Donald Trump (Credit: Getty/Jim Watson)
Over the past month, conservative news sources and hosts have become increasingly vocal in suggesting that the FBI’s involvement in special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation into the possible ties between the Russian government and the 2016 campaign of President Donald Trump might lead to some sort of overthrow of the government or, at least in one case, a threat to the president’s life.
On Tuesday’s edition of Fox News’ “Outnumbered,” regular contributor Kevin Jackson suggested that that FBI agent Peter Strzok — who was fired from the Russian investigation after his text messages slanted against Trump were discovered — may have been referencing a potential “assassination attempt” when he reportedly called President Trump’s election a “risk” that “we can’t take.”
Co-host Harris Faulkner said, “Senate Judiciary Committee chair Chuck Grassley reportedly says he wants the FBI to replace Andrew McCabe,” he said referencing the FBI deputy director who may have been mentioned in Strzok’s messages as “Andy.” “All right,” he continued, “so we got to get to the bottom of whether ‘Andy’ was Andrew McCabe.”
“He was,” Jackson said with certainty.
“What else do you want to know?” Faulkner asked Jackson.
“Well, I think they’re going to say, is it — what was [Strzok’s] intent, right?” Jackson replied. “Because that’s exactly what FBI Director, former FBI Director [James] Comey said when he was letting Hillary Clinton off the hook. And his intent, regardless of whether it was an assassination attempt or whatever, it was definitely something.”
Faulker immediately tried to slow Jackson down, but the guest continued: “Well, I’m just saying, we don’t know what it was. When you say, ‘we’ve got to make sure that this guy doesn’t get in at all cost,’ what does that mean?” He added, “So I’m saying there’s a spectrum of what does it mean, but one thing that we know for sure, is that he was plotting in an election against a candidate, and there’s FBI fingerprints all over this.”
Perhaps sensing a viral moment in the works, Faulker tried to distance his show from Jackson’s claims. “I just want to make sure that we press in on the fact that no one has floated any sort of an idea that it was” such a plot, he said.
Jackson then went so far as to say that Oh, it’s been floated,” social media, though — he discerns — there is no confirmation from any credible media source. “When I talk about this, I’m talking about social media stuff and, you know, that’s out there,” he said. “I’m not talking about media sources.” Indeed, no news source — or any source whatsoever — is credibly suggesting that the FBI has ever plotted to kill a sitting president of the United States.
Jackson is the same contributor who accused ousted NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick of giving “money to terrorists” in an equally spurious statement earlier this month.
This comes just days after Fox News hostJesse Watters claimed “we have a coup on our hands in America,” given that Mueller’s investigation “has been crooked from the jump.” Watters brought counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway on his program to substantiate these claims, with the phrase “A Coup In America?” in a caption on the bottom of the screen.
.@KellyannePolls: "The fix was in against @realDonaldTrump from the beginning, and they were pro-Hillary… They can't possibly be seen as objective or transparent or even-handed or fair."http://pic.twitter.com/DZKKR0OOPo
— Fox News (@FoxNews)December 17, 2017
Many have spoken out against Fox News for trying to “destabilize US democracy,” through the use of this word, calling the claim “alarmingly irresponsible” and “baseless.”
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
I'm an academic studying coups. This is embarrassing and dangerous. There is no coup in America, but there is a de-facto state propaganda outlet named Fox News. http://pic.twitter.com/Rtg37N84ZC
— Marcel Dirsus (@marceldirsus)December 17, 2017
Fox News is seemingly suggesting the Mueller investigation, which began in May (seven months ago), is a coup.
This is the definition of a coup or coups d'etat: “a sudden, violent, and illegal seizure of power from a government.”https://t.co/2x7kygbTZ7
— John Haltiwanger (@jchaltiwanger) December 17, 2017
Adding to the echo chamber of distress, Alex Jones, host of Infowars, has expressed grave concern that in “the next 30 days,” Democratic powers are “going to go ahead and make their move to kill the president.” Jones suspects that the Clintons, Loretta Lynch, James Comey and Eric Holder are among 15 “desperate” figures behind an elaborate assassination plot against Donald Trump.
Jones notes that, in his view, Trump isn’t taking enough precaution against such plots, making an assassination a near inevitability.
“If he is going to get killed, he’s ready to get killed that’s just where this is going to go next,” Jones explained. “It’s going to be like when they killed Julius Caesar, you know what happened to the plotters. They really brought down hell on them then.”
Indeed, many — but not all — of the group Roman governmental, aristocratic and military figures who assassinated Caesar in front of the Theater of Pompey in 44 B.C. shortly after he been declared dictator for life met with violent and untimely ends. At least Jones got that much right. (Salon)