As Dominion Voting System's $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit heads to court, a former Donald Trump White House insider now working for Fox will be scrutinized over his role in keeping election conspiracy lies on-air despite knowing better.
According to a report from the Washington Post, former White House Deputy Press Secretary and Deputy Assistant to the President, Raj Shah features prominently in the texts and emails exchanged between Fox executives as advocates for the former president were attacking Dominion and the Fox News on-air talent kept those lies alive.
In one notable exchange, Shah criticized former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani after an appearance claiming election fraud by texting to an associate, "This sounds SO F------ CRAZY btw," before commenting that Giuliani -- with hair-dye trickling down his face, "objectively looks like he was a dead person voting 2 weeks ago.”
As the Post reports, "But Shah’s job at Fox was to protect the company’s brand, then under pressure from Trump allies who wanted to push Giuliani’s wild claims of a stolen election and who were abandoning the network for more hard-line options like Newsmax and One America News. So when a Fox News reporter went live on air just after Giuliani’s news conference concluded and declared that some of what the president’s lawyer had said was 'simply not true,' Shah reacted with alarm."
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In a text to an aide, Shah instructed, "This is the kinda s--- that will kill us. We cover it wall to wall and then we burn that down with all the skepticism.”
According to the report, Shah ended up at Fox after being recommended by Trump aide Hope Hicks, who also took a job at the network, and his job entailed monitoring "problems — negative stories, online threats, rising criticism — that could affect the company’s bottom line and orchestrate ways to defend the hosts and the network."
In one telling exchange, Shah asked top executives at Fox about apologizing for the network's election decision desk calling Arizona for Joe Biden on election night 2020 which caused the Trump White House to come unglued and left Fox viewers furious.
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“'Want to ask, even though it seems impossible, but is the idea of some sort of public mea culpa for the AZ call completely and totally out of the realm? Or some programming that’s focused on hearing our viewers (sic) grievances about how we’ve handled the election?' Shah inquired on Nov. 10 of his bosses, Fox Corp. co-chair Lachlan Murdoch, Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott and Viet Dinh, the company’s chief legal and policy officer," the Post is reporting before adding, "Shah’s proposal was rejected on grounds that it would spark dissension between the network’s news and opinion employees, a narrative Fox could ill afford while already under fire."
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