Eric Trump, Donald Trump Jr. (AP/Cheryl Senter)

"Trump Jr. burns GOP defenders": Even Fox News can't spin the Russian email story away

Donald Trump Jr. knows he is in hot water when Fox News can't even defend him


Taylor Link
July 11, 2017 8:51PM (UTC)

For the first time since the 2016 presidential campaign, America got a glimpse at what appeared to be real collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia on Tuesday. Emails between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian intermediary showed that the campaign for the eventual Republican nomination was receptive to damaging information on Hillary Clinton obtained by a foreign power. Such damning allegations that even Fox News could not downplay the serious revelation.

The main headline on FoxNews.com on Tuesday read: "Emails show Trump Jr. thrilled to get campaign dirt, Russian help."

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On the Fox News Channel, former CIA covert operations officer Mike Baker explained to right-wing viewers that Trump Jr.'s email communications was a serious matter. "The problem is that anytime you are contacted by somebody from outside your borders — Russian, Chinese, anyone — you got a responsibility to vet those individuals," Baker said. "So part of this is the lack of organization, the discipline within the Trump organization. But part of this also, could this be connected to somehow the Kremlin? Of course it could be. The Russians are very active."

Fox News political analyst Chris Stirewalt's assessment of the damage was blunt: "Trump Jr. burns GOP defenders."

Fox News Sean Hannity, Trump's loudest media sycophant, is scheduled to interview Trump Jr. on his show Tuesday night.

While Fox News was fair-sided in its reporting on this scandal, other right-wing media personalities loyally defended President Donald Trump's son, insisting that the newly released emails completely debunked The New York Times original reporting.

Even though the email chain leaked by Trump Jr. himself explicitly implicated the Russian government in this arranged meeting, the alt-right stood by their claims that this story was a nothing burger.

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But one former Fox News commentator seemed to agree with the alt-right.


Taylor Link

Taylor Link is an assistant editor at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @taylorlink_

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