBI is trying to undermine Trump.
Watters used his show Saturday night to attack special counsel Robert Mueller, whom he claims has agents on the investigative team who are biased against Trump. Except, when Mueller found out about FBI agent Peter Strzok’s anti-Trump text messages, he fired him from the team. So, he did the right thing.
“We may now have proof the investigation was weaponized to destroy [Trump’s] presidency for partisan political purposes and to disenfranchise millions of American voters,” Watters said.
“Now if that is true, we have a coup on our hands in America,” he added.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) December 17, 2017
A backlash ensued.
“A coup in America?” This is incredibly irresponsible rhetoric. It’s no surprise that the same network that still denies Russian interference for Trump, also uses this kind of language to describe law enforcement efforts to uphold the law and our sovereignty. https://t.co/VUilAaAhAD
— Evan McMullin (@Evan_McMullin) December 17, 2017
Kevin Baron, the executive editor for military news outlet Defense One, chimed in.
Coup?! I cover wars. Militaries. Actual coups. Where citizens violently rise up and kill each other for power over each other.
This is alarmingly irresponsible language, even for Fox. Inflammatory. Baseless. Dangerous. https://t.co/1tGrKZGfTR
— Kevin Baron (@DefenseBaron) December 17, 2017
Benjamin Wittes, a friend of former FBI Director James Comey, had a little something to say, too.
I wake up this morning in Israel to find out that while I was sleeping, my Twitter feed exploded because GSA gave Mueller transition emails, Team Trump wrote a letter complaining about it, and Fox News is warning of a coup. #BabyCannons are going back to bed!
— Benjamin Wittes (@benjaminwittes) December 17, 2017
Fox News throwing the c-word around with the kind of carelessness I’ve only ever seen in the Middle East pic.twitter.com/LnTCXhJLLg
— Sulome Anderson (@SulomeAnderson) December 17, 2017
The best preparation for an actual coup (against the judiciary) is to claim that there has already been a coup (against the people).
The scary is ratcheting up. https://t.co/RWFvx8PnJ1
— Yascha Mounk (@Yascha_Mounk) December 17, 2017
Use of the word “coup” by @FoxNews after Russia has deliberately worked to destabilize US democracy is extremely irresponsible and should be roundly condemned.
— Ron Nehring (@RonNehring) December 17, 2017
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) December 17, 2017
”Coup is defined as “a sudden, violent, and illegal seizure of power from a government.” That word doesn’t mean what Fox News thinks it means. Before the election, Trump supporters spoke of taking up arms if Hillary Clinton won. That would be more of a coup. Donald Trump is not above the law.
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