by Sharon Rondeau
(Jun. 29, 2022) — On Tuesday afternoon, “Fox News Staff” posted a transcript and video of “Special Report” host Bret Baier’s opining on the testimony to the January 6 Committee of Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
The article was categorized as “Media” and not “Opinion.” Baier, who has been in the news business for more than 20 years, is known as a “journalist” or “correspondent.” According to the National Press Foundation in 2017, Baier was the recipient of the Sol Taishoff Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism, and “Special Report” was “the highest-rated cable news program in its timeslot and consistently one of the top five shows in cable news.”
On Tuesday Baier told “America Reports” hosts John Roberts and Sandra Smith during their 2:00 p.m. hour that he found Hutchinson’s testimony “compelling” and “stunning” despite the fact that the committee, which is openly partisan, has not permitted any cross-examination of witnesses and has refused to question Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D) as to why she failed to take steps to secure the U.S. Capitol that day.
Hutchinson was reportedly the committee’s “surprise” witness before it adjourned for two weeks.
Baier additionally lent credence to Hutchinson’s testimony given that she was “under oath” and Trump “is on TruthSocial,” Trump’s new social-media platform, making his refutations. On Tuesday, Trump responded to Hutchinson’s testimony with, “This woman, who was a BIG Trump fan long AFTER January 6th…was let go and not wanted in Florida, so she made up phony and completely outrageous stories, the craziest of which has already been proven to be a complete lie…”
Many Democrats and the media have termed January 6, 2021, the day Congress certified Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 election based on the electoral vote count submitted by the states, as undergoing an “insurrection” resulting from an incursion of hundreds of individuals on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol following a rally at which Trump spoke to more than one million people, alleging widespread fraud depriving him of a second term.
During his introduction of Hutchinson Tuesday, committee chairman Bennie Thompson revealed that “Ms. Hutchinson has already sat for four videotaped interviews with Committee investigators. And we thank her very much for her cooperation and for her courage.”
Trump was acquitted by the Senate both times, with the second trial having taken place after he was no longer in the White House.
“Your World” host Neil Cavuto, whose program begins at 4:00 p.m., also hosted Baier to expound on Hutchinson’s testimony. Baier acknowledged her account as secondhand, observing that her previous depositions with the committee were conducted with a different legal team he described as “part of the Trump crew.”
“Whatever she decided to do, she decided to do it again,” Baier told Cavuto, without questioning why.
Baier’s commentary and reactions to it were trending on Twitter Wednesday morning, with Trump opponents praising him and others criticizing his remarks as “unprofessional.”
One commenter invoked former “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace, known by some as a “Never-Trumper,” when describing Baier:
By Tuesday evening, “Hannity” host Sean Hannity was reporting that Fox News’s sources confirmed with the Secret Service that the agents Hutchinson claimed were accosted by Trump in the back of the presidential limousine on January 6, 2021 were willing to testify to the falsity of her account.
On November 14, 2019, Business Insider reported, concerning Democrats’ first attempt to impeach Trump: “Fox News anchor Chris Wallace called the impeachment testimony ‘very damaging’ to Trump…”
The article continues in bullet-point style:
The Fox News anchor Chris Wallace argued that testimony at Wednesday’s impeachment hearing from Bill Taylor, the top US diplomat in Ukraine, was “very damaging to the president.”
“He is a pretty impressive presence up there, and, I think, very nonpolitical,” Wallace said.
Meanwhile on Wednesday, Fox displayed statements from the White House undermining Taylor and Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, the House Intelligence Committee chairman, while they spoke during the hearings.
Wallace, who is now at CNN but whose original assignment was jettisoned after the new endeavor lasted less than 30 days, told host Anderson Cooper of Hutchinson, “She was a great witness. She was absolutely precise.”
A Secret Service official familiar with the matter told CNN that Tony Ornato, then-White House deputy chief of staff, denies telling Trump White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson that the former President grabbed the steering wheel or an agent on his detail.
The Secret Service, through the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Legislative Affairs, notified the committee Tuesday afternoon that they will make the agents involved available to testify under oath, the official said. The agents are also prepared to say under oath that the incident itself did not occur.
