“As a a former Russia analyst,” Lt. Col. Ralph Peters said on CNN’s Reliable Sources Sunday, “I am convinced that the president of the United States is in thrall to Vladimir Putin.”
That was hardly his most provocative statement of the morning.
Peters, who left his job as a military analyst for Fox News earlier this year declaring the network a “destructive propaganda machine” for President Trump, spent much of his sit-down with Brian Stelter excoriating his former employer. He explained that he left Fox because he could not be part of an institution that was “assaulting the Constitution, the constitutional order, the rule of law.”
“Fox isn’t immoral, it’s amoral,” Peters explained. “It was opportunistic. Trump was just a gift to Fox and Fox in turn was a gift to Trump.” Echoing Stelter — and inadvertently evoking a particularly iconic moment from HBO’s Succession — he said, “it’s a closed loop, so people who only listen to Fox have an utterly skewed view of reality.”
Later in the segment, Stelter played side-by-side clips from Fox News and MSNBC on Trump’s decision to strip former CIA director John Brennan of his security clearance. While Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson accused Brennan of “serious misconduct” and questioned his “intellectual” competence, the MSNBC hosts and pundits blasted the president for punishing his prominent political critic.
Asked by Stelter if his former colleagues are “proud of their performance,” Peters closed his eyes for a second and said, “The polite word is prostitutes, so we’ll just leave it that.”
“I don’t want to be the go-to guy for Fox-bashing forever,” Peters added. “But what Fox is doing is causing real harm to our country right now.”