Dan Bongino

Dan Bongino

Credentials

Background

Daniel “Dan” John Bongino is an American conservative commentator and radio personality. He hosts the talk radio show The Dan Bongino Show on the Westwood One radio network. He also hosts Unfiltered with Dan Bongino on Fox News. He began his media career in the wake of three unsuccessful runs for Congress. 3Kevin Roose. “Dan Bongino Has No Idea Why Facebook Loves Him,” The New York Times, Oct. 29, 2020. 4Nikolas Lanum. “Dan Bongino previews his Fox Nation show, interview with former President Trump,” May 24, 2021. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/0MCj15 https://web.archive.org/web/20210526214044if_/https://www.foxnews.com/media/the-dan-bongino-show-radio-program-fox-nation-special

Bongino has been a regular contributor at Fox News, and has hosted The Dan Bongino Show since May 24, 2021.6dan bongino,” search at Fox News Channel. Performed May 26, 2021. 7Nikolas Lanum. “Dan Bongino previews his Fox Nation show, interview with former President Trump,” Fox News, May 24, 2021. Archived May 26, 2021. Archive URL:https://archive.ph/0MCj1

Heated’s Emily Atkin has described Dan Bongino as “a new anti-climate leader” with the opportunity to help fill in the hole in conservative media left by the death of Rush Limbaugh. With a new radio show, “the opportunity to pick up some of Limbaugh’s 15 million regular listeners is large,” she wrote in May 2021. “Bongino is thus well-positioned to soon become one of the most influential sources of right-wing disinformation in America.”8Emily Atkin. “A new anti-climate leader,” Heated, May 24, 2021. Archived May 27, 2021. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/LsiOs

Bongino’s Law Enforcement Background

Bongino was an officer in the New York Police Department from 1995 to 1999, and a United States Secret Service special agent from 1999 to 2011.9(Press Release). “Dan Bongino to Helm New Program for Westwood One,” Cumulus Media, March 17, 2021. Archived May 28, 2021. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/J8OTC

As a Secret Service agent, Bongino initially worked in the agency’s New York Field Office, where he “was assigned to investigate federal crimes including but not limited to protective intelligence, computer crimes, bank fraud, credit card fraud and counterfeiting,” according to his archived campaign biography. In 2002 he become an instructor at the Secret Service Training Academy in Beltsville, Maryland, according to his campaign bio.10About Daniel Bongino,” Dan Bongino for U.S. Senate. Archived August 8, 2012. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/Fttst

In 2006, during the George W. Bush administration, Bongino joined the Secret Service’s Presidential Protection Division, and remained on protective duty during the transition to the Barack Obama administration. In 2010 he transferred to the agency’s Baltimore Field Office. He left the secret service in 2010, and in 2011 began his campaign, as a Republican candidate, to defeat incumbent Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin, a Democrat.11Ben Pershing. “Ex-Secret Service agent Bongino enters race to unseat Cardin,” The Washington Post, June 1, 2011. Archived May 28, 2021. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/XUQHH

Bongino’s Runs for U.S. House and Senate

In the 2012 election, Bongino lost to incumbent Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin with 27 percent of the vote, “the worst-ever Republican showing for one of Maryland’s U.S. Senate seats and a tie for the second-lowest Republican vote percentage for any U.S. Senate Seat on Election Day” to that point, according to The Washington Times. 12David Hill. “Maryland: A lonely state for Republicans,” The Washington Times, November 9, 2012. Archive URL: http://archive.today/cCTBP

In 2014, Bongino lost his run for a Maryland congressional seat by 1.2 percentage points. He moved to Florida in 2015, and began saying in interviews that he might challenge Republican Marco Rubio for his Senate seat in 2016. 13Javier Manjarres. “Dan Bongino Hints At Running For Marco Rubio’s Senate Seat,” Shark Tank, November 5, 2015. Archive URL: http://archive.today/wXCyq