During his commentaries, Baier did not seem aware that Hutchinson had reportedly sought a position with Trump as he prepared to leave office in January 2021 as indicated by an article and tweet from Bloomberg News.
Following his confirmation Tuesday (shown above) that Hutchinson was not retained after he left office, on Wednesday morning Trump described Hutchinson as a “phony social climber who got caught…”
Baier is the primary author of the book, “To Rescue the Republic: Ulysses S. Grant, The Fragile Union, and the Crisis of 1876,” a reference to the “disputed election results” of the 1876 presidential election between Samuel Tilden and Rutherford B. Hayes.
The description of the book on Baier’s personal website reads, “In this follow-up to his acclaimed ‘Three Days’ trilogy, Bret Baier’s To Rescue the Republic dramatically illuminates the life of one of America’s most consequential yet misunderstood leaders, Ulysses S. Grant, whose actions both as general and as president played an unparalleled role in preserving the United States.”
On Monday, Baier grilled Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake on a Washington Post article claiming Lake had hosted a transgender individual at her home in the past while currently warning that “drag queens” are “dangerous to children.” During the contentious interview, Lake denied the allegation although admitted that in her former occupation as a journalist, she “covered” the individual making the claims “for decades, for decades, 20 years.”
Lake’s campaign has reportedly taken legal action against Richard Stevens, aka “Barbra Seville,” over the allegations.
According to pictorial evidence, Lake and Stevens were once “friends.” However, Lake said, Stevens has “become radicalized in recent years and has called for the death of a sitting GOP Congresswoman and has actively campaigned for Katie Hobbs,” the current Democrat Arizona secretary of state and gubernatorial candidate.
In a Tuesday interview with Jason Whitlock, Lake revealed that the photos featured by The Post came from her own social-media accounts (34:45).
Lake then asked Baier why he had not covered “2000 Mules,” the documentary containing video of as many as 2000 ballot-handlers deployed during the 2020 presidential election cycle to multiple drop boxes in key “swing” states where Trump was first significantly leading. The film’s producers, Dinesh D’Souza and Catherine Engelbrecht, claim the evidence demonstrates a massive voter-fraud operation which could have likely changed the outcome of the race.
To this day, Trump believes the election was “stolen” and by many accounts, will seek the office again in 2024.
In a January 2017 broadcast announcing then-former Maricopa County, AZ Sheriff Joseph Arpaio’s attendance at a retirement sendoff following his six terms in office, Baier mentioned the 5+-year criminal investigation into Barack Hussein Obama’s long-form birth certificate but did not include the final press conference held less than three weeks earlier on December 15, 2016, in which investigator Mike Zullo revealed that two forensic document examiners, working without knowledge of the other and from different disciplines, found the birth-certificate image to be fraudulent, corroborating Zullo and Arpaio’s claims from earlier in the probe.
On January 3, 2017, The Post & Email wrote:
“Baier instead reported that ‘the president and the White House’ called the posse’s findings ‘ridiculous,’ even though neither Obama nor the White House has issued a public response to the conclusions reached by investigators. Baier then reiterated that President-Elect Donald Trump, who Baier said ‘launched his own investigation’ into the birth certificate image, ‘has said the president was born in the United States.’”
According to an article Tuesday in The Hill, “Fox News was the most-watched cable news network during the second quarter of 2022, according to Nielsen Media Research.” Further, the article reported:
Fox’s “The Five” was the top-rated program across cable news during the second quarter of this year, earning 3.1 million viewers on average, with Tucker Carlson’s weeknight prime-time program coming in second place with just over 3 million.
Special Report with Bret Baier, Fox’s straight newscast, earned only 2.3 million viewers on average.
Fox took heat from critics this week for not airing live continuous coverage of the first hearing of the House select committee investigating the attack on U.S. Capitol on its main cable channel.
The network did air the proceeding on Fox Business Network that night and on its various streaming platforms and has aired each of the subsequent hearings, which have all taken place during the day, on Fox News Channel.
On Wednesday morning, D’Souza posted on TruthSocial a link to a WND article, sourced to JusttheNews, reporting that several investigations have been called for since the release of “2000 Mules” in early May.
“About time!” was D’Souza’s sole comment.