Chris Wallace trends after Fox News host tells network’s Katie Pavlich to get her “facts straight” in spat over impeachment

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace’s name trended on Twitter Monday afternoon after he and Fox contributor Katie Pavlich argued on the air during the network’s coverage of President Donald Trump’s Congressional impeachment trial.

Wallace, Pavlich, anchor Bret Baier and contributor Martha MacCallum were discussing the possibility of the Senate calling former National Security Adviser John Bolton as a witness during the trial, in light of revelations brought to light by a partial leak of the outline of Bolton’s autobiography, published in Sunday’s New York Times.

Pavlich pointed out that Bolton’s manuscript may be in the hands of various intelligence agencies, which would take “a very long time” for them to review.

She added that in light of the new information released by the Bolton leak, senators have to weigh “two things” while trying to decide whether or not to vote for the inclusion of witness testimony—maintaining the dignity and role of the Senate, and weighing the worth of introduction of fresh information for witnesses.

“The Senate is not the House. The House did not come with a complete case,” Pavlich continued. “In every impeachment beforehand, the witnesses that were called had been called in the House before being brought to the Senate.”

“That’s not true,” Wallace spoke over her. “They hadn’t all been called in the House. In the Clinton impeachment, they’d been called by the general independent counsel.”

“After an extensive Justice Department investigation, Chris,” Pavlich said.

“I understand, but that’s just wrong, Katie,” said Wallace.

Defending her statement, Pavlich explained that the Trump case differs from the Clinton case because “the grand jury material in the Clinton impeachment were handed to the House as part of the articles and given to the Senate. They were not given after the House voted for those articles.”

“It wasn’t a Justice Department investigation,” Wallace spoke over Pavlich again.

“Let me finish,” Pavlich interjected.

“Katie, what you’re saying just isn’t true,” Wallace said, after an interjection by Baier announcing the arrival of Mitch McConnell.

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“The fact of the matter was whistleblower information was given to the inspector general who gave it to the Justice Department. The Justice Department decided not to investigate, and that is why it went to the House. So to say in the Clinton investigation, these people were interviewed by the House. One, they weren’t. And to say it wasn’t done by the Justice Department … It wasn’t done by the Justice Department because the Justice Department refused to carry out the investigation,” Wallace said.

“Get your facts straight!” he concluded.

“Okay, okay, let’s tone it down,” Baier interjected.

“OK, Let’s talk about some of the facts here, Chris,” Pavlich said. “The point is that all the information that the grand jury and the Clinton investigation, all of the witnesses the House wanted to call, that the Justice Department called in the Clinton case, were done before the articles were voted on and put over to the Senate.”

“That is not what has happened here. The House voted on incomplete information and gave it to the Senate, and now they are saying the Senate should call additional witnesses who have not been called before, and who were not part of the House evidence,” Pavlich concluded.

“So we just shouldn’t listen to what John Bolton has to say?” Wallace shot back.

“I’m not taking a side, Chris. I’m not saying Bolton should or should not testify,” Pavlich said. “I am simply talking about what senators are saying and they should go with the process.”

Chris WallaceFox News anchor Chris Wallace’s name, along with that of his colleague Katie Pavlich, trended on Monday after the two sparred over the accuracy of a statement made by Pavlich about the Clinton impeachment trail during afternoon coverage of the hearings. Sarah Rice/Getty

Reaction on Twitter was divided squarely between those who think Pavlich put Wallace “in his place” by pushing back against perceived bullying on his part, and those who think Wallace’s reaction to Pavlich’s statements was a push back against his colleague’s perceived lack of facts in the argument.

“Wow. @KatiePavlich just embarrassed and exposed Chris Wallace as a petulant, know-nothing, Never-Trumper jackass with anger management problems. Well done and very impressive, Katie,” said defense attorney David Wohl.

“I’m sure the last thing Chris Wallace wants or needs is praise from this quarter, but it takes courage and integrity to stand up for reality in a reality-distortion field. He has long been a model of fair-mindedness,” said MSNBC analyst Richard Stengel.

“Watching @KatiePavlich dunking on @FoxNewsSunday Chris Wallace..
So good that someone finally stands up to the ‘Fox in the Hen House’ liberal Chris,” former Fox News Channel host Eric Bolling tweeted.

“proud of my former colleague Chris Wallace for asking the unlikely at Fox–facts,” said sportswriter Peter Gammons, replying to a Tweet by Daily Beast editor Molly Jong-Fast that called Wallace “The loneliest man at Fox ‘news’.”

American Conservative Union chair Matt Schlapp tweeted to declare Pavlich right in the argument.

“@KatiePavlich is correct. Clinton was being sued for his sexual assaults in this case on Paula Jones. During that process Lewinsky’s affair came to light. In the end Clinton committed 11 felonies, paid almost $1 million in fines to Jones and AR disbarred him.”

“Chris Wallace should start polishing his resume for MSNBC. He’s not going to last long at State TV. Trump has already signaled he will target anyone who criticizes him, that includes Fox. That’s why he has promoted OANN – to warn them that he’ll switch over if they allow this,” said CNN contributor and New York Times op-ed writer Wajahat Ali.

“Good on @KatiePavlich for pushing back against a totally rude and bullying Chris Wallace. She has her facts straight. You just don’t like the facts, Chris,” said Team Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis.

In the excerpt from Bolton’s outline published in Sunday’s New York Times, Bolton revealed that President Trump allegedly informed Bolton that he was freezing $391 million in promised military aid to Ukraine until they agreed to investigate a number of his political rivals, including Hunter and Joe Biden.

The president denied this claim, tweeting on Monday, “I NEVER told John Bolton that the aid to Ukraine was tied to investigations into Democrats, including the Bidens.”