Fox News' Melissa Francis and Charles Gasparino grappled in a heated debate over whether President-elect Donald Trump was extorting companies in order to control them. At one point, Gasparino said to Francis, "The great economist Sarah Palin understands this, and I know you went to Harvard, but you're making Sarah Palin look like Milton Friedman here!" That's when the threats of physical violence came out — in jest:
The disagreement hinged on whether Trump is merely leveraging the power of the federal government to "level the playing field" or if he's unfairly bullying companies around as many feared he would before the election. Gasparino even admited that he's not troubled by the Carrier deal but noted that the overarching trend of Trump toward economic authoritarianism is troubling:
When you go to some of these companies and you say, "OK, you don't too what I tell you, and I will crush your stock," that's called extortion, that's almost fascism and that makes Barack Obama smile every day! And Sarah Palin understands that and you don't!
Gasparino was referring to Palin's critique of Trump's Carrier deal, decrying it as "crony capitalism." He also pointed out that if Obama had committed similar acts, many of the people praising Trump would be screaming "fascism." Given that Trump made it very clear that he sees himself as a master negotiator, we can be sure that the duo will find many more examples to argue over.