In the wake of a doom-laced Fox News segment that asserted “we have a coup on our hands in America,” Joe Scarborough of “Morning Joe” slammed the network’s “extraordinarily irresponsible” coverage and said that “blood will be on the hands” of people who encourage similar sentiments, which Scarborough calls “anti-government” and “conspiratorial.”
The original segment on Fox News saw correspondent Jesse Watters read specific anti-Trump text messages sent by FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok, choosing not to read similar messages sent by Strzok that mocked Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley, John Kasich, Eric Holder, and other politicians.
Watters said the combination of Strzok’s presence on Mueller’s investigative team and his text messages provided “smoking gun evidence” that the entire investigation was tainted, with FBI agents believing it was their “sworn duty” to “protect the country” from Donald Trump’s presidency, and that this was “proof the investigation was weaponized to destroy his presidency” and to “disenfranchise millions of American voters.”
“If that is true,” Watters said, “we have a coup on our hands in America.”
This language parallels even stronger demands from Fox News commentator Jeanine Pirro, who publicly called for a “cleansing” at the FBI and Department of Justice. Pirro said the two agencies “did everything they could to exonerate Hillary Clinton for her crimes and incriminate Donald Trump.”
Strzok was fired from the Russia probe once his bias-laden text messages were brought to the attention of Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller.
None of this escalated language sat well with the “Morning Joe” panel. Joe Scarborough warned that “blood will be on the hands of people” pushing these sentiments and otherwise “whip[ping] people into a frenzy.”
Scarborough said the escalation of anti-government and anti-law enforcement claims and conspiracies will lead to domestic terrorism like the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, in which domestic terrorist Timothy McVeigh detonated a truck bomb outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, OK.
McVeigh’s act of terrorism killed 168 people, 19 of whom were children in a daycare, and injured 500 more.
“That will… attach to somebody like Timothy McVeigh. And yes, they will take action. And we will know who put those diseased thoughts into their head saying that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was launching a coup against an elected president.”