18 times Trump has criticized Fox News

President Donald Trump at a news conference at the White House in Washington

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President Donald Trump at a news conference at the White House in Washington
source
Reuters

  • President Donald Trump’s favorite news channel has been, for the longest time, Fox News. But cracks have begun to emerge this year.
  • Fox News’ opinion hosts, like Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson, usually support Trump, but the channel’s independent news division and polling system aren’t beholden to his whims.
  • More and more, when Trump doesn’t like what he sees, he’s prone to lashing out in a very public way, usually with a storm of fiery tweets.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump values loyalty.

He expects it from his allies, his employees, and his supporters. When he doesn’t get it, or feels disrespected, he’s prone to lashing out in public, usually via Twitter.

Fox News, Trump’s favorite news channel, was part of what propelled him to victory in 2016. His frequent appearances won over the hosts of “Fox & Friends” in the mornings and the opinion programs during primetime.

But as Trump has come under scrutiny for pressuring a foreign government to investigate his rival, the president hasn’t received blind loyalty from his preferred network. While Fox News’ opinion hosts still stand behind Trump, its news division and its polls are independent.

In the last year, and particularly as the impeachment inquiry has heated up, Trump has regularly let the news channel know, usually through Twitter, when he doesn’t like what an anchor says, who a particular guest is, or what their polling concluded.

Here are all the times the president has criticized Fox News. The network didn’t respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.


Trump has had a flourishing relationship with Fox News. The news channel touted him as a potential presidential candidate long before he announced he was running. And since becoming president, he’s appeared on the news channel more than 40 times. In contrast, since taking office, he’s never appeared on CNN.

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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump participates in a debate sponsored by Fox News at the Fox Theatre on March 3, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan
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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Sources: The New Yorker, Politico, USA Today


The first flare-up with Fox News came during the network’s presidential debate during the 2016 election. When former anchor Megyn Kelly asked him about sexist comments he’d made, Trump took it personally. He went on a prolonged attack against Kelly, calling her sick and overrated. Fox News even released a statement about it, saying he had an “extreme, sick obsession,” with her that was “beneath the dignity of a presidential candidate.”

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Donald Trump and Megyn Kelly.
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Fox News

Sources: Politico, Business Insider, Twitter


Things have become more strained in 2019. In January, Trump attacked Fox News correspondents John Roberts and Gillian Turner. He said they had less understanding about “the wall negotiations,” than reporters at CNN and NBC, two media institutions Trump is not fond of.

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FOX News’ John Roberts (R) stands to ask questions of U.S. President Donald Trump
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Chip Somodevilla / Getty

Source: USA Today


In March, he attacked Fox News anchors Arthel Neville and Leland Vittert, asking on Twitter if they had been trained by CNN, and saying they and Shepard Smith should work there instead. But it wasn’t clear why he was criticizing them, because Fox News was playing a rerun of “Fox News Sunday” at the time of the tweets, which those anchors weren’t on.

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President Donald Trump was asked by Fox News host Jeanine Pirro if he’s ever worked on behalf of the Russian government.
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Fox News anchor Shepard Smith.

Sources: Deadline, The Hill


In April, he criticized the decision to host a town hall with Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. He tweeted that it was “so weird,” to watch Sanders on Fox News, adding that it wasn’t surprising to see the audience and Fox News anchor Bret Baier being so “smiley and nice.”

Source: Vox


In May, he criticized Fox News for doing the same again with Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg. Trump tweeted, “Hard to believe @FoxNews is wasting airtime on Mayor Pete, as Chris Wallace likes to call him. Fox is moving more and more to the losing (wrong) side in covering Dems.”

Source: Politico


In May, he also retweeted a tweet that criticized Fox News’ legal analyst Andrew Napolitano, saying he had made multiple incorrect statements, and called for him to be taken off the air. It came in response to Napolitano calling Trump “immoral” and “repellent.”

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Andrew Napolitano on Fox News.
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Fox News

Source: The Daily Beast


In June, Trump tweeted, “something weird going on at Fox,” in response to a poll the network released, which showed him trailing five Democrat candidates in a hypothetical presidential match-up. He said polls were always bad for him.

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U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks on honesty and transparency in healthcare prices inside the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington
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Reuters

Sources: Politico, The Hill


On July 7, Trump attacked Fox News’ weekend anchors, saying they were worse than CNN, or “lyin’ Brian Williams,” because Democrats were appearing on their shows.

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Donald Trump gestures at a press briefing.
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FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

Source: Politico


Later that day, he criticized Fox News for hiring Donna Brazile, a former CNN analyst and head of the Democratic National Committee. He tweeted that it was impossible to believe they had hired her, after she was fired by CNN, “for giving Crooked Hillary Clinton the questions to a debate.”

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Donna Brazile
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REUTERS/Richard Brian

Source: Politico


And finally, at the end of a busy day of Twitter, he tweeted that Fox News had “forgot the people who got them there.”

Sources: Politico, The Hill


On August 7, he declared he even preferred to watch “Fake News CNN” over Fox anchor Shepard Smith, which could be one of Trump’s harshest insults.

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“Shepard Smith Reporting” at Fox News Channel Studios on September 17, 2019 in New York City.
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Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Source: The New York Times


On August 15, a Fox News poll had him sitting below 40% for preferred president. Three days later he told reporters, “Fox has changed. And my worst polls have always been from Fox. There’s something going on at Fox, I’ll tell you right now. And I’m not happy with it.”

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President Donald Trump speaks to reporters on Friday morning.
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Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Source: Vox


On August 18, Trump attacked Democrat Juan Williams, who is one of the hosts on “The Five,” calling him “pathetic,” “nasty” and “wrong.”

Source: Vox


On August 28, he criticized Fox News’ Sandra Smith for what he considered “heavily promoting,” the Democratic party, and giving “zero pushback” in an interview with Democratic National Committee communications director Xochitl Hinojosa. In those tweets he also managed to criticize Donna Brazile, Juan Williams, and Shep Smith.

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Sandra Smith On Fox News.
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Steven Ferdman/Getty

Source: Vox


That same day he tweeted, “I don’t want to Win for myself, I only want to Win for the people. The New FoxNews is letting millions of GREAT people down! We have to start looking for a new News Outlet. Fox isn’t working for us anymore!”

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President Donald Trump speaks to reporters with President of Finland Sauli Niinisto in the White House on October 2, 2019.
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Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Sources: Twitter, Vox


In late September, Trump took aim at Fox News’ Ed Henry, who was interviewing conservative radio host Mark Levin. In 23 minutes, the president fired off or retweeted 23 tweets, several of which mentioned Henry should have been working at CNN.

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Fox News correspondent Ed Henry
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Screenshot/Fox News

Sources: Washington Post, Politico


On October 10, after Fox News released a poll that said 51% of voters wanted Trump impeached, Trump tweeted he had never had a good Fox News poll, and that the pollster “suck[ed].” He also returned to a familiar theme — that the news channel had changed. He said it was, “much different than it used to be in the good old days.”

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Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump holds a campaign rally on October 10, 2016 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
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Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images

Source: Twitter


In November, Trump took on “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace, after Wallace interviewed Rep. Steve Scalise. Trump tweeted that Wallace was “nasty and obnoxious.” And sticking to his nostalgia for a better Fox News, the president said the “dumb and unfair interview,” would never have happened in the past.

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Donald Trump gestures to Fox News anchor and moderator Chris Wallace after the third U.S. presidential debate at the Thomas & Mack Center on October 19, 2016
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Drew Angerer / Getty

Source: Business Insider