Ahead of Chicago Appearance, Fox News’ Bret Baier Talks Donald Trump and New Book on George Washington

Video: In an interview with “Chicago Tonight,” Bret Baier discusses George Washington’s impact and legacy.

A growing number of Americans believe the country is divided and falling apart, said Fox News chief political anchor Bret Baier, but it pales in comparison to what the nation faced in 1787 when representatives from 13 colonies came together to, against all odds, form a more perfect union.

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“We were falling apart back then,” Baier told WTTW News. “We’ve had moments in our history that have been really, really dark, and it gives us perspective that maybe it’s not as bad as we think it is.”

It helped that in 1787 at the Constitutional Convention several men, and one in particular, were there to put the pieces together.

Baier co-authored the new book “To Rescue the Constitution: George Washington and the Fragile American Experiment.” Baier will discuss the book at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Northwestern University’s Pick-Staiger Concert Hall as part of the Chicago Humanities Festival.

The nation’s first president and perhaps foremost Founding Father has oft been written about. Baier chooses to focus on the three ways Washington rescued the constitution — first as leader of the revolutionary Army against the British, second leading the Constitutional Convention, and third as president. In each instance, Washington answered the call to service as a nation in its infancy struggled to survive.

“From the end of that victory to the Constitutional Convention, it’s really chaotic,” Baier said. “And I don’t think we truly appreciate the country almost never came to be. Without Washington, we wouldn’t have a country, I’m convinced of that.”

Baier, a respected journalist at a news organization steeped in controversy, has had a front row seat covering the issues and challenges that shape today’s divided country.

Baier conducted a probing interview of former President Donald Trump in June, before Trump had been indicted on charges related to Jan. 6 both federally and in Georgia. Baier challenged Trump on the Mar-a-Lago records case and on Trump’s false claims about a stolen election in 2020. Baier told WTTW News he credits his staff for having him prepared and the former president for facing the fire.

“To the former president’s credit, he did the interview, he answered all the questions,” Baier said. “We had that back and forth, and it led to me saying flat out, ‘You did not win the 2020 election.’”

Video: In an interview with “Chicago Tonight,” Bret Baier discusses interviewing former President Donald Trump.

The interview came after Fox News settled a defamation lawsuit with voting machine company Dominion for $787 million. In the case, Dominion produced evidence that top Fox personalities and officials did not believe claims about a fraudulent election, even though the network allowed guests to promote those claims repeatedly, sometimes unchecked. Baier said that the company has moved past the lawsuit, and that he was particularly concerned with his own broadcast where he believes he employed a higher journalistic standard than some of his Fox News counterparts.

“I always looked through my horse blinders about what I put on the air and what I was doing,” Baier said. “We were always doing fact-checking. You can talk about all kinds of things with Fox. But I know from my vantage point, we’re trying to dig on the news side every day to provide fair coverage.”

Video: In an interview with “Chicago Tonight,” Bret Baier discusses Fox News’ coverage.

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