Although some of Donald Trump‘s biggest conservative media allies frequently rail against the “deep state,” referring to the purported anti-Trump intelligence community out to overthrow the president, things appear to have changed. In the wake of Trump ordering the assassination of top Iranian commander Qassem Suleimani, The Daily Beast reports that the president’s media allies have turned to the intelligence community as a trusted resource to justify the attack.
Fox News host Sean Hannity, who often rails against the deep state, praised the intelligence community on Thursday not long after the Pentagon confirmed that the United States had conducted the drone strike that took out Suleimani.
“The ability of the military, our intelligence community, the State Department, and the president making the call, very quickly, you know, understood that the Iranian forces on the ground bore a direct threat to the American people,” Hannity said.
“Once the intelligence was confirmed, once the understanding that they were there to sow the discord and discontent, the president acted as quickly as possible, taking out this top general.”
Fellow Fox News anchor Stuart Varney also appeared to have a change of heart when it comes to the intelligence community, praising it during Fox Business Network’s Varney and Co. on Friday.
“That’s what Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State, told Fox News earlier this morning, that there was an imminent attack and the president ordered the killing to stop that imminent attack,” Varney said, referring to Pompeo’s claim that killing Suleimani was an operation carried out based on intelligence that suggested he was plotting against attacks on Americans.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) July 15, 2017
Others who voiced their support for the intelligence community in the wake of the Suleimani mission include Fox News hosts Brian Kilmeade and Pete Hegseth, as well as former Trump adviser Christian Whiton. Whiton notably attacked impeachment witness Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman as a member of the deep state following his testimony in the inquiry. Now, Whiton suggests that it’s “really sad” that Democrats skeptical of the allegedly “razor thin” evidence used to justify the attack aren’t giving the benefit of the doubt to Trump and the military.
Per Truthout, the mainstream media notoriously pushed the claims of George W. Bush’s administration during the Iraq War, convincing the general public that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction and posed an immediate threat to the United States. The publication went so far as to call Hannity a “shill” for Bush’s administration, noting his statements that turned out to be untrue, which it claimed he has never apologized for.