Wingman Wallace Successfully Shielded Biden

In July 2017, Chris Wallace confronted Jay Sekulow, a member of Trump’s legal team, with breaking allegations that Donald Trump, Jr. participated in a meeting with at least two Russians at New York’s Trump Tower in June 2016. Characteristically, Wallace simply made an allegation without really posing a question. He said: 

But the point is, it does show intent, willingness, perhaps not actual collusion because apparently, and, in fact, none of us know what really went on to the meeting, but assuming that at least on that point everybody is telling the truth, doesn’t it show intent and willingness on the part of Don, Jr., and Jared and Paul Manafort to collude with the Russians? And let me just point out, Natalia Veselnitskaya [one of the Russian participants in the Trump Tower meeting] was not just some Russian off the street. She had close ties to people in the Kremlin.

Just a few months later, attorneys for the Clinton campaign were forced to admit to hiring Fusion GPS that, in turn, had hired Christopher Steele. Then it was discovered that Fusion GPS had a longstanding relationship with Veselnitskaya (the same Russian from the Trump Tower meeting) and that one of the Fusion GPS founders dined with her the night before and the night right after the infamous meeting. I am unable to locate any interview in which Wallace confronted any Democrat with the revelations that Clinton ginned up the Russia collusion scandal to distract from her email troubles.

Contrast this to Wallace’s stunning lack of curiosity over the recent revelations contained in a Senate report that, among other allegations, Hunter Biden received a $3.5 million payment from Elena Baturina, the wife of the former mayor of Moscow. 

“I think the American people would rather hear about more substantive subjects,” Wallace said of the appearance of corruption stemming from the dubious payments made to Hunter while Biden was in office. Can you imagine Wallace saying that if it were Trump’s son who’d received the payment? 

Not only did Wallace fail to ask Biden directly about the allegations during the first of the three presidential debates, but he actually shielded Biden from having to answer Trump’s question, “Why is it, just out of curiosity, the mayor of Moscow’s wife gave your son $3.5 million dollars. What did he do to deserve it? What did he do to deserve, with Burisma, to deserve $180,000.” 

Wallace interrupted Trump to “let him [Biden] answer.” Biden said, “none of that is true.” When Trump questioned this denial—“Wait, he didn’t get $3.5 million?”—Wallace interrupted again. Biden denied it again. When Trump challenged Biden, Wallace forcefully ran interference. As Trump tried to challenge Biden’s denial on the Hunter-Burisma payments (which is clearly a matter of public record), Biden said again that none of that was true and that it was totally discredited. 

Biden stumbled about trying to recall sources to support the denial while Wallace continued to periodically run interference to delegitimize the line of questioning from Trump.

Over and over again, the camera caught Biden shooting pleading looks at Wallace when Biden seemed overwhelmed by Trump’s intensity. With Wallace’s help, Biden kept his bearings through the entire 90-minute debate. Ironically, Trump also helped Biden by dominating many of the segments dedicated to Biden’s responses. Both Wallace and Trump turned attention away from Biden which is exactly the outcome the Biden campaign wanted. 

In fact, Wallace repeatedly followed his political instincts to interrupt Trump to save Biden. At the 7:28 mark of C-SPAN’s recording of the event, Wallace interrupted the debaters when Trump said Biden would eliminate private health coverage for 180 million Americans. Biden retorted, “that’s not true.” Wallace interrupted saving Biden from having to defend himself on this question. During the interruption, Wallace cut off Trump as he accused Biden of supporting socialism and admonished both to stick to the topic of the Supreme Court. Biden then gathered himself and launched into a response on health care with no interuption from Wallace.

At 9:02, Wallace interrupted Trump during his accusation that Biden’s early stance on travel restrictions with China would have led to more deaths. The interruption allowed Biden to gather himself to respond. Biden did not respond and instead turned to Roe v. Wade.

Trump responded at 9:44 that Biden didn’t know what Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s position on Roe v. Wade was and that Biden wasn’t making the case that Roe was on the ballot. Wallace interrupted Trump again, relieving Biden of any need to respond.

At 10:34, Wallace asked an argumentative question accusing Trump of not having a plan to replace Obamacare. Trump attempted to contest the assumption in the question. Wallace shut him down to continue arguing about a “largely symbolic executive order” banning exclusion of pre-existing conditions. Trump retorted, “I guess I’m debating you [Wallace] not him.” Trump began his answer at 11:18. He barely got to his third sentence before Wallace interrupted 20 seconds into Trump’s answer. After less than a minute, at 12:04, Wallace interrupted Trump to give Biden a chance to respond. 

At 17:24, in the midst of chaotic Trump-Biden bickering, a question suddenly penetrated the back-and forth, “Who’s on your list Joe?” referring to the fact that Biden has declined to identify potential Supreme Court nominees as Trump has. Wallace interrupted again at 17:29, relieving Biden of the need to explain. 

