President Donald Trump’s hatred of the mainstream media knows few bounds, even when it comes to his pet network Fox. This Friday outside the White House, he seemed to specifically shun Fox reporter John Roberts, ignoring his questions and even glaring at him as he walked away, according to ABC’s Jon Karl, who covers the White House and was apparently on the scene. Karl claimed Trump even avoided eye contact with the Fox correspondent.
Roberts seemed to acknowledge the president’s cold shoulder, tweeting the airy response:
‘It was a rather chilly March morning….’
It was a rather chilly March morning…. https://t.co/mOiWfJxwGi
— John Roberts (@johnrobertsFox) March 22, 2019
The interaction unfolded after Trump faced tough questioning from Fox’s Maria Bartiromo over his incessant criticism of the late Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.). For days on end, he’s nitpicked the fallen leader with insults — many of which have no basis in reality — and yet, when confronted, he claimed it was the media’s fault this controversy ever emerged in the first place.
He whined to Bartiromo:
‘I don’t talk about it. People ask me the question. I didn’t bring this up — you just brought it up… You people ask me the question.’
In fact, Bartiromo noted, Trump had repeatedly lambasted McCain completely unprovoked in recent days, including at a speech he gave at an Ohio tank plant. At that time, he went so far as to indicate annoyance that he hadn’t been thanked for providing for McCain’s funeral — although the National Cathedral, where it took place, asserted that they required no approval from the president.
He’s also complained about McCain’s handling of the infamous Steele dossier, which chronicles allegations of extensive Trump team collusion with Russian efforts to tilt the 2016 elections. He incorrectly claimed at one point that McCain shared the dossier with the media before the election in an effort to get it published, but he’s shifted his claim of “evil” intent to McCain’s actual handling of the dossier, which entailed him having passed it to the FBI after the election.
What was he supposed to do — take a detailed account of an apparent global conspiracy to infiltrate the American political system lightly? Trump literally said he wished McCain would have run it by him before alerting the feds!
His rough interactions with John Roberts outside the White House this Friday aren’t the first time he’s batted around the network in service of his agenda. Just recently, he whined on Twitter that their hosts Arthel Neville, Leland Vittert, and Shepard Smith should be on CNN, which he’s long held as a standard of dastardly “fake news.” Around the same time, he criticized the network at large for having Jeanine Pirro temporarily off the air after she claimed hijabs suggest disloyalty to the United States and Constitution.
His pressure isn’t entirely working, since ironically, Bartiromo isn’t even the only Fox host to suggest the president is in error in relentlessly going after McCain. Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade did the same in a segment this week, saying Trump’s Ohio remarks made “absolutely no sense.”
That could have weighed on Trump’s attitude towards Roberts this week. No matter if you’re as close as Fox News to the president, he might dump you anyway.
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