Brian Stelter Asks CNN Contributor If Fox News Reminds Her of Totalitarian, State-Run Media

Sunday news round-up

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This week on the Sunday news shows: CNN's Brian Stelter asks a guest if Fox News reminds her of state-run media, a Democratic representative defended Rep. Adam Schiff's (D., Calif.) handling of the Ukraine whistleblower complaint, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.) says she would not be comfortable with her vice president's child sitting on the board of a foreign company.

Stelter to CNN Contributor: Does Fox News remind you of state-run media?

CNN's Brian Stelter asked New Yorker columnist Masha Gessen if Fox News reminds her of state-run media in totalitarian countries.

"I wonder Masha if—as the author of books including The Future is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia, if what we're seeing here in the United States reminds you at all of state-run media in other countries," Stelter asked. "Is what we're seeing something similar at this point?"

"A bit. What you see in a totalitarian country, which of course this country is not and most countries are not, but what you see is a forced reality," Gessen said.

"The subject of a totalitarian state is told, ‘okay, you have had to inhabit this reality, this is the only available reality.' Observable facts are not part of the thing that's available to you. And that relies on state terror," Gessen said. "What's amazing about Trump, he's created this completely encapsulated reality without relying on state terror."

Stelter's Reliable Sources once featured a guest who claimed Trump "may be responsible for many more million deaths" than infamous dictators like Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, and Mao Zedong.

Dem Rep Defends Schiff's Handling of Whistleblower

Appearing on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, Rep. Val Demings (D., Fla.) defended House Intelligence chairman Adam Schiff, who has come under fire for lying to the media about when his committee learned about the Ukraine whistleblower complaint.

"With the president being accused of using his power and abusing his office to coerce a foreign country to assist in an election, it's kind of amazing that we would try to make the news of the day centered around Chairman Schiff's words as it pertains to contact with whistleblower," Demings said.

"Chairman Schiff, as you know, has served several terms in Congress," she said. "He has been a person who has provided exceptional leadership and Chairman Schiff said he could have stated—responded to that question in a more clear way."

Demings added that Schiff misunderstood the question he was being asked.

The Washington Post awarded Schiff four Pinocchios for misleading the media, writing that he had made a clearly false statement during an interview with MSNBC.

Klobuchar: I Would Not Be Comfortable With VP's Child Serving On Board of Foreign Company

Presidential hopeful Amy Klobuchar told Jake Tapper she disapproves of a vice president's child serving on the board of a foreign company.

"Senator Harris and congressman O'Rourke have both suggested that they would not be comfortable with a child of their vice president sitting on the board of a foreign company," Tapper asked. "Would you?"

"No, I wouldn't," Klobuchar said. "And I can promise you right now my own daughter, who is only 24, does not sit on the board of a foreign company."

Klobuchar added that the real issue is the conduct of the president, not former vice president Joe Biden's. She argued that "what really matters is that the president was repeatedly trying to get dirt on a political opponent."

Biden has pushed back on criticisms of a potential conflict of interest stemming from his son's position on the board of Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian natural gas company.