Fox News host Chris Wallace confronted President Donald Trump about his anti-media rhetoric in an interview that aired Sunday, stating that the president is globally seen as a “beacon for repression.”
“Leaders in authoritarian countries like Russia, China, Venezuela, now repress the media using your words,” said Wallace.
“I can’t talk for other people, I can only talk for me,” Trump responded.
Wallace tried to address Trump’s overall demonization of the media in the Fox News Sunday interview, pointing out that a retired Navy Seal involved with the killing of Osama bin Laden once criticized the president’s rhetoric as possibly “the greatest threat to democracy” in his lifetime.
In response, Trump pointed out the veteran, William McRaven, is a “Hillary Clinton fan,” and said bin Laden should have been caught sooner.
Throughout the discussion, Trump maintained that news coverage of him is “largely phony” and uses falsified sources, although added that he doesn’t think all media is the “enemy of the people”—just those who report “fake news.”
When Trump clarified to Wallace, “I’m not calling you that,” Wallace told the president it doesn’t matter if he’s referring to CNN, The New York Times, or Fox News.
“We’re all together,” said Wallace. “We’re in solidarity, sir.”
Fox News recently sided with CNN in an effort to restore the White House press credentials of CNN reporter Jim Acosta, with whom the president frequently bickers.
Wallace and Trump also discussed the president’s mood since the midterms (which Trump describes as “very light”) in the interview, as well as White House staff changes, the Mueller investigation, and the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.