Conservative panelist Jedediah Bila of “The View” was more outraged by reports that Jared Kushner tried to establish a secret line of communication with the Kremlin than she was about the alleged wrongdoing.
Lawmakers have called for a review of the senior White House adviser’s security clearance over the claims, which President Donald Trump has dismissed as “fake news” but other administration officials have defended as standard procedure.
“This accusation, I don’t know if it’s true — I think we should find out of it’s true — it doesn’t make any sense to me,” Bila said. “This looks like it could be a Russia plant, potentially.”
Co-host Joy Behar asked why the Russians would turn on Kushner, and Bila said she believed they wanted to disrupt the U.S. democratic process — to which host Whoopi Goldberg reacted in exaggerated mock surprise.
“See, for me, that may include Donald Trump,” said Bila, a former Fox News contributor. “Right now he is the commander-in-chief of the United States.”
Behar reminded the panel that Kushner met with a Russian spy-turned-banker during the transition period, and she said the president’s son-in-law faced mounting financial pressure from a bad real estate deal.
“If he’s so naïve, if he’s such a smart and good guy, then why is it a secret meeting?” Behar said. “These are the questions Americans are asking.”
Other panelists reminded Bila that Kushner was not yet a government employee but a private citizen, which may have made his arrangements with Russian diplomats illegal — and that’s when the conservative panelist flipped the script.
“Why should we — why should we believe it?” Bila said, and Goldberg reminded her that she’d believed reports about Hillary Clinton’s emails. “That was proven, that was proven.”
Goldberg pointed out that then-FBI director James Comey acted on Russian intelligence reports he knew to be fake to investigate Clinton’s emails — and Bila simply dismissed those claims out of hand.
“No, what I said was proven,” Bila said.
Then Behar started in, pointing out that Comey did not tell Americans that he knew reports about Clinton’s emails were false but decided to investigate anyway.
“This is fake news,” Behar said. “Why doesn’t he tell us what he knows at that time?”
Bila said she didn’t know why Comey hadn’t, and then argued that possibly nothing was true.
“Doesn’t that prove anything can be faked?” Bila said. “Any of this can be faked.”
Goldberg ended the segment with a mind-bending comment on the complicated story based on anonymous reports and intelligence machinations.
“Everybody is right in this conversation,” she said.