The discredited claims that House Majority Whip Steve Scalise 15 years ago spoke to a white supremacist group founded by former KKK leader David Duke have left such a mark, that the claims even manage to make it onto Fox News Channel more than two years after the more dominant drive-by liberal media seized on them.
On Wednesday's Fox and Friends, as Fox News producer Greg Pergram reported in by phone in the aftermath of the attack on congressional Republicans in Alexandria, Virginia, he incorrectly recalled that it was the KKK that Scalise was accused of meeting with, when in reality the debunked accusation was that he spoke to a white nationalist group that was founded by Duke.
Additionally, Pergram failed to inform viewers that, even though Scalise issued an apology, the central claim that Scalise spoke to Duke's group was undermined both by a flyer from the event that did not list Scalise as a speaker, and by a man who helped organize the event who claimed that he invited Scalise to speak at a separate gathering in the same hotel that was not part of the white nationalist convention.
Just past 8:10 a.m. ET on Wednesday's show, as Pergram recalled Scalise's political history to fill in viewers on who the injured congressman is, the FNC producer incorrectly recounted:
You had a little bit of a hiccup about a year and a half ago because there had, you know, come out some information about him -- whether or not he had had a meeting with the Ku Klux Klan some years ago -- but he seems to have solidified his leadership position.
Below is a transcript of more of Pergram's comments from the Wednesday, June 14, Fox and Friends on FNC:
He came to Congress about eight years ago in a special election. He moved rather quickly up through the leadership ranks, you know, has been in leadership for a couple of years. You know, you had a little bit of a hiccup about a year and a half ago because there had, you know, come out some information about him -- whether or not he had had a meeting with the Ku Klux Klan some years ago -- but he seems to have solidified his leadership position. There was some thought when we had John Boehner leaving and, you know, Paul Ryan coming in and just all these kerfuffles in the House of Representatives, that he might have been in danger.
There was some question when Kevin McCarthy withdrew very abruptly to be the Speaker of the House -- about two years ago -- whether Scalise might try to move up. He used to chair the Republican Study Committee. Now, that's the largest block of conservatives in the House of Representatives. And that was kind of his ticket into leadership because if you're able to chair that group, it means you have a lot of political capital with conservatives.