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- President Donald Trump’s favorite cable-news hosts directly addressed the president on the morning after his widely condemned press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
- The “Fox & Friends” hosts argued that the president missed an opportunity to stand with the US intelligence community and rebuke Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election.
- “That moment is the one that’s going to stand out unless he comes out and corrects it,” the cohost Brian Kilmeade said.
President Donald Trump’s favorite cable-news hosts directly addressed him on the morning after his widely condemned press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, urging him to publicly criticize Russian meddling in the 2016 US election after failing to do so Monday.
“Fox & Friends” host Abby Huntsman, whose father, Jon Huntsman, is Trump’s ambassador to Russia, delivered the harshest critique of the president’s performance, arguing that Putin’s “ultimate goal in life is to undermine our democracy” and that Trump missed the “one moment that you had to stand up for your own country, stand up for your intelligence community.”
On Monday, Huntsman accused Trump of “throwing your own people and country under the bus” by refusing to challenge Putin’s claim that Russia was not involved in election meddling.
Brian Kilmeade, who very rarely issues any critique of the president, told the president to correct the record.
“When Newt Gingrich, when Gen. Jack Keane, when Matt Schlapp say the president fell short and made our intelligence apparatus look bad, I think it’s time to pay attention, and it’s easily correctable from the president’s perspective,” Kilmeade said.
He continued: “Nobody’s perfect, especially [after] 10 intensive days of summits, private meetings, and everything on his plate. But that moment is the one that’s going to stand out unless he comes out and corrects it.”
The show’s third host, Steve Doocy, called Trump’s behavior “puzzling” and said “a lot of people are criticizing him for not being bold.”
“Pretty much everyone and their brother – except for Vladimir Putin – knows that there was meddling,” Doocy said.
President Trump fires back at critics over his meeting with Putin pic.twitter.com/Ycb1pkls9f
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) July 17, 2018
But “Fox & Friends” mixed its gently-worded criticism of the president with some strong defenses of his behavior, inviting Jeanine Pirro, another Fox anchor and staunch supporter of the president’s, on the show to cast doubt on the overwhelming condemnation Trump has received.
“I mean, come on, snap out of it everybody – I mean the guy is doing what he’s supposed to be doing, and that’s protecting us,” Pirro said. “What was he supposed to do, take out a gun and shoot Putin?”
Huntsman pushed back on Pirro, asking whether the president should stand by his own country’s intelligence community, which has determined that Russia interfered in the election.
Pirro shrugged that question off.
“The same intelligence community that said there were weapons of mass destruction that got us into a war?” Pirro said, arguing that Russian meddling in the election was “nothing new.”
Jeanine Pirro on Fox & Friends: "What was he supposed to do, take a gun out and shoot Putin?" pic.twitter.com/0839HfMRI2
— John Whitehouse (@existentialfish) July 17, 2018