No holding back here: “I am convinced that Vladimir Putin has a grip on President Trump.” He seems all-in on the Steele dossier too. Yeesh.
The only surprise is that it took this long for him and Fox’s chief competitor to get together. (MSNBC gets higher ratings than CNN, right, but they’re drawing off a very different pool of viewers than Fox is.) Peters kissed off Fox in March after his contract expired with an email ripping the network for having become a de facto state-media outlet for Trump, at least in primetime hours. The email leaked immediately, of course. Somehow three months passed before Anderson Cooper landed an interview with him, but for CNN it was worth the wait. Peters hits nearly every major anti-Fox, anti-Trump note in the clip. The most withering line? He says he thinks Hannity really does believe the Spygate narrative but that the other hosts are too “smart” and therefore are just playing along.
One notable omission in his broadside at Fox is the extent to which the Trump/Fox relationship is symbiotic. It’s not a matter of Foxies doing him endless favors with flattering coverage. The input flows both ways, with Hannity recently described as Trump’s “shadow chief of staff” due to the frequency with which POTUS consults him. At least one Fox anchor, Heather Nauert, has already landed a job in the administration (at State) and Kim Guilfoyle was considered for press secretary. John Bolton, a Fox contributor for years, is now National Security Advisor. But oddly, none of the biggest Trump fans on the air have formally made the jump to the administration — yet. Is that about to change?
Jeanine Pirro has a top-rated Fox News show and a forthcoming book — “Lies, Leakers, and Liberals” — but she still wants to be President Donald Trump’s attorney general.
A former prosecutor and judge, Pirro has repeatedly told Trump’s aides and advisers over the last 18 months that she’s interested in taking over as the nation’s top law enforcement official, according to four people familiar with the conversations…
Pirro’s Fox News colleagues have laughed at her frequent mentions of the possibility of getting senior-level government work, according to one Fox employee. Two White House aides said they believe the president is not seriously considering bringing Pirro on to replace current Attorney General Jeff Sessions, despite Trump’s long-standing frustration with him.
Remember when Andrew Napolitano thought he was on the SCOTUS shortlist? It’s hard to know how seriously to take stories like these because, after all, Trump has looked to Fox as a personnel farm team and if any president’s prone to look far beyond the Overton window of candidates for a major cabinet appointment, it’s him. Pirro, a former DA, *probably* wouldn’t get confirmed, but with congressional Republicans terrified of crossing the president and the Senate GOP apt to pick up seats in November, never say never. What would probably sink her isn’t her Fox pedigree or her reinvention as a populist firebreather but the fact that she’s a Trump toady to an almost Hannityesque degree. If he got her installed somewhere at Justice, even in a deputy or associate AG spot, there’s zero doubt that, if ordered, she would fire Mueller, end the Russiagate investigation, or do anything else POTUS wanted to do. Every Senate Republican forced to consider her nomination would be keenly aware of it too. Confirming Pirro would be an invite to Trump to order a new Saturday night massacre. McConnell and his caucus don’t want that trouble.
Incidentally, if you’re wondering which left-winger formerly despised by righties (e.g., Julian Assange) is likely to be the next to earn Strange New Respect on Fox due to his willingness to shill for Trump, all my chips are on this guy:
— Byron York (@ByronYork) June 7, 2018
“Tonight, on a very special episode of ‘Hannity,’ for the full hour — journalistic legend and American hero Sy Hersh.” I’ll bet it happens before Labor Day.
Update: Fox responds via email: “Ralph Peters is entitled to his opinion despite the fact that he’s choosing to use it as a weapon in order to gain attention. We are extremely proud of our top-rated primetime hosts and all of our opinion programing.”