DirecTV declines to renew OAN contract
Fox News host called 'irresponsible' after suggesting US facing a 'coup' from Mueller
Fox News is facing fierce backlash on social media after host Jesse Watters suggested that a "coup" might be underway in the U.S.
Watters on his show Saturday night stepped up his attacks against special counsel Robert Mueller, claiming that now that there's proof at least some agents on Mueller's investigative team were biased against President Trump, there may be evidence of a "coup."
"We may now have proof the investigation was weaponized to destroy [Trump's] presidency for partisan political purposes and to disenfranchise millions of American voters," Watters said on "Watters' World."
"Now if that is true, we have a coup on our hands in America," he added.
Watters blasted veteran FBI agent Peter Strzok, whom Mueller fired from his team after an investigation revealed that he had sent messages that appeared to be critical of Trump and supportive of his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton.
Fox News hosts and conservatives have seized on the messages and are ratcheting up their efforts to discredit Mueller's investigation as he begins to reach into the president's inner circle in his investigation of Russian interference in the presidential election and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow.
Trump's defenders are suggesting Mueller stocked his team with Democrats and therefore his probe is flawed.
Watters, however, escalated the attacks against the federal investigation by claiming that the biased agents indicate Mueller and his team are attempting to overthrow the government. He then began an interview with White House adviser Kellyanne Conway in which the chyron read, "A coup in America?"
The suggestion led high-profile individuals to take to Twitter to condemn the "coup" claims.
Former independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin slammed the chyron as "incredibly irresponsible rhetoric."
Walter Shaub, the former director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, tweeted that Fox is trying to "distort the message" and "undermine" Mueller's investigation.
Benjamin Wittes, a friend of former FBI Director James Comey who edits the blog Lawfare, also downplayed the controversy.
Kevin Baron, the executive editor for military news outlet Defense One, said Fox News was "irresponsible" in their use of the word.
Baron's remarks were echoed by other reporters who have covered the Middle East.