Media Pans Fox And Friends’ Attempt To Prove Trump Has Constantly Called Out Russian Interference

The president was watching and was so pleased that he tweeted out the video montage.

After two days of clean-up attempts by President Donald Trump following his disastrous joint press conference with Vladimir Putin in which he sided with the ruthless autocrat over his own intelligence community, the president sat down with CBS News’ Jeff Glor and said he would hold Putin personally responsible for election meddling because he is in charge of his own country.

During that interview, Trump also said that he believes his intelligence agencies’ assessment that Russia tried to interfere in the 2016 election and that he has called out Russia many times throughout his presidency, something White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders stated this week. Well, Trump’s favorite morning program was listening and it came prepared Thursday morning with a montage clip.

After Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade said Trump put the issue to bed once and for all with his CBS interview, fellow host Ainsley Earhardt introduced the clip by declaring “the president has called out numerous times Vladimir Putin for meddling in the election.”

Then we got this:

As you can see above, each of the five instances that the F&F crew highlighted shows Trump saying that he thinks Russia meddled but that it was probably other countries or individuals as well. Even in his walk-back attempt earlier this week where he used his infamous “double negative” excuse, Trump ad-libbed that other countries were probably involved.

But this was as conclusive as you could get for co-host Steve Doocy, he exclaimed: “So, as you can see right there he has said a number of times he thought it was Russia and he thought they were meddling.”

This led to not one but two tweets from the president, who cited the clip as proof that he has accepted the intelligence community’s findings. (Mind you, the New York Times reported Wednesday night that Trump has known since before his inauguration that Putin was personally responsible for ordering the attacks but has continued to muddy the waters over the issue.)

While the president was extremely happy with the curvy couch crew giving his a ready-made clip to show he has diligently held Russia to task for hacking America’s elections, others were not so impressed. Many in the media rolled their eyes and rightly pointed out that the president was hedging in each of his so-called call-outs of Russia.

The Washington Post’s Philip Bump provided a breakdown of Trump’s public comments on Russian election interference and showed that while Trump wants us all to now believe that he’s taken a firm stance on Russia’s cyberattacks and influence campaign, in each of the assertions shown in the clip he “leaves open that door of doubt — as he has so many times.”

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Justin Baragona is the founder and publisher of Contemptor. He was previously the Cable News Correspondent for Mediaite and prior to starting Contemptor, he worked on the editorial staff of PoliticusUSA. During that time, he had his work quoted by USA Today and BBC News, among others. Justin began his published career as a political writer for 411Mania. He resides in St. Louis, MO with his wife and pets.
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