Chris Wallace and Shep Smith on Friday were perplexed by the recent developments in the ongoing Donald Trump/James Comey saga, with the hosts noting the president’s actions only serve to erode the trust of the American people
The pair discussed the stunning exchange between Reuters reporter Jeff Mason and White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer; during that back and forth, Spicer declined—three times—to say Trump is not secretly recording conversations in the Oval Office.
“When I heard that exchange today between Jeff Mason and Sean Spicer, speaking from the podium in the briefing room for the president of the United States, it took my breath away,” Wallace said.
“That was what in Watergate they called a ‘non-denial, denial,’” he added.
Wallace said it’s possible Trump is simply “trolling the press corp, and working them into a frenzy about all this,” adding, “but, why would he do that? Why would he want to decrease the credibility—which is already in question—of this White House.”
House Freedom Caucus co-founder Rep. Jim Jordan tried Sunday to end the blame being cast upon his group and others for Republicans’ failed ObamaCare overhaul bill
Chis Wallace tried to get him to admit that he was trying to take away protections for people with pre-existing conditions but Jordan would only say he was trying to make health insurance affordable.
We are having a culture that does not respect life from conception to natural death and this president gave the most — this Manhattan male billionaire, who was pro-choice most of his adult life gave the impassioned defense of life that anybody has ever heard coming from a presidential podium.
.. WALLACE: And chief strategist Stephen Bannon went much further. Quote, “The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while.”
But Bannon wasn’t finished. “The media has zero integrity, zero intelligence and no hard work. You’re the opposition party. Not the Democratic Party. You’re the opposition party.”
Kellyanne, do you understand how offensive that is?
.. CONWAY: I understand how offensive it was to never be taken seriously that Donald Trump could be elected president. On great days, we were ignored. On most days, we were mocked.
WALLACE: A lot of us — a lot of us reported on it fairly, and that’s a different issue.
CONWAY: No, no, no, it is the issue, because it extends into this presidency, Chris. You can’t put a piece of tissue paper between the way Donald Trump was covered as the Republican candidate, the Republican nominee, the president-elect, and the president. It’s all the same. It’s an anti-Trump screed. It’s completely disrespectful to the Office of the President.
Why — look at what happened this week. Nobody is interested in learning the policies. It’s just —
WALLACE: I’ve been asking about policies today. I asked you about the vetting.
CONWAY: Well, look —
WALLACE: I asked about Mexico. I asked you about the Supreme Court.
WALLACE: Those are legitimate questions, are they not?
.. WALLACE: Let me get if I may to the real point, politicians complain about bad press. I think you have some legitimate complaints about bad press. The First Amendment protects the press. We are in the Constitution.
And it’s offensive, quite frankly, that have folks — any politician, but folks who have been in the White House for a week lecture us about what we should and shouldn’t do and that we should keep our mouth shut.
.. CONWAY: — what my colleague Steve Bannon is saying is, why don’t you talk last and listen to America more. Let me tell you something, I know what he meant. I worked with him everybody. The media failed to learn America. Donald Trump prove something that the media failed to do, which is he understood America. The idea that we were never taken seriously —
.. WALLACE: — we have zero intelligence and zero integrity, and that we shouldn’t keep our mouths shut is offensive.
CONWAY: I think it’s called listen more.
.. And let me just say something else happens. It’s the way that everything is cherry picked. Bias media coverage it’s easy to detect. It frankly helps us because this was such an elite rejection of election, where the establishment, the elites were all rejected by the voters.
It turns out they’re a heck of a lot more of them than us, Chris. And that’s how we won. Why is that relevant? It’s relevant because people — who is cleaning house? Which one of the first network to get rid of these people who said things that just weren’t true.
Talk about fake news, talk about alternative facts, what happened last week? I went on three network Sunday shows. I spoke for 35 minutes on three network Sunday shows. You know what got picked? The fact that I said alternative facts, not the fact that I ripped a new one to some of those hosts for never covering the facts that matter to America’s women, 16.1 million women in poverty as we sit there, the 12.4 million who have no health insurance. Everybody should feel outraged.
.. The billions of dollars we have spent as a nation on public education, only to have millions of kids trapped in schools that fail them and never really promote and protect their intelligence and prepare them for the world that they all deserve. They shouldn’t be restricted by the zip code where they live. They should be lifted up.
.. There’s no question that when you look at the contributions made by the media, money contributions, they went to Hillary Clinton. We have all the headlines, people should be embarrassed. Not one network person has been let go. Not one silly political analyst and pundit who talked smack all day long about Donald Trump has been let go
.. Who’s the first editorial — the first blogger that will be left out that embarrassed his or her outlet? We know all their names. I’m too polite to call them by name. But they know who they are, and they’re all wondering, will I be the first to go?
The election was three months ago. None of them have been let go. If this were a real business, if the mainstream media were a thriving private sector business that actually turn a profit, which is not true of many of our newspapers, Chris, 20 percent of the people would be gone. They embarrassed, they failed to protect their shareholders and their board members and their colleagues.
.. WALLACE: And let me say, you didn’t rip me a new one.