Brett Baier Apologizes for ‘Likely Indictment’ (Video)

Hillary Clinton Severe

Fox News anchor Bret Baier apologized Friday for reporting that federal investigators had determined that Hillary Clinton’s private email server had been hacked and that an investigation would lead to an indictment of Clinton after the election. As I reported on Thursday, Baier, during an interview with Fox’s Brit Hume, said that a separate FBI investigation of the Clinton Foundation would continue and barring obstruction they will continue to an indictment.

Baier said, after checking with his sources, there is no evidence at this time for either statement:

I explained a couple of times yesterday the phrasing of one of my answers to Brit Hume on Wednesday night, saying it was inartful the way I answered the last question about whether the investigations would continue after the election and I answered that, “yes, our sources said it would.

They would continue to likely an indictment.” That just wasn’t inartful, it was a mistake and for that I’m sorry. I should have said they will continue to build their case.

Baier made his apology Friday morning during a “Fox News alert” with Fox News anchor Jon Scott.You can watch a video clip of Baier’s apology below:

Transcript of the video (via Real Clear Politics):

BRET BAIER: All of us who’ve been working this story at FOX have now circled back with our sources, more than six of them now with specific knowledge of the Clinton investigations. They confirmed that there is an active investigation into the Clinton Foundation that has been going on for more than a year, it is continuing and for those investigators working it it is a priority.

We have also reported that there is a split, not only between the FBI and Department of Justice on this, but within the FBI. On the hacking of Clinton’s private unsecured server, while multiple sources believe and are operating under the working assumption that the server has been hacked, and some had specific quotes to that belief, there are to this day no digital fingerprints of such breaches…

I was quoting from once source about his certainty that the server had been hacked by five foreign intelligence agencies and while others believe that is probable because of confirmed hacking of email accounts that Secretary Clinton communicated with.

As of today, there are still no digital fingerprints of a breach no matter what the working assumption is within the bureau. All the time, but especially in a heated election, on a topic this explosive every word matters no matter how well-sourced which brings me to this.

I explained a couple of times yesterday the phrasing of one of my answers to Brit Hume on Wednesday night, saying it was inartful the way I answered the last question about whether the investigations would continue after the election and I answered that, “yes, our sources said it would.

They would continue to likely an indictment.” That just wasn’t inartful, it was a mistake and for that I’m sorry. I should have said they will continue to build their case. Indictment obviously is a very loaded word, Jon, especially in this atmosphere and no one knows if there would or would not be an indictment no matter how strong investigators feel their evidence is. It’s obviously a prosecutor who has to agree to take the case and make that case to the grand jury. We stand by the sourcing on the ongoing active Clinton Foundation investigation and are working to get sources with knowledge of the details on the record and on camera, hopefully today.

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Is MD’s Republican Governor Larry Hogan Abandoning His Party?

It has to be a real balancing act to get things done as a Republican Governor in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans 2 to 1. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has managed to remain effective and fairly popular in the deep blue state but some don’t like that he has distanced himself from the state GOP to do so.

Hogan is selective in who in the GOP he chooses to endorse and that agitates some. The story goes that you don’t ever need to put a lid on a crab basket because any crab who tries to escape will only be pulled back in by the rest of the crabs. At times the Republican Party in Maryland is fittingly a perfect example of “crab basket” politics.

Hogan, who disavowed GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump months ago, has also been keeping his distance from the state party, opting out of big fundraisers, endorsing only a few candidates and taking a hands-off approach in the selection of party leaders.

His approach is stirring resentment in some state GOP circles, including from state Del. Patrick L. McDonough (R-Harford), who is waging a long-shot bid to oust to veteran Rep. C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D) and said the governor “should call it the Larry Hogan Party if he doesn’t want to be a Republican.”

McDonough is one of the most reliable crabs in the GOP basket. You can always rely on him to say something controversial just to get attention. He is in many ways like a bargain basement Donald Trump—right down to the troublesome looking hair—claiming to fight political correctness by acting like a jackass. He famously made news during the Baltimore riots by suggesting rioters have their food stamps taken away.

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If McDonough is representative of Hogan’s critics within the party then Hogan is doing well. McDonough is a selective party cheerleader himself, having referred to former Secret Service Agent Dan Bongino as a “novelty act.” Bongino nearly overcame Democrat gerrymandering to unseat Democrat Congressman John Delaney in 2014.

“He is very aware that this is a state where the Republican Party is a distinct minority,” said Russell J. Schriefer, a Republican political strategist with close ties to the governor.

Matthew Crenson, a political-science professor emeritus at Johns Hopkins University, said that “by distancing himself from the Republican Party, [Hogan] stays acceptable to the Democrats in the state.”

Hogan, whose approval rating topped 70 percent in a recent Washington Post-University of Maryland poll, said he does not think that his role as the top elected Republican official means deep involvement with the state party.

The executive director of the MD GOP has no trouble with Hogan’s level of involvement. McDonough disagrees.

McDonough, who hosts a talk radio show, said he pushed for Hogan on the program during both the 2014 Republican primary and the general election. In contrast, he said, the governor “hasn’t lifted a finger” to help McDonough or many other Republicans this election cycle.

“I understand it’s a strong blue state,” McDonough said, “but you should not go to an extreme position that you ignore your party.”

But Hogan hasn’t ignored the party. He has put his support behind Delegate Kathy Szeliga who is running against Democrat Congressman Chris Van Hollen for the U.S. Senate seat from which Barbara Mikulski is retiring. The Governor also backs Amie Hoeber running against John Delaney in MD-6 and Dr. Mark Plaster running against John Sarbanes in MD-3.

Maybe if he hasn’t lifted a finger to help candidates like Pat McDonough that says more about McDonough than it does about Hogan’s relationship with the GOP.

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