At 22:35, Trump challenged Biden on the Obama administration’s handling of the swine flu. Biden cited the lower deaths of swine flu. Trump started a retort but Wallace interrupted at 22:31. 

At 39:03, Wallace attacked Trump with a question over the recent New York Times article purporting to reveal information from Trump’s tax returns. Trump answered the question indirectly. Approximately 30 seconds into his answer, Wallace interrupted to force a direct answer. 

At 1:02:58, Wallace again interrupted to save Biden when Trump challenged him to name one law enforcement group that had come out and endorsed him. Biden gamely said he didn’t have time to give his answer before Wallace interrupted to say, “Gentleman, I’m going to take back the microphone.”

At 1:04:15 Trump interrupted to respond to Biden’s claim that the violence in Portland was Trump’s fault because he didn’t “get out of the way.” Wallace stopped Trump from rebutting the charge. When, at 1:05:18, Trump asked to rebut the claim, Wallace talked over him and moved on to the next question. Trump refused to move on to the next topic citing local government’s failure to accept the national guard to restore calm. After Trump fumbled his condemnation of right-wing violence, Wallace refused to allow him to condemn Antifa and moved on to the next question.

At 1:27:56, Wallace intervened to stop Trump from finishing his criticism of mail-in balloting. At 1:29:03, Wallace interrupted Trump as he tried to draw a distinction between unsolicited mail-in ballots and solicited ballots. Wallace did not intervene to stop Biden from interrupting Trump at 1:29:29. 

While much of the conventional wisdom holds that Trump “lost” the debate, I’m not so sure. Trump didn’t surprise anyone with his rudeness. But at his age, it will be reassuring to voters to see his energy and intensity remain intact. Trump fights and that matters above all else to many of his supporters. 

Trump will be more prepared to call out media intervention in the next two debates. Additionally, Biden has now reset the expectations to a more level position which means he will need to perform at least as well, if not better, in the next debate. Does he have that in him?  Time will tell. But Wallace will not have a chance to redeem himself as a legitimate arbiter of truth. His performance betrayed his true instincts to pursue a political outcome instead of the truth.

About Adam Mill

Adam Mill is a pen name. He is an adjunct fellow of the Center for American Greatness and works in Kansas City, Missouri as an attorney specializing in labor and employment and public administration law. He graduated from the University of Kansas and has been admitted to practice in Kansas and Missouri. Mill has contributed to The Federalist, American Greatness, and The Daily Caller.

Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images

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33 responses to “Wingman Wallace Successfully Shielded Biden”

  1. I will never watch that pos political hack Wallace again. I have never like him but after watching him at the debate protecting old senile women-groping, little girl fondling slow Joe and not give Trump a chance to defend himself against Biden’s lies and other accusations, I will not watch him again. Fox should fire him for that pathetic debate moderator performance. He wasn’t a moderator, he was just another debater on the side of Biden against Trump.

  2. It was pretty hard to top Candy Crowley’s 2012 performance during the Romney-Obama debate, but Chris Wallace did so with flying colors. From this point forward it will be very difficult to watch Mr. Wallace without being reminded of his shameless shilling for Joe Biden.

  3. “his true instincts to pursue a political outcome instead of the truth.”

    I disagree. Wallace has been largely shunned from the media clique that his daddy was a charter member of. He took the job at Fox because Ailes gave him the opportunity that no other network would to match his daddy’s legacy. Since then, he’s not been invited to the most prestigious shindigs given by the very rich elite media. And that is what drives him now – the fervent need for acceptance and approbation from our media betters. I’m guessing he hopes Fox fires him so CBS will hire him.

    • I haven’t watched Chris for years. I think the pernicious influence of Woodward and Bernstein still haunts the media. They a!l dream of taking down a president.

  4. Great blow by blow analysis. Knew Wallace was a left wing shill before debate. Not sure why the Trump campaign agreed to have him be the pontificator. Trump vs. Wallace & Biden. Biden’s dottering supported by Wallace.

    • Before the debate,I worried about how Slo Jo would fare with dictators,like Putin ,Ji and Kim Il Jong.
      Now I know he can handle it quite well,as long as Chris Wallace is there to stop attacks on Joe and change the conversation to Polar Bear farming in the Congo.

  5. As Trump so wisely said early in the debate “Oh so I am debating two people now?”

    The objective of the debate is to let the American people see two candidates, instead Wallace immersed himself into the Biden campaign. Wallace should resign, he is a disgrace.

  6. I do not understand why Democrat Party advocates like Chris Wallace are usually picked to moderate debates between presidential candidates. Why not a Rush Limbaugh or a Sean Hannity? I think that would cure the chaos because the GOP candidate would not feel outnumbered and because both candidates would be subjected to honest questioning.

