Fox News commentator Charles Krauthammer derided attacks by what is being called the "deep state" on President Donald Trump's administration as "the revenge of the losers." He made the comments Friday on the "Special Report" panel with Bret Baier.
"In the final weeks of his administration," Baier put to Krauthammer, "here is a president who tried to narrow the scope of the NSA in the wake of Edward Snowden, but in the final weeks of his administration he expands the NSA and the sharing with all the intelligence agencies. And people are speculating, that's because to get it out."
"I don't think there's any question the president was intent," Krauthammer responded, "the former president, was intent on leaving behind landmines. And you're right the NSA stuff is curious. Normally when the NSA is listening in on a foreigner, they take great care to redact any American involved."
The NSA is not supposed to spy on Americans. Here it was the reverse and there was an obvious attempt as it was reported by the New York Times to make sure this was spread as widely as possible.
That it would become a problem for the Trump administration. I wouldn't call it "the Deep State," it gives it a Licari feel, that there's this ominous enemy of the United States hidden in the bureaucracy.
What this is, is the revenge of the losers. This is people who wanted to make trouble for the administration of a guy who they thought wasn't gonna win, and shouldn't have won, and to see what happens. And that's what I think is going on.
"To some extent it's happened in other administrations," he concluded, "but I think it's more obvious, and we're gonna get to the bottom of it because there's gonna be a lot of investigations."
"Alright, down the road, does an independent counsel happen?" Baier inquired.
"Unless there's another shoe dropping, no," Krauthammer predicted, referring to calls for a special prosecutor to be named for an investigation into allegations that the Trump campaign had unsavory ties and colluded with Russian authorities before the election.
The phrase "deep state" has been used by pundits to describe the bureaucratic holdovers from former President Barack Obama's administration who are hostile to the new president and are using instruments of the government to sabotage him from within. Trump himself has accused elements of the U.S. intelligence community of leaking information to the press in order to undermine his administration.
Some of these leaks ended in the resignation of Trump's national security advisor Mike Flynn over misleading statements he made to Vice President Mike Pence about interactions he had with Russian authorities. Krauthammer had expressed bewilderment over Flynn's misdirection, calling it a "cover up without a crime."