Donald Trump may think that he got away from the Mueller Report about Russian influence on his 2016 election unscathed. He has also managed to escape the House of Representatives reigning him in thus far. As a result, POTUS has cast off any restraints he may have had and appears to be going after the media full force.
It appeared that our commander-in-chief has taken a page from Russian President Vladimir Putin’s playbook. The progressive-leaning Democracy Forward has been urging the U.S. Department of the Treasury to open an investigation into potential violations in its interactions with the conservative media concerns. The advocacy group claimed that these emails show the relationship with Fox has resulted in broken propaganda laws. according to The Daily Beast exclusive.
The group released a batch of emails it received with a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) tying Treasury officials and Fox Business Network employees together. Democracy Forward believed the emails formed a basis for a Treasury Department investigation.
In the letter The Daily Beast saw, Democracy Forward asked the Treasury Department’s inspector general to open an investigation. It wanted to know whether the department was breaking the federal law preventing government agencies from spreading unsourced propaganda.
The advocacy group cited one of the Treasury Department’s communications officials ordering a Fox Business Network to change the details in one of its stories about a Secretary Steve Mnuchin trip. The officials specified not only wording but gave Fox a headline, too.
Private companies and other government agencies commonly lobby the government. Yet, Democracy Forward indicated that the emails were evidence of something darker, that Treasury officials were, according to The Daily Beast:
‘…exerting substantial influence over FBN’s coverage and raises troubling questions regarding Treasury officials’ compliance with the covert propaganda ban.’
The letter continued:
‘This extremely close coordination between Treasury officials and Fox News suggests that the Trump administration may be violating federal law that prohibits government-sponsored propaganda,” Democracy Forward’s press secretary Charisma Troiano said in a statement. “This kind of cozy, behind-the-scenes interaction between government employees and members of the media raises alarm bells, and such direct intervention could be illegal.’
Democracy Forward intends to file FOIA requests against other departments, too:
‘…the Department of Justice, and Health and Human Services, among others, in order to review correspondence between officials and right-leaning media outlets including Fox News, Breitbart, The Daily Caller, The Daily Wire, NewsMax, and One America News Network.’
Democracy Forward isn’t the first organization to focus on exposing the close links between Fox News and various arms of the Trump administration.
The Daily Beast also looked into Fox News and the Environmental Protection Agency after the Sierra Club requested emails via FOIA requests. The emails showed Fox & Friends production staff let the EPA go over a script before the former EPA administrator Scott Pruitt went to the live interview.
Featured image via Matt Johnson Twitter page.
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