    • Exactly!! The debates are useless when the “moderators” are demoncrat hacks. I would prefer Levin, Wilcow, or Carlson.

  7. Biden is old. He’s been hiding throughout the campaign, so to see him for 95 uninterrupted minutes was a shock. He’s an old, old man. It was startling. Waxy, wispy hair, barely hanging on…

    Biden stood before the country and called the president of the United States a “clown.” Told the president of the United States to “shut up.” Sure, Trump interrupted and pestered, but he didn’t call anyone names or tell anyone to shut up.

    Trump is a fighter, full of energy, full of piss and vinegar, eager to defend his record, and refuses to give an inch, and that’s a virtue.

    Most of all, Trump got Biden to repudiate the Green New Deal (something Biden’s own website says he supports), which will hurt him with the enthusiasts he needs on the left.

    President Trump got Biden to dismiss Bernie Sanders. The Left is going crazy.

    He also got Biden to admit he’s going to raise taxes on the middle class.

    Maybe for some it wasn’t pretty but President Trump won.

    • Exactly. Trump should agree to any rule change. Joe can’t chew his own food. Having him live on camera is a stone win every time although Biden melting down and wearing a wire which he exposed was a bonus.

  8. I think it’s legitimate for the Trump team to make it clear before the next debate.
    1. Trump will not interrupt unless…
    2. If the question is asked from a left perspective instead of an objective perspective, he will point that out and rephrase the question before answering.
    3. If the moderator shields Biden from having to answer a question, he will step in and point that out as well.

    • It’s already clear. Trump just needs Joe to show which may prove difficult.

  9. Wait was Biden at the debate? I thought it was between Wallace and Trump with some old senile guy throwing in moronic commentary and bias lies into the conversation.

  10. No wonder viewership has dropped on Fox News Sunday. Maria has a much better program and would make a much better moderator.

  11. Trump should have said if I am debating two people, I will leave the podium until I am debating one person.

  12. On the whole I was quite disappointed at the conduct displayed by Wallace and both candidates. Whoever prepped Mr. Trump in setting the strategy and tactics did a poor job. While my expectations for Biden’s performance were very low I was not expecting Wallace to be so blatant in his efforts to run interference.
    Who won? Beats me. Who lost? The American voter.

  13. The acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree. Chris Wallace, a registered Democrat, is caste in the same mold as his leftist father Mike, who when asked if embedded in a North Vietnamese unit would warn South Vietnamese with American soldiers about to walk into an ambush. Indicating he would not, I’m not an American first, I’m a reporter first.”
    President Trump should insist on either a registered Republican for a moderator or no moderator at all, like the Lincoln – Douglas debate.

  14. Wallace like his father, Mike, is a registered Democrat, and apparently caste in the same mold. When Mike was asked if embedded in a North Vietnamese unit would he warn South Vietnamese with American soldiers about to walk into an ambush? Indicating he would not, he said I’m not an American first, I’m a reporter first.”
    President Trump should insist on either a registered Republican for a moderator or no moderator at all, like the Lincoln – Douglas debate.

  15. “While much of the conventional wisdom holds that Trump “lost” the debate”

    What conventional wisdom would that be? If President Trump “lost”, the radical left would not be trying to cancel all further debates.

    • Actually the voters felt trump won. Only the politico’s thought it was a draw or a trump loss.

  16. Wallace as a wingman with two left wings seems an apt image.

  17. Wallace is a no-talent drip who owes his career to nepotism. He’s the Hunter Biden of journalists.

    Trump won by beating Biden at his own game. Biden interrupted Trump three times right out of the gate attempting to do to Trump what he’d done to Paul Ryan eight years ago. Once Wallace joined in, the gloves were off. Trump hammered Biden relentlessly to the point that Biden couldn’t even count to three

  18. Yes, Wallace shielded Biden. But Biden came across as a nasty piece of work nonetheless. Gore just sighed a lot and got hell for it. Biden was full of facial ticks, inappropriate language, meandering “points,” and so on. While white suburban women might be dumb, I find it hard to believe that even they liked Biden.

    I am not reflexively a Trump booster, but I think Trump dominated that debate. I especially liked early on when he pointed out that Biden was a lousy student and dumb, so he better not start putting on airs about his intellect. Yikes!

  19. Mr. Mill, great analysis of the first debate.
    I agree with you that Trump fights, and that is what matters.
    Only one other president in my life was a fighter, President Reagan.
    Not bad company for President Trump.

    PS. If you have any voice at AG, tell them to bring back disqus.

  20. Wallace would create a false scenario and then ask Trump why he did it!! Pure BS!!

  21. Before the debate,I worried about how Slo Jo would fare with dictators,like Putin ,Ji and Kim Il Jong.
    Now I know he can handle it quite well,as long as Chris Wallace is there to stop attacks on Joe and change the conversation to Polar Bear farming in the Congo.