In 2016, Bongino lost the Republican primary to become the GOP’s House of Representatives candidate for Florida’s 19th District. 14Sinéad Baker. “How Dan Bongino went from a failed congressional candidate to one of the kings of conservative media,” Business Insider, May 22, 2021. Archive URL: http://archive.today/07Q06

Bongino’s Transition to Conservative Media Personality

Following his unsuccessful political bids, Bongino became a host on NRATV and began making regular appearances on Fox News, where he also became a contributor. He defended “Spygate,” a conspiracy theory contending that the Obama administration had embedded an informant in Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign for political purposes. This conspiracy theory was the subject of Bongino’s 2018 book, Spygate: The Attempted Sabotage of Donald J. Trump.15Dan Bongino leads the MAGA field in stolen-election messaging,” Politico, November 18, 2020. Archived May 26, 2021. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/3E2Z6

In May 2021, when Bongino launched The Dan Bongino Show, the inaugural episode featured former President Donald Trump, who said he believed that COVID-19 had originated in a laboratory in Wuhan, China.16Yael Halon. “Trump tells Dan Bongino he has ‘very little doubt’ coronavirus leaked from Wuhan lab,” Fox News, May 26, 2021. Archived May 27, 2021. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/2JiuH

In November 2020, Politico described Bongino as leading “the MAGA field in stolen-election messaging.” 17Dan Bongino leads the MAGA field in stolen-election messaging,” Politico, November 18, 2020. Archived May 26, 2021. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/3E2Z6

Stance on Climate Change

“Climate changes all the time,” Bongino said in an August 2019 Fox News segment. “You think you’re changing the climate? […] The temperatures have been flat for eighteen years now.18‘The Five’ debate meat’s impact on global warming after fresh UN report,” Fox News, August 8, 2019. Archived May 26, 2021. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/5CXBf

“These climate change alarmists have been wrong about just about everything. All of their charts have been debunked.

“God have us the world, not the other way around, and acting like the world is going to blow up in twelve years because we’re emitting natural … or cows are farting somewhere is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. The climate’s been relatively stable. There’s not any evidence that storms are out of control. All of this stuff is made up and the Left is the one destroying their own credibility.”

Key Quotes

October 2018

“My entire life right now is about owning the libs,” Bongino said on NRATV. “Because they’ve shown themselves through this Kavanaugh abomination of a process to be—I’m talking about the libs on Capitol Hill—and sadly some of these radical groups to be pure unadulterated evil what they did to this guy.”19Jenna Amatulli. “NRATV Host Says ‘My Life Is All About Owning The Libs Now’,Huffpost, October 5, 2018. Archived May 27, 2021. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/u4Nfz

Key Actions

June 2020

After Bongino testified at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on police brutality, some news outlets reported that he never mentioned police brutality in his remarks. 20Morgan Phillips. “Dan Bongino, a conservative former Secret Service agent, to testify at House Judiciary hearing,” Fox News, June 9, 2020. Archived August 16, 2020. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/bouZh21Katelyn Burns. “A Republican witness at a congressional hearing on police brutality didn’t mention police brutality,” Vox, June 10, 2020. Archived May 28, 2021. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/nrsMw

The Spectator published an advance copy of Bongino’s prepared remarks.22Amber Athey. “EXCLUSIVE: Dan Bongino’s prepared testimony on police brutality,” Spectator, June 10, 2020. Archived May 28. 2021. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/xJA5P

“The defund the police movement will target these heroes. They ARE the police. It’s not some amorphous mass that will be affected, it’s real heroes, in real time. Removing these heroes from communities will do nothing but ensure chaos and destruction,” Bongino’s prepared remarks read.

Bongino had previously said on Fox & Friends that defunding police would be “the single most catastrophic deadly public policy decision we have seen in the modern history of the United States.” 23Morgan Phillips. “Dan Bongino, a conservative former Secret Service agent, to testify at House Judiciary hearing,” Fox News, June 9, 2020. Archived August 16, 2020. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/bouZh

Footage of the hearing is available at C-SPAN.

