Text Messages Reveal Top Fox News Hosts Privately Referring to Trump Team’s Election Fraud Claims as ‘Insane’

Text messages made public through a court hearing show some of the Fox News Network's top hosts decrying former President Donald Trump's advisers and their election fraud claims as "insane."
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Text messages made public through a court hearing on Thursday show some of the Fox News Network’s top hosts decrying former President Donald Trump’s advisers and their election fraud claims as “insane.”

The correspondence and testimony were made available as part of an ongoing $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit filed by Dominion Voting System against Fox News.

“Sidney Powell is lying by the way. I caught her. It’s insane,” Tucker Carlson said in a text message to Laura Ingraham, scarcely two weeks after the election.

Powell, along with Rudy Giuliani, were two of Trump’s top lawyers who filed election challenges on the former President’s behalf, and they are part of the lawsuit.

“Sidney is a complete nut,” Ingraham replied. “No one will work with her. Ditto with Rudy.”

Carlson remarked that their claims were putting hosts in a difficult spot because their best intentions were leading them to believe what some of Trump’s team were alleging.

“Our viewers are good people and they believe it,” he wrote.

Related: Tucker Carlson Blasts Fox News For Cutting Away From Trump Press Conference On Alleged Voter Fraud

Fox News Hosts, Execs Dismissed Election Fraud Claims

Further text messages showed the hosts felt they were in a quandary – they personally believed the claims to be false but wanted their viewers to decide as opposed to openly rebuking the allegations being put forth.

Carlson referenced a tweet by reporter Jacqui Heinrich which fact-checked a tweet by Trump criticizing the network coverage. Heinrich argued there was no evidence of voter fraud from Dominion.

“Please get her fired,” Carlson said in a message to Sean Hannity. “It needs to stop immediately, like tonight. It’s measurably hurting the company. The stock price is down. Not a joke.”

Previous testimony by Hannity has him declaring he “did not believe it for one second” in regard to statements by Powell that Dominion machines were being used “to trash large batches of votes.”

Proving defamation will be a difficult burden for Dominion, as The New York Times reports that they must prove “hosts and executives knew what was being said on the air was false and allowed it anyway.”

This is an incredibly slippery slope considering opinion hosts at other networks like CNN and MSNBC surely know many of their guests are lying on certain subject matters.

If Trump were to sue CNN over the Hunter Biden laptop story, would the phones and devices of those network hosts be seized in discovery? Would they be held responsible for someone like James Clapper hinting that it was ‘Russian disinformation’?

Related: Trump Campaign Slams Fox News Director Who Called Arizona For Biden: ‘A Clinton-Voting, Biden-Donating Democrat’

Carlson Criticized Fox News

Carlson took a swipe at his own network when colleague Neil Cavuto cut away from a press conference held by Kayleigh McEnany and RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel regarding alleged voter fraud in November of 2020.

McEnany claimed that the Trump campaign “want(s) every legal vote to be counted, and we want every illegal vote …” before Cavuto interjected.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa – I just think we have to be very clear,” he said. “She’s charging the other side as welcoming fraud and welcoming illegal voting.”

“Unless she has more details to back that up, I can’t in good countenance continue to show you this.”

Carlson took a subtle jab at Cavuto and his own network for making the decision to cut away from McEnany.

“In a democracy, you can’t ignore honest questions from citizens,” Carlson said.

“You can’t dismiss them out of hand as crazy or immoral for asking,” he continued. “You can’t just cut away from coverage you don’t like.”

Carlson had also been critical of Fox News for what some supporters of Trump had considered a premature call of Arizona in favor of Joe Biden on election night, 2020.

“I’m not privy to the math, I’m not certain how, even after the explanation from Chris Stirewalt, how that decision was made,” Carlson criticized. “I think our viewers trust us, but people are concerned.”

If this lawsuit succeeds, and the new standard for journalists or opinion show hosts is that you can’t air anything you personally believe to be false, there would be nothing to report on.

Rusty Weiss has been covering politics for over 15 years. His writings have appeared in the Daily Caller, Fox... More about Rusty Weiss

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