Fox News host Chris Wallace got into a heated exchange with senior White House adviser Stephen Miller on why President Trump used his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani to press a foreign country to investigate a political rival rather than seek official channels for justice.
Trump, according to a memo of his July 25 phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and an anonymous whistleblower complaint made by a U.S. intelligence official, repeatedly pressed Ukrainian officials to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. The president also noted that Giuliani and Attorney General William Barr would be in contact with Ukraine on the probe.
“I’ve worked in the … federal government now for nearly three years ― I know what the Deep State looks like,” Miller said, referencing a far-right conspiracy theory that bureaucrats are working within the government to undermine the president.
“I know the difference between a whistleblower and a deep state operative,” he continued. “This is a deep state operative, pure and simple. … This is about, do you want a democracy in this country or do you want a deep state?”
Wallace fired back, noting that Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire testified before the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday that the whistleblower had “acted in good faith” and “followed the law.”
— FoxNewsSunday (@FoxNewsSunday) September 29, 2019
“But enough with the rhetoric,” Wallace continued. “Let’s talk about some specific facts in this.”
Wallace then pressed Miller to explain why the president would use his personal attorney and two other private lawyers to dig up political dirt on Biden from the Ukrainian government.
“One of two things is true, Chris,” Miller said. “Either the Ukrainian government or people associated with it possess real and actual knowledge of corrupt dealings by the Biden family or they don’t. If they do, is it not in the interest of all Americans to know what that is?”
Wallace said he planned to discuss Biden later in the interview but wanted an answer to his question.
“I’ve asked you a specific question, I’d like a specific answer,” he said. “The president has the State Department, he’s got the CIA, he’s got the Pentagon, he’s got a number of other agencies. Why did he use three private lawyers to get information on Biden from the Ukrainian government rather than go through all of the agencies of the government?”
“Two different points: Number one ―” Miller began.
“How about answering my question?” Wallace interrupted. “Stephen, I’m asking you a direct question. … If you don’t know, that’s an acceptable answer.”
“There’s two issues that were brought up in the phone call ―” Miller said before Wallace cut him off to ask: “Why did he do it?”
Miller claimed that it’s “proper and natural” for Giuliani to look into Biden’s handling of the Ukrainian prosecutor.
“I’m simply asking you a question as to why the president didn’t use his government,” Wallace said. “You apparently aren’t going to answer that question.”