May 28, 2021

On his new talk radio show, Bongino stated that he was not a “Rush Limbaugh replacement” because his show was not on Premiere Networks, which had employed Limbaugh. .24Ep. 1531 Clearing Up ‘The Rush Limbaugh Replacement’ Confusion,” The Dan Bongino Show, May 28, 2021. Archived .mp3 on file at DeSmog.

“The Premiere radio stations have chosen to go with Buck Sexton and Clay Travis. I don’t work for Premiere,” Bongino said on an episode of The Dan Bongino Show. “There’s no Limbaugh gig. He worked for Premiere. I don’t work for Premiere, I work for Cumulus. I am on the Cumulus Westwood One stations.”

May 25, 2021

Former President Donald Trump was a guest on the first broadcast of The Dan Bongino Show. Trump told Dan Bongino he had “very little doubt” that the COVID-19 virus originated in a virology lab in Wuhan, China.

“It came from the lab,” Trump said. “I have very little doubt and I mean very very little doubt it came from the lab.”25Yael Halon. “Trump tells Dan Bongino he has ‘very little doubt’ coronavirus leaked from Wuhan lab,” Fox News, May 26, 2021. Archived May 27, 2021. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/2JiuH

A recording of the segment is available on Dropbox.26(Press Release). “The New Dan Bongino Show Debuted Today,PR Newswire. Provided by Cumulus Media, May 24, 2021. Archived May 27, 2021. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/NakbJ

During this episode, Bongino also suggested that he’d had private meetings with Trump about COVID while Trump was in office:27Trump tells Dan Bongino he is certain coronavirus leaked from Wuhan lab: ‘I have very little doubt’,” Fox News, May 25, 2021. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

“You were deeply, deeply concerned about the coronavirus early. I was there. I had many conversations with you that are not privy to the public,” Bongino said to Trump. “The media narrative that you didn’t care is a disgrace and it’s an absolute falsity.”

May 24, 2021

Fox News‘ streaming platform, Fox Nation, carried a preview of The Dan Bongino Show, Bongino’s new talk radio show. Fox Nation announced it would stream the show from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET, the timeslot of the late Rush Limbaugh’s talk radio show.28Dan Bongino previews his Fox Nation show, interview with former President Trump,” Fox News, May 24, 2021. Archived May 26, 2021. Archive URL:https://archive.ph/0MCj1

April 20, 2021

The Washington Post reported that Bongino met with President Donald Trump to discuss his re-election campaign strategy.29Manuel Roig-Franzia. “Dan Bongino isn’t just taking over where Rush Limbaugh left off — he’s building a conservative media universe,” The Washington Post, April 20, 2021. Archived May 26, 2021. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/H5i9W

Among his suggestions in the run-up to the 2020 election, according to The Post, Bongino advised Trump in to hold outdoor rallies at airports, “where the threat of spreading the virus would be minimized.”

When asked to comment, Bongino said, “whether I was the one person who suggested it to him that made him do it — I’m not going to say that. But I know I was one of the primary voices.”

March 17, 2021

Fox News ran an article titled “Dan Bongino to take over Rush Limbaugh’s radio time slot“:30Joseph A. Wulfohn. “Dan Bongino to take over Rush Limbaugh’s radio time slot,” Fox News, March 17, 2021. Archived May 28, 2021. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/j6NMm

“Cumulus Media’s Westwood One announced on Wednesday that Dan Bongino will be launching a new radio show during the time slot left vacant by conservative talk radio icon Rush Limbaugh.

“The program, ‘The Dan Bongino Show,’ will broadcast 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET in select markets starting May 24, including KABC Los Angeles, WLS Chicago, WBAP Dallas, KSFO San Francisco, and WMAL Washington, D.C.”

“There’s no replacing Rush, okay? None. It’s never ever gonna happen,” Bongino told “Fox & Friends.” “But, me being in that timeslot, I really hope to do some honor to his legacy.”

Bongino praised radio personalities Mark Levin, Sean Hannity, and Brian Kilmeade for their “amazing work,” and said it was “hard to put into words” how grateful he felt to host the show.

