Two Fox News anchors got into a heated argument Friday afternoon reflecting the nation’s sharp divide over whether President Trump’s political rhetoric incited the apparently pro-Trump Florida man arrested in connection to mail bombs addressed to top Democratic leaders.
Speaking with Chris Wallace, the host of “Fox News Sunday,” anchor Shepard Smith suggested President Trump’s rhetoric is relevant to the mail-bomber’s actions.
Suspect Cesar Sayoc was identified by a fingerprint left on one of the packages and was arrested Friday in Florida.
Smith complained that the “rhetoric from the podium, the CNN sucks chant, the lock her up chant … doesn’t bring unity.”
Wallace objected to the apparent linking of the president to the violence.
Smith retorted, “To ignore the elephant in the room is fool’s folly.”
Wallace shot back, “I think that it’s really incorrect to hold the president even by implication or directly responsible for the misdeeds of a person who’s a psychopath or a sociopath.”
Smith doubled down, linking the president again.
“When the rhetoric gets loud the crazies come out,” he said.
Wallace charged Smith was making a “cause and effect that’s unrealistic and unfair.”
Wallace pointed out that it was a Bernie Sanders supporter who “shot up the Republicans” at their baseball practice, and Sanders should not have been held responsible for that.
Nor, he said, is it correct for Smith to suggest Trump should be held responsible for something someone else did.
The political rhetoric, Wallace asserted to Smith, “is a separate issue.”
“It’s very dangerous to draw links between that and criminal activity,” he said.
Shep Smith and Chris Wallace just got into bit of a spat on Fox News.
— Jacob Weindling ()
On social media, Steve Milloy said, “Wow … great to hear Chris Wallace shut Trump-hater Shep Smith down on whether Trump rhetoric responsible for bomber.”