Fox News host Pete Hegseth seemed to somewhat concede on Friday morning that President Donald Trump sending his personal attorney on a quest to dig up foreign dirt on his domestic political rivals wasn’t completely perfect, ultimately excusing it as “a learning opportunity for a second term.”
With the president’s Senate impeachment trial now on the precipice of acquittal following Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) announcing Thursday night that he won’t vote for additional witnesses, the Fox & Friends crew was in a celebratory mood.
Hegseth, for one, claimed that Trump withholding military aid to Ukraine unless they opened investigations into former Vice President Joe Biden just showed that the president has always been skeptical of foreign aid and corruption.
“I just think the whole thing when you step back from it you realize the lunacy of it—they have been coming after him for what he represents,” the part-time Trump military adviser said. “He’s an outsider who doesn’t accept what the establishment does. They can’t handle that.”
Co-host Brian Kilmeade, however, sounded a cautionary note for the president.
“Those are the facts,” he declared. “But knowing that, he has to be smarter about doing the maverick thing, like sending Rudy Giuliani with a cowboy hat to the Ukraine to go ahead and do something.”
Kilmeade went on to say that the president allowed an “opening to let his critics to jump on top” by not being upfront and allowing Giuliani’s actions and the July 25 phone call with the Ukrainian president to be discovered after the fact.
“On that level, I think it is a learning opportunity for a second term,” Hegseth responded, adding, "But I think a lot of people give a great deal of grace to him. You go to these rallies and talk to him they say, ‘Listen, he hasn’t been a politician.’”
Kilmeade, meanwhile, pointed out that independents and undecided voters are the people Trump needs to reach, prompting Hegseth to claim that independents also hate Democrats coming for Trump before once again asserting that “in the next term [Trump] will be able to learn.”