Fox News is receiving backlash after its host Jesse Watters suggested on Saturday evening that the FBI and special counsel Robert Mueller are staging a “coup” against President Donald Trump.
On his segment “Watters’ World,” Watters suggested that Mueller’s investigation into Trump’s campaign has been “crooked from the jump.”
“We may now have proof the investigation was weaponized to destroy his presidency for partisan political purposes and to disenfranchise millions of American votes,” he added. “Now if that’s true, we have a coup on our hands in America.”
A coup, by definition, is a "sudden, violent and illegal seizure of power from a government," which Watters believes is happening in the United States.
Watters, who in the same segment likened FBI agents to Michael Moore, asked White House adviser Kellyanne Conway on the show whether a coup in America might occur. “The fix was in against Donald Trump from the beginning, and they were pro-Hillary,” Conway responded. “They can’t possibly be seen as objective or transparent or even-handed or fair.”
The discussion on a coup against Trump comes after text messages from the phone of Peter Strzok, former FBI investigator involved in the Russia probe, were released last Tuesday. The messages referred to Trump as a “douche,” an “utter idiot” and a “loathsome human.”
Roughly 375 texts between Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page are believed by conservatives to show partisan bias in the FBI.
Watters is receiving negative feedback from his commentary.
“Coup?! I cover wars. Militaries. Actual coups. Where citizens violently rise up and kill each other for power over each other. This is alarmingly irresponsible language, even for Fox. Inflammatory. Baseless. Dangerous," tweeted Kevin Baron, executive editor at Defense One.
“A coup in America?” This is incredibly irresponsible rhetoric. It’s no surprise that the same network that still denies Russian interference for Trump, also uses this kind of language to describe law enforcement efforts to uphold the law and our sovereignty," reacted Evan McMullin, co-founder of Stand Up Republic.
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"Use of the word "coup" by @FoxNews after Russia has deliberately worked to destabilize US democracy is extremely irresponsible and should be roundly condemned," said Ron Nehring, former national spokesman for Ted Cruz during his presidential run.
Republicans have expressed their distaste for the FBI in various ways.
Fox News hosts recently compared the FBI to the Soviet-era KGB. Trump has frequently referred to the Russian investigations as a “witch hunt.” And in June, host Sean Hannity claimed a “soft coup is underway" to overturn the president.
On Monday, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough responded to Watters’s segment over the weekend. “They are fomenting a constitutional crisis by suggesting to people watching Fox News in middle America, that somebody is attempting a coup, a coup against our government.
“What they are doing could lead to violence and what they are doing is about as deeply irresponsible than anything I’ve ever seen,” he added.
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