Fox News attempted to help “acting” White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney clean up his admission of a “quid pro quo” with Ukraine, but Fox & Friends Weekend host and reporter Ed Henry wasn’t quite ready to let him off the hook.
After telling the press corp on Thursday that there is “going to be political influence in foreign policy” and that they should just “get over it,” Mulvaney released a statement later in the day that walked back his comments and blamed the media for supposedly twisting his words.
“Once again, the media has decided to misconstrue my comments to advance a biased and political witch hunt against President Trump,” Mulvaney said. “Let me be clear, there was absolutely no quid pro quo between Ukrainian military aid and any investigation into the 2016 election.”
When he heard those words read aloud on Fox Friday morning, Henry said, “I’m not sure what Mick Mulvaney’s case is. The media is to blame for writing down what he said, for Fox recording on video what he said? He stood at the podium and connected the dots for Democrats!”
It was only after both Democrats and some Republicans pounced on what Mulvaney had said that he decided to walk it back, Henry explained. “So if it’s the media’s fault, I’m not quite sure why the White House chief of staff is clarifying,” he added.
Henry has been straddling the line between Trump critic and defender on impeachment for the past few weeks after the president lashed out at him for daring to suggest that pressuring a foreign country for dirt on a political opponent may be inappropriate. He later lauded Trump as “honest and transparent” for admitting his offenses out loud instead of doing them only in secret.
Here, he seemed to be splitting the difference and laying most of the blame not on President Trump but on Mulvaney for admitting the truth.
“There may not be a quid pro quo but Mick Mulvaney, the president’s own chief of staff, sort of messed it up and made it seem like there was,” Henry said. “So he’s hurting their own case.”
“Well, maybe there was,” his colleague Juan Williams replied. “Maybe he’s trying to say, that’s the reality, and now he’s trying to walk back to the truth because he wants to save his ‘acting’ job.”