Bret Baier, the host of Fox News, denies having spoken with the Justice Department before to interviewing Donald Trump.
How did the interview go?
The former president’s sit-down interview with Baier was noteworthy for a number of reasons, but most notably because, as the lawyers noted, Trump appeared to have admitted to obstructing justice.
Baier questioned Trump on why he didn’t return the boxes of records that the National Archives and Records Administration had requested and for which it had gotten a subpoena. In response, Trump said he was busy.
“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 merely reading from the indictment, Trump effectively gave Baier a chance to cross-examine him. Trump’s own remarks are expected to be used by special counsel Jack Smith to support his allegations that the president intentionally and consciously conspired to obstruct justice and hid information from a federal grand jury (counts 32 and 33 of the indictment). Even better for Smith, he avoided having to question Trump directly.
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 backers claimed that Fox News was conspiring with the Justice Department 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.
It is simply untrue, in Baier’s opinion, to imply that he was hired 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.”
GOP presidential candidate Ron DeSantis was also interviewed on Fox News, which was a sharp contrast in approach to Trump’s time on air with Baier.
In the past week, the two top GOP presidential candidates engaged in quite different Fox News interviews, each of which served as an example of the power Fox, even in its broken state, still wields over the Republican nominating 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.”
If Bret Baier’s interview was any indication of how the Republican presidential primary debate will go for Trump, it’s going to be pretty contentious given the apparent disdain Baier displayed toward the former president, since he and fellow Fox News host Martha McCallum are set to moderate the debate on August 23.