President Trump himself has been known to engage in rhetoric about uprisings before. As The Fix’s Eugene Scott wrote, Trump’s Sunday tweet quoting a Fox guest who said impeachment would create a “Civil War like fracture” in the country was a significant escalation of that tendency. By Tuesday, Trump had called the inquiry a “coup” on Twitter.
On his favorite network, the term “coup” has been used with increased frequency. An analysis by the Fix found that Fox News has aired segments of hosts and guests calling the impeachment inquiry of Trump an attempted “coup” each of the 11 days since Pelosi’s announcement.
You can watch repeated examples of this in the video above, including by:
- Fox News host Tucker Carlson
- Fox News host Mark Levin
- Fox News host Jesse Watters
- Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton
- Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera
- Former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.)
- House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)
- Fox Business Network host Lou Dobbs
- Fox Business Network host Maria Bartiromo
- Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel
- Trump campaign spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany
- Fox Business Network host Trish Regan
- Former U.S. attorney Joe diGenova
- Trump campaign advisory board member Jenna Ellis Rives
- Conservative radio host Lars Larson
Fox hosts and guests made seven references to a “coup” over the first six days after Pelosi’s announcement, according to closed-captioning records reviewed by the Fix. Since then, Fox personalities have referred to the inquiry as a “coup” at least a dozen times, echoing talking points used by White House and Republican National Committee officials.
Note that at least three of those Fox guests — McDaniel, McEnany and Ellis Rives — hold jobs that would indicate this is an official line of the campaign.
As the Fix reported in May, Trump’s affinity for Fox is well-documented: He live-tweets Fox segments, hires Fox personalities for his administration, dials Fox anchors into White House meetings, uses Fox interviews to kick off his rallies and repeatedly leans on Fox personalities for uncritical interviews.
Many congressional Republicans have remained silent in the wake of Trump’s call for foreign election interference, and some have suggested that there is nothing wrong with it. His closest allies have also engaged in the “coup” talk.
The GOP’s overall silence can probably at least partially be attributed to pressure applied on Republican lawmakers by pro-Trump personalities on Fox and conservative talk radio.
The Fox coup d’état hyperbole is also not new. At least nine Fox hosts and guests said former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III was part of a coup to overthrow Trump.
Six months after that purported “coup” ended, Trump was still in office.