MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace went after Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo for not calling out Rudy Giuliani for “spewing Islamophobia” while discussing former CIA director John Brennan — now an MSNBC contributor — during an interview Sunday.
Playing a carefully edited clip of the interview, Wallace failed to offer any context in which Giuliani made the comments aired and it seemed clear that the real goal was to discredit Giuliani, who now serves as President Trump’s attorney.
“We can see what he did or said about Benghazi. How many lies he told about that,” Giuliani is heard saying in the clip. “Plus, he claims to be a great lover of Islam, of the Islamic religion. He says the Hajj was one of the most beautiful things he ever saw. So how does all this square up?”
After playing the clip, Wallace set up a panel discussion by asking, “When did loving Islam become something that you use as a political weapon?”
MSNBC analyst John Heilemann took the baton from there, tearing into Giuliani for being “Islamophobic and racist” — terms openly fed to him by Wallace — as they both agreed that “nobody” has any idea “what [Giuliani’s] actually talking about.”
After Heilemann had fulfilled his role of excoriating Trump’s legal counsel, Wallace brought the focus back to Bartiromo.
“What is going on with Maria Bartiromo, though?” she asked. “I mean, if you’re a Fox News news host, and no matter what you think about right, left, Trump, anti-Trump, why don’t you push back against someone who is spewing Islamophobia on your air?”
Wallace began to question whether Bartiromo was a “real” journalist, but cut the thought off before completing it. She then named off a number of Fox News hosts who she suggested would have pushed back.
“I would bet a lot of money that Shep Smith, Dana Perino, Bret Baier — I’m gonna put Brian Kilmeade in this category too — would not hear an Islamophobic… and just say… to clarify, “What are you saying?” Wallace said.
But again, context matters.
Giuliani was talking about how Brennan was “an opportunist and a political hack who goes whichever way the winds are going?”
After mentioning Brennan’s “lies” about Benghazi, Giuliani noted that the former spy chief was “in charge of drone strikes, where you picked out the terrorists you did not like and you put bombs on them, instead of taking them and interviewing them.”
It was at this point that he said Brennan “claims to be a great lover of Islam, of the Islamic religion. He says the hajj was one of the most beautiful things he ever saw.”
In pointing out the contradiction, Giuliani then asked, “So, how does all this square up?”
The full interview with Bartiromo can be seen below:
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