Fox & Friends Hosts Celebrate 'No Collusion, No Obstruction,' Despite Mueller Report Not Exonerating Trump

Fox & Friends cheered "no collusion, no obstruction" on Friday, depicting the conclusions of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation as a victory for President Donald Trump. The report did not explicitly clear the president of obstruction.

"No collusion, no charges of obstruction. The president taking a victory lap after the release of the Mueller report," the program's co-host Ainsley Earhardt said.

"No collusion, no obstruction," Ed Henry, Fox News' chief national correspondent, said.

"Twenty-two months, $25 million, 500 witnesses, 448 pages confirming the president's claim that there was no collusion," Griff Jenkins, Washington correspondent for Fox News, said.

"Fox & Friends" hosts Steve Doocy and Ainsley Earhardt speak with Phil Robertson on February 5. Fox & Friends cheered “no collusion, no obstruction” on Friday, depicting the conclusions of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation as a victory for President Donald Trump. Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

The show featured a range of guests known for defending President Donald Trump, including Rudy Giuliani, former NRATV host Dan Bongino and lawyer and author Mark Levin. Those featured on the program railed against the Mueller investigation and called for an inquiry into how the probe arose, offering more emphatic criticism of Democrats than the Fox & Friends hosts did.

"This takeaway of no Russia collusion is very important, because for the last two years, and really the last three years, we had this president and this administration undermined by this false narrative," Mollie Hemingway, senior editor at The Federalist, said. Hemingway later repeated that the report concluded there was "no collusion."

Francey Hakes, a former federal prosecutor, said that the report "should have concluded" that "no one was colluding with Russia, no one was conspiring with Russia."

America's Newsroom, the show with Bill Hemmer and Sandra Smith following Fox & Friends, ran a chyron early in the program that more accurately depicted the findings of the Mueller report. During the program, text at the bottom of the screen read "Mueller report: no conclusion that Trump committed a crime, but also 'does not exonerate him'" and "AG Barr: Mueller didn't make a prosecutorial judgment on obstruction."

"We're seeing Fox figures frame their reporting on the Mueller report as favorably for Trump as possible," Julie Millican, vice president of Media Matters for America, an organization that monitors right-wing media, wrote in comments to Newsweek. "Across both the so-called 'news' and opinion shows on the network, they're attempting to downplay the report by claiming it showed 'no collusion' and to pivot the conversation away from the report's deeply disturbing findings toward 'investigating the investigators' who made this report possible."

A report from Media Matters said that hosts and guests on the network have said the report found "no collusion" 60 times since Barr released the findings.

Commentary and analyses after the release of the Mueller report revealed prevalent partisan divides in the reaction to its findings.

Former deputy assistant attorney general in the Reagan administration Victoria Toensing wrote in The Wall Street Journal that "the Mueller probe's excesses point to a need for changes in the regulations governing the appointment of special counsels."

Writers for left-leaning outlets focused on the report's information about contacts between figures surrounding Trump and Russians, that Mueller said Trump intended to obstruct the inquiry and that the investigation did not declare the president's innocence.

"There's no chance that anyone actually changes their mind about what they think happened between Russia and the Trump campaign based on anything that happens on Thursday," Amanda Marcotte wrote in Salon.