The first question Fox News host Sandra Smith asked her colleague Chris Wallace when he joined her to talk about the whistleblower complaint against President Trump at the end of a week packed with bombshell news was: “Did it change anything?”
“Oh, I think it’s changed quite a lot, Sandra,” the Fox News Sunday host replied. “And the spinning that has been done by the president’s defenders over the last 24 hours since this very damaging whistleblower complaint came out, the spinning is not surprising, but it is astonishing, and I think deeply misleading.”
Wallace did not name names, but he could have easily been referring to other Fox News colleagues like Lisa “Kennedy” Montgomery, who moved goalposts to claim quid pro quo isn’t “necessarily illegal” or Tucker Carlson, who has been waging all-out war against any suggestion of wrongdoing by Trump, including directly mocking his own colleagues. A source close to Wallace, however, claimed the Fox News anchor was not referring to his colleagues when he referenced the spin coming for the president’s defenders.
After Wallace spent several minutes laying out just how credible the whistleblower complaint has proven to be so far—and praising him or her for going through proper channels, Smith attempted to point out “major inconsistencies,” echoing White House talking points directly as she claimed there was no “quid pro quo” in the phone call.
“You don’t think that dirt on Joe Biden and Joe Biden’s son is a thing of value?” Wallace asked. As she tried to interrupt him, he continued, “You asked me a question, let me answer it, Sandra.” Wallace said he doesn’t necessarily believe there is a “hot solid case” for the president to be impeached, “but what is clear from reading the complaint is that it is a serious allegation” and that “a lot of it has proven to be borne out already.”
“To dismiss this as a political hack,” Wallace said, as Trump and his Fox News loyalists have done, “seems to be to be an effort by the president’s defenders to make nothing out of something, and there is something here.”
“For all of the efforts of a lot of people defending the president to pretend this is nothing, it’s not nothing,” he added. “It’s something.”
Then, after Smith casually quoted Trump calling those who helped the whistleblower “close to spies,” Wallace stopped her in her tracks.
“Can I say something about that?” he said. “That is very, deeply troubling. These are people inside an administration that are saying that something was going on that they were very, deeply troubled by.” He said, “To call them spies and to suggest that perhaps we should deal with them the way we’ve dealt with other people, with treason, which is in effect to execute them, really seems to be to strike at the very heart of what whistleblowers are all about.”
Finally, in teasing his Fox News Sunday show for this weekend, Wallace said he “hopes” he’ll have someone on from the White House who can address the scandal, but so far no one has agreed to appear.