CNN's Brian Stelter says Fox News host Jeanine Pirro is ratcheting up the rhetoric against special counsel Robert Mueller in an effort to discredit Mueller's investigation, the FBI, and the DOJ.
BRIAN STELTER: You can't understand fully how the Mueller probe is being perceived, how the public is understanding it, without understanding how conservative media is trying to discredit Mueller, discredit the FBI, and discredit the DoJ.
There is this concerted effort from pro-Trump hosts on Fox News, from radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin, and from right-wing bloggers and social media stars, to tear down Mueller, demand his firing, and in some cases even demand his arrest.
It is like watching an alternate universe. You mention Jeanine Pirro, the woman who Pirro Doubles Down: Andrew McCabe Is "Consigliere">last week called for them to be led out in handcuffs. Let's take a look at what she is saying this week. Here's how she's framing this for her audience -- which includes President Trump...
Related Video: Pirro Doubles Down: Andrew McCabe Is "Consigliere" Of The FBI "Criminal Cabal"
STELTER: Pirro is an informal adviser to President Trump, she was said to be in consideration for a job in the Trump administration, and we know that President Trump loves to watch her show, and other very supportive shows on Fox News. Consider the effect of this kind of rhetoric on a daily basis, every single day, every single day being heard by the President and his aides.
That is one of the reasons why there is such a growing concern that Trump may try to fire Mueller. It is because he is being advised to do so by his favorite hosts on TV...
He also watches other cable news channels, including this one, so he does hear a wide range of opinion, but I am really struck by the language, the rhetoric, in some cases the propagandistic framing that we're seeing from hosts like Sean Hannity.
Banners on screen that say: A COUP IN AMERICA?, IS IT TIME TO INVESTIGATE THE INVESTIGATORS?
[Hannity] calls Meuller the "head of the snake." Says he is disgraceful. So this kind of language, repeated over and over again. I think of it as a feedback loop... There's a feedback loop between the commentators who know what the president wants to hear, and then the president says similar comments, which then reenforces and emboldens the pro-Trump hosts.
It is definitely something to pay attention to as we hear this drumbeat about Mueller.
We know polls show the majority of the public is very supportive of the Mueller probe. They want to know what really happened with Russia's meddling in the election last year, but there is a vocal minority in the country who are fed by hosts like Hannity, who are incredibly skeptical of Mueller.
It is a real example of the divide in the country, and how conservative media is fueling that divide right now.
Also Sunday: CNN's Brian Stelter says that the recent attacks by Fox News that are echoed by the Trump administration are a prime example of the Trump-Fox News feedback loop.