Fox News anchor Bret Baier said Donald Trump “looks really bad” in a video presentation shown at Thursday’s made-for-television Jan. 6 hearings, with the former president “just watching the TVs … and applauding” as the Capitol riot unfolds.
Baier co-hosted a post-hearing breakdown with Martha MacCallum on Fox Business after the channel aired the proceedings in full. That’s notable since flagship station Fox News took enormous heat for counter-programming with a commercial-free two hours featuring regular hosts Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity riffling through guests to trash the proceedings as they happened.
“The focus seems to be the target of President Donald Trump, and he looks really bad in this presentation,” Baier said. “He’s just watching the TVs and kind of applauding what’s happening. And then Liz Cheney says that he says ‘Maybe Mike Pence deserves to be hung.'”
Not that MacCallum and Baier didn’t also defend some of the talking points we’re more used to seeing on the Fox family of news channels. They noted that video of Trump’s speech was cut off before he told the crowd to “peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard,” and that a Proud Boys group bypassed the speech altogether before assailing the Capitol. The anchors also cast suspicion on the amount of security that was there to greet the insurrectionists.
“They didn’t hear the ‘peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard,” Baier said. “They cut it short of that. My point is, if this was a planned thing – the filmmakers with the Proud Boys – and they passed by the speech and they go right to this confrontation? Then it … seems like they only see one to two guards. Why they didn’t have more security of that point is the question.”
But Baier, who had watched the hearings instead of talking over them, was more ready to accept that what unfolded Thursday night in Congress – and on every major outlet besides Fox News – looks damning for Trump. Fox’s longtime straight-man also noted that the former president seems to be in the committee’s cross-hairs.
MacCallum found it notable that Pence and Trump’s relationship was already so far gone that the two never spoke that day.
“I think that’s one of the hardest parts of the story … the breakdown of that relationship,” she said. “Everybody remembers President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence had a very symbiotic relationship throughout the course the presidency – and to see that destruction of that relationship.”