There are no heroes in this cable news conflict.
On the one hand, there’s a sycophantic anchor bending over backward to defend President Trump’s truthfulness. On the other, a former Tea-Party-congressman-turned-Trump-critic trying to stake out the moral high ground.
Fox Business Network host Stuart Varney on Friday got into a mini-spat with former congressman and 2020 GOP contender Joe Walsh over whether the President has ever lied to the American people.
Fox Business Network's Stuart Varney claims Trump merely "spins and exaggerates" pic.twitter.com/vydMga4ZhJ
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) August 30, 2019
“Stuart, do you believe this president lies? Walsh asked Varney.
“No,” Varney replied.
“You don’t believe he’s ever lied?” Walsh asked again.
“He exaggerates and spins,” Varney said.
“Okay, do you believe he’s ever told the American people a lie?” Walsh said.
“No,” Varney said once more.
“Mmkay, I do,” Walsh said.
After that back-and-forth, Varney turned the tables on Walsh to claim the ex-congressman himself has trouble with the truth.
“You lie. Didn’t you say that Obama was a Muslim? Is that a lie?” Varney asked.
“Yes, and I apologized for that, Stuart,” Walsh replied. “And also, Stuart, I apologized for helping to create the environment that put such a cruel, bigoted, unfit conman in the White House. I feel sort of responsible for this. I do.”
The Washington Post’s Fact Checker team reported earlier this month that Trump has made more than 12,000 false or misleading claims since taking office.
Other Trump defenders have taken up the cause of Trump’s truthiness this week. On Wednesday, Trump campaign aide Kayleigh McEnany told CNN that “the press lies,” not the President. And newly minted White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham told the Washington Post Wednesday that Trump simply communicates in a different way.
“I know people will roll their eyes if I say he was just kidding or was speaking in hypotheticals, but sometimes he is,” she told the Post. “What I’ve learned about him is that he loves this country and he’s not going to lie to this country.”