Fox News presenter Bret Baier denies speaking with the Justice Department prior to interviewing Donald Trump.
How did the interview go?
The former president’s interview with Baier was notable for a number of reasons, but especially because, as the attorneys noted, Trump appeared to confess to obstructing justice.
Baier questioned Trump as to why he did not return the crates of records that the National Archives and Records Administration had subpoenaed and requested. Trump replied that he was preoccupied.
“But according to the indictment, you then tell this aide to move to other locations after telling your lawyers to say you’d fully complied with the subpoena, when you hadn’t,” Baier followed up.
“But before I send boxes over, I have to take all of my things out. These boxes were interspersed with all sorts of things — golf shirts, clothing, pants, shoes. There were many things,” Trump responded.
Then, by simply reciting from the indictment, Trump gave Baier an opportunity to cross-examine him. Counts 32 and 33 of the indictment allege that the president intentionally and knowingly conspired to obstruct justice and concealed information from a federal grand jury. Special counsel Jack Smith is anticipated to use Trump’s own words to support his allegations. Even better for Smith, he was able to evade explicitly questioning Trump.
Baier: Why not just hand them over? Trump: Because I had boxes, I want to go through the boxes and get all my personal things pic.twitter.com/PwW85wlTzH
— Acyn (@Acyn) June 19, 2023
What was Baier’s response?
Following the interview, Trump supporters asserted that Fox News and the Justice Department were conspiring to frame Trump.
On Wednesday, a charge that read, “The big question is did @BretBaier have any contact with the DOJ to try and entrap @realDonaldTrump into incriminating himself” was addressed directly by the Fox News host. who was behind the questions. His interview will be used against him by the DOJ.
According to Baier, it is completely false to imply that he was recruited to assist investigators.
“I’ll answer that. No. I wrote my own questions,” he said. “And frankly I didn’t know that I would get much on the indictment questions assuming he might say he couldn’t talk about it. Thanks for watching.”
Fox News also interviewed Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis, whose interview was a stark antithesis to Trump’s time with Baier.
In the past week, the two leading Republican presidential candidates each participated in vastly different interviews with Fox News, each of which served as an illustration of the influence Fox, despite its decrepit state, still exerts over the Republican nomination process.
The Associated Press reports, “Donald Trump’s interview with Bret Baier, which aired in two parts Monday and Tuesday, was meaty and newsworthy. Baier pressed the former president about his indictment on hoarding confidential documents and pushed back on Trump’s false claims about the 2020 election.”
“Ron DeSantis’ session with Trump’s former press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, on Wednesday was far softer.”
“Their appearances alone are evidence that Fox, weakened financially by the $787 million settlement over defamation charges reached with Dominion Voting Systems and suffering in the ratings following Tucker Carlson’s firing, remains the media kingmaker for Republicans who want to be president.”
Baier and fellow Fox News host Martha McCallum are scheduled to moderate the Republican presidential primary debate on August 23. If Baier’s apparent disdain for the former president is any indication, the debate is likely to be quite contentious given Trump’s candidacy.