Pro-Trump propagandists are calling to disband the FBI for investigating Trump's ties to Russia.
The recent revelation that the FBI opened up a counterintelligence investigation to determine whether Trump was threatening national security by acting as an agent of Russia came as alarming news to most Americans, and rightly so.
But to Trump's far-right supporters, the alarming part is not that an acting president may have been working as a pawn of a hostile foreign government. In the pro-Trump bubble, they think the real problem is that the FBI ever dared to investigate this potential national security threat.
Now, pro-Trump propagandists are taking to the airwaves and penning breathless articles calling for the FBI to be shut down for doing its job.
Appearing on "Hannity" Monday night, Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett called the FBI an "all powerful, out of control, rogue agency," and falsely stated that it had launched the counterintelligence investigation against Trump without any "credible evidence."
In fact, the FBI had some pretty convincing evidence — including Trump's firing of then-FBI Director James Comey, who was leading the investigation into Russian interference and potential collusion with the Trump campaign, and Trump's own admission during an NBC interview that he had fired Comey over the Russia probe. These are, in part, what drove the agency to open up the counterintelligence probe.
And in the backdrop of these incidents is the fact that Trump's team had more than 100 contacts with Russian officials — and lied about all of them.
But rather than be concerned about why Trump's team had such extensive contact with a hostile foreign government or why Trump wanted to end the Russia investigation so badly that he fired the person in charge of it, Jarrett turned his ire toward the FBI and called for it to be dismantled.
"Frankly," Jarrett said, "it's time that it be halted in its tracks, reorganized, and replaced."
But Jarrett isn't along in his call to get rid of the FBI as we know it.
Joel Pollak, senior editor-at-large at pro-Trump Breitbart News, wrote a column Monday arguing incorrectly that the idea of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia is nothing more than a "conspiracy theory," and that Trump had every right to fire the director of the FBI, regardless of his reason for firing him.
But Pollak glossed right over those details and slammed the FBI for "react[ing] to the constitutional exercise of presidential duties by investigating the president." To make his case against the FBI, Pollak also invoked a conspiracy theory that claims the FBI was "spying on Trump campaign associates," and then threw in a line about the FBI "excusing Hillary Clinton's misdeeds" for good measure.
"The best solution," Pollak concluded, "may be to scrap the FBI and start fresh with a reorganized agency under a new name."
Other pro-Trump propagandists played a supporting role but stopped just short of calling for the FBI to be abolished.
Over at the Federalist," a far-right, pro-Trump publication, author Mollie Hemingway falsely claimed the FBI "never had a good reason to investigate Trump" and called the counterintelligence probe a "grand abuse of power" that was launched to "retaliate against Trump" for firing Comey.
Meanwhile, on Fox News, Sean Hannity told his viewers Monday night that the top ranks of the FBI are "filled with hatred, and frankly, anti-Trump rage" and "were seeking redemption for the firing of James Comey" when they launched the counterintelligence probe.
"They actually plotted to destroy your duly-elected president," Hannity raged.
Also on Fox News, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, an outspoken Trump supporter, said someone needs to take a "vacuum cleaner to go over to the FBI and just clean out the leadership."
He also called for some senior FBI officials "to be prosecuted for using their positions as a political weapon."
Of course, this isn't the first time pro-Trump media figures have waged war against the FBI and other institutions in an effort to discredit the Russia investigation by delegitimizing everyone associated with it.
Fox has played a key role in denying, deflecting, minimizing, and covering up damning evidence about anything Russia-related, while also leading Trump's ongoing smear campaign against the intelligence community and regularly providing a platform for Trump stooges like Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA).
As legendary Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein put it, Trump's apologists at Fox News and other right-wing outlets are "abetting a cover-up" by lying on behalf of Trump to hide his misconduct from the public.
With the evidence against Trump getting harder to deny, pro-Trump propagandists have apparently decided to stop trying to discredit the institutions investigating Trump and start calling to shut them down entirely. After all, if there were no agencies to investigate Trump, there wouldn't be any evidence to deny.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.