Former Fox News Correspondent Says People Trump Pardoned 'Have Done Damage to The American Public'

Former Fox News reporter Carl Cameron said that President Donald Trump had granted clemency to people who had "done damage to the American public."

Cameron made the comments during an appearance on CNN Wednesday, insisting that Trump's actions were in opposition to his campaign promise to "drain the swamp."

"This is a man, now president, who promised as a candidate to drain the swamp," said Cameron. "Some of the crimes and some of the commutations and pardons that he's offered here are for people who have done damage to the American public. Medicare fraud. Tax fraud. Political corruption."

Trump pardoned or commuted the sentences of 11 people on Tuesday, sparking criticism from many who felt the president was using his powers improperly given the choice of convicts granted clemency.

Former New York City police commissioner Bernard Kerik, who was convicted of tax fraud, and infamous "junk bond king" Michael Milken were among those pardoned.

Trump also commuted the sentence of Rod Blagojevich, the former Democratic governor of Illinois who was sent away for a host of crimes including attempting to sell the vacant senate seat of former President Barack Obama. Cameron said the former governor's record was of particular "distinction."

"In Illinois, they've had like six governors who've gone to jail," said Cameron. "But he's the only one who's gone to jail and been impeached and removed from office. I mean that's a pretty big distinction."

Cameron suggested that Trump had made reckless decisions in granting the pardons and commutations, which would likely have lasting effects.

"All of these things hurt the American public and hurt our government," Cameron added. "It speaks volumes that those would be the types of things that Trump would just brush away as though there isn't a long-lasting impact on them."

"So, they're swamp monsters, right?" asked host Brianna Keilar.

"Right, he's not draining it, he's deepening it," Cameron responded.

President Donald Trump
President Donald Trump arrives on Air Force One at LAX airport in Los Angeles, California on February 18, 2020. Michael Kovac/Getty

When Keilar asked Cameron how to make sense of Trump choosing to grant clemency to a group of "very swampy folks" in light of the "Fox News echo chamber," he responded that he believed the decisions had to do with the personal ethics of Trump.

"I think it speaks more to his own sort of sense of ethics and business practices than anything else," Cameron said. "This is a guy that claims to be the greatest businessman in the history of the United States of America, when in fact we know because of all the debt that he wrote off, that he's probably the worst businessman in that regard."

Cameron also blasted Trump for promoting the discredited conspiracy theory that Ukraine, rather than Russia, attempted to meddle in the 2016 presidential election.

"The idea that he's going to make excuses and still keep perpetuating the notion that Ukraine was somehow behind what we know the Russians did is... trying to bend the rules in a way that may be giving him some sort of short term political advantage with his base only," said Cameron. "And the rest of the country tries to figure out why the hell it's being allowed."

Cameron quit Fox News in 2017 after two decades, later saying he left due to increasing "partisan misinformation" on the network. He co-founded the progressive-leaning news aggregator website Front Page Live in 2019, attempting to counter what he believes is a conservative bias in similar sites like The Drudge Report.

Newsweek reached out to the White House, who declined to comment.