New York Times columnist Bret Stephens, a former writer for the Wall Street Journal, on Monday blasted conservative media outlets like Fox News for backing President Donald Trump as he threatens to interfere with the Department of Justice.
Stephens told MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle that Trump’s demand that the DOJ investigate itself for allegedly spying on the Trump campaign should be a “red line” for Fox News and other right-wing outlets.
“Every single time that Democratic presidents have come anywhere close to this territory, whether it was under President Clinton and Janet Reno’s tenure [as Attorney General], President Obama and Attorney General [Eric Holder], Republicans have screamed bloody murder, ‘The president is trying to politicize the Justice Department,'” Stephens explained. “This is supposed to have been a conservative red line, you can never do this.”
“And now the same conservative media that I know so well that spent years screaming about Obama or Clinton’s alleged attempts to politicize Justice are encouraging the president to take precisely the step that he has,” the Times columnist continued. “To find anything comparable in American history, you probably have to go back to the early 19th century before the bureaucratization of the various departments of government, when all of these jobs were intensely political to find anything analogous.”
According to Stephens, Trump’s actions closely resemble that of strongman leaders in Third World countries.
“It’s a brilliant tactic both at a bureaucratic level as well as at a media level,” he observed. “Because it just throws the whole issue into this sort of mass confusion where people have lots of opinions and people say it’s controversial, it’s not clear cut.”
“What it is is a clear cut attempt to politicize the Justice Department,” Stephens concluded.
Watch the video below from MSNBC.