FBI agents have been inundated with an unprecedented avalanche of threats after the bureau’s search of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home last week—which the former president was quick to brand a politically-motivated “witch-hunt.”
With rhetoric of civil war and armed rebellion against federal law enforcement spreading online like wildfire, Fox & Friends decided it was time to turn down the temperature Monday.
“So many supporters of Donald Trump have used this opportunity to go against the FBI,” host Steve Doocy said. “They’re barking up the wrong tree. Don’t blame the FBI.”
After authorities seized classified documents from Trump’s Florida mansion last week, the former president could face potential prosecution under the Espionage Act. Some of the documents may even pertain to nuclear weapons, according to reports. But instead of being appalled by the fact that there’s even a remote possibility that a former president’s actions could warrant such an investigation, hardcore Trump stans have instead turned on law enforcement with extreme rhetoric, amplified by the likes of Fox News.
On Monday’s Fox and Friends, Ainsley Earhardt called out Breitbart for doxxing the two FBI agents who signed the warrant by publishing an un-redacted version of the paperwork. “They published their names, and so there’s doxxing of them trying to find their address so that these people online are talking about, you know, going to their houses,” Earhardt said, adding, “We don’t support any of that.”
She also made reference to a bulletin the Department of Homeland Security and FBI sent to law enforcement agencies warning about the mounting threats in the wake of the raid, including a specific threat of FBI headquarters being targeted by a “dirty bomb.”
Doocy also touched on the case of Ricky Shiffer, the armed Trump supporter who was shot dead last week after attempting to get into the FBI’s Cincinnati office. The host said right-wingers incensed by the federal investigation into Trump should blame Attorney General Merrick Garland and the Department of Justice, under whose aegis the FBI agents had ultimately acted when they executed the warrant.
“It would be great for everybody to tamp down the rhetoric against the FBI, because the FBI simply was doing what the DOJ asked them to do,” Doocy argued.
Despite excusing Trump from any personal accountability for the spiraling threats to law enforcement, Doocy nevertheless thought the former president could somehow play a role in stopping the conflagration.
“With all of these threats going around, it would ultimately be great if the former president—who has always been a great supporter of law enforcement, has posed with a thousand police departments coast to coast—it would be great if he called for an end to the violent rhetoric against federal law enforcement, and in particular the FBI that was just doing their job,” Doocy said.
Other major fomenters of anti-law enforcement rhetoric in the wake of the Mar-a-Lago raid that Doocy left out of his analysis were his own colleagues.
Fox News host Dan Bongino last week called the search “third-world bullshit” and a “partisan witch hunt,” while Jesse Watters accused FBI Director Christopher Wray of being “corrupt.” Watters also welcomed talk radio host Buck Sexton on the air, whose measured take likened the FBI’s actions to those of the “the Stasi.” Steve Bannon further called into Fox to demand the FBI be defunded on the basis that the bureau had become like “the Gestapo.”
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