Fox News Furiously Defends Donald Trump After Michael Cohen Admits Lying to Congress

Thursday was another bad day for President Donald Trump as his former longtime lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to lying to Congress as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign. In the aftermath, Trump furiously insisted that he had done nothing wrong and his claims have since been echoed loudly on his cable news network of choice, Fox News.

"No crime was committed, ever," said Fox News host and Trump ally Sean Hannity. "By the way this deal, it never, ever, ever happened. "The project never got off the ground. Even if it had happened, there's no crime here. None whatsoever."

Cohen admitted in court Thursday that he lied to Congress last year when he said that negotiations for a Trump Tower to be built in Moscow ended in January of 2016. Instead, discussions went on until at least June 2016, when Trump was clinching the Republican nomination for president and making warm overtures toward Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Following Hannity onto the air, fellow host Laura Ingraham also played down the significance of the news.

"What transgressions have been proven too have been committed by the president at all?" she asked, as detailed in a series of clips compiled by Media Matters for America.

One of Ingraham's guests, meanwhile, stated emphatically: "Let's talk about reality and reality is this is a nothing burger."

Judge Jeanine Pirro, on Fox & Friends Friday morning, added that "It means absolutely nothing."

Both Pirro and Hannity were rebuked by Fox News earlier this month for jumping on stage with the president during a campaign rally ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. Hannity enjoys such a close relationship to the president that he has reportedly been referred to by some White House aides as the president's "unofficial chief of staff." Hannity also has other interests in Thursday's news. In April, he was revealed as a former client of Michael Cohen.

The defense of Trump continued with Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera.

"This is about Michael Cohen's problems. Michael Cohen lied," Rivera said.

There were some Fox News hosts, though, that presented a less than rosy outlook for the president. Chris Wallace said the latest revelations put pay to the idea floated by some allies that Cohen was a periphery figure in Trump's orbit.

"The fact that he was negotiating for a tower in Moscow is an indication of how important he was in being a fixer for the president of the United States," Wallace said.

fox news, donald trump, michael cohen, sean hannity
Fox News Channel and radio talk show host Sean Hannity interviews President Donald Trump before a campaign rally at the Las Vegas Convention Center on September 20, in Las Vegas. Ethan Miller/Getty Images