November 18, 2020

Politico reported that Bongino “leads the MAGA field in stolen-election messaging.”31Dan Bongino leads the MAGA field in stolen-election messaging,” Politico, November 18, 2020. Archived May 26, 2021. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/3E2Z6

“Dan Bongino was penning dozens of Facebook posts and generating hours of podcast programming, pointing out ‘anomalies’ in the election results and telling his listeners he’s ‘never been more fired up’ in his life,” Politico wrote.

“You wanted us to quit? How about you go [bleep] yourself, I’m not going anywhere. You ain’t either,” Bongino said on his podcast. “And ‘ain’t’ is a word — I just made it one,” he added.

Bongino said in an interview that, though he repeatedly highlights accounts of questionable votes and possible ballot harvesting, “I make very clear on the show, I’m not saying it’s fraud.”

August 2016

The Naples Daily News reported that Bongino, then running in the Republican primary for Southwest Florida’s 19th District seat in Congress, “has taken money from seven different PACs amounting to $16,500.”32Alexandra Glorioso. “Rooney still leads money race for Southwest Florida seat in Congress,” Naples Daily News, August 20, 2016. Archived May 27, 2021. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/jYSfH

The story reported on Bongino’s fundraising as follows:33Alexandra Glorioso. “Rooney still leads money race for Southwest Florida seat in Congress,” Naples Daily News, August 20, 2016. Archived May 27, 2021. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/jYSfH

“Bongino, on the other hand, is still greatly lacking in financial support from the district as far as itemized contributions go. He has received only 6 percent of his itemized donations from Collier and Lee counties.

“The majority of his Florida money comes from the state’s east coast, where Bongino still has his permanent residence and where he himself will vote Aug. 30.

“Bongino, however, has raised a disproportionate amount of his money from donations of less than $200. Of the $295,465 he has raised, more than half have come from small donations.

“The Naples Daily News has requested itemized receipts for these records to assess Bongino’s financial support within the district, but the campaign has declined to provide them.

[…]

“Bongino has taken money from seven different PACs amounting to $16,500. One of those PACs, American Principles, has given $36,850 to a number of Republican House and Senate races throughout the United States, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a non-partisan research group in Washington, D.C. Other Florida candidates include Carlos Curbelo, R-Miami, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Miami, and Dennis Ross, R-Lakeland.

“He has received the most PAC money from Citizens United and The Guardian Fund, totaling $5,000 from each.

“Citizens United is the non-profit that challenged and ultimately changed campaign finance laws in 2010 when it created a political ad called Hillary: The Movie. The ad prompted a 2010 U.S. Supreme Court case that opened the door for unlimited contributions from corporations and other outside money groups.”

The Washington Post reported that Bongino’s reaction to the Naples Daily News article concluded with an “epic, 17-minute phone call generally characterized as a “Bongino meltdown.”34Dan Wigel. “What a lying, cursing Florida candidate for Congress tells us about politicians and the press,” The Washington Post, August 24, 2016. Archived May 27, 2021. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/FpM9b

The Washington Post reported, with screenshots, that “Bongino lied about his consent to be taped” among other listed falsities.

Affiliations

Social Media

Publications

Books

  • Follow the Money: The Shocking Deep State Connections of the Anti-Trump Cabal, Post Hill Press (October 6, 2020)
  • Exonerated: The Failed Takedown of President Donald Trump by the Swamp, Post Hill Press (September 24, 2019)
  • Spygate: The Attempted Sabotage of Donald J. Trump, Post Hill Press (October 9, 2018)
  • Protecting the President: An Inside Account of the Troubled Secret Service in an Era of Evolving Threats, WND Books (September 19, 2017)
  • The Fight: A Secret Service Agent’s Inside Account of Security Failings and the Political Machine, St. Martin’s Press (January 12, 2016)
  • Life Inside the Bubble: Why a Top-Ranked Secret Service Agent Walked Away from It All, WND Books (November 19, 2013)

Other Resources

Resources

Profile image by Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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