Fox News host Chris Wallace grilled a top congressional Republican on Sunday, calling out House Minority Whip Steve Scalise for “very badly” mischaracterizing the witnesses in the impeachment hearings.
Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Scalise offered a defense of Trump by claiming that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky did not feel pressured by Donald Trump withholding military aid. When Wallace pressed Scalise by noting that witnesses in this week’s public impeachment hearings raised alarms about Trump’s attempts to pressure Ukraine into digging up dirt on Joe Biden, Scalise claimed that those were “[House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam] Schiff’s witnesses.”
As The Daily Beast noted, Wallace pushed back against the assertion.
“No, sir, they are career foreign service officers and these are people who worked in the Trump administration,” Wallace answered, noting that in a recent interview, a top aide to Vice President Mike Pence also said that Trump’s actions were inappropriate.
“You had Tim Morrison, who was on the NSC staff, who said that he—alarm bells immediately went off for him. Alexander Vindman immediately went to see — these are all people, you say they are Schiff’s witnesses — they all were working in the Trump administration.”
Scalise has joined other Republicans in offering aggressive defenses of Trump this week, including during the hearings themselves. Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik sparred with Schiff during a hearing with former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. Schiff shut her down when Stefanik tried to question Yovanovitch during a time designated only for the ranking Republican members and the Republican counsel to ask questions.
Wallace has pushed back against many of these defenses. As Republicans were criticizing the testimony from U.S. diplomat Bill Taylor after his public appearance this week, Wallace said that the hearing was a major strike against Trump. Taylor had testified that he raised concerns about Trump apparently withholding military aid to Ukraine as a means of pressuring Zelensky into launching the investigation into the Bidens, which he said was unprecedented during his more than three decades in top diplomatic posts.
“I think that William Taylor was a very impressive witness and was very damaging to the president,” Wallace said, via The Hill.
As The Inquisitr reported in October, Wallace also criticized Republicans who had been lodging complaints about the impeachment process rather than addressing the actual accusations facing Trump. At the time, Republicans were complaining that hearings to that point had taken place behind closed doors.