White House National Trade Council Director Peter Navarro appeared on Fox News’ “America’s News HQ” on Saturday and the interview was contentious from the outset.
Host Leland Vittert was confrontational from the beginning, being very aggressive in his demeanor as he cut Navarro off repeatedly, talking over him at will.
This coming during a discussion on U.S. trade policy with China and the country is devaluing its currency.
Vittert asked how the United Sates will respond to the currency manipulation and as Navarro began to explain, the Fox New host reacted by interrupting and rushing him along in his answer — and this was within the first two minutes of the interview.
Source: Fox News
“I don’t understand the hostility here,” Navarro said at one point, holding up both of his hands, as if trying to push the Fox News host back.
Of course, a March 17, 2019, tweet from President Trump may have something to do with Vittert’s “shameful” behavior.
“Were @FoxNews weekend anchors, @ArthelNeville and @LelandVittert, trained by CNN prior to their ratings collapse? In any event, that’s where they should be working, along with their lowest rated anchor, Shepard Smith!” the president tweeted.
After Vittert made what Navarro saw as an incorrect assessment about companies in the U.S. paying the cost, the Trump official again remarked on Vittert’s mannerism.
“You can’t keep doing this, okay?” Navarro said. “You’re being really overbearing and demonstrating a lack of understanding of the dynamic of the situation.”
All the while, Vittert kept firing questions at him, showing his guest little respect.
“Sir, what are you doing here,” the Trump official said, before asking if he was going to be given the opportunity to explain.
“So, China lowers the value of their currency and that translates to a lower price so it totally offsets any kind of tariff impact,” Navarro said, when given the chance to get a word in. “They are also cutting their prices, so you’re also talking about a paper transaction, when in fact China bears the burden through the lower tariff. You understand this, you put a tariff on at 10 percent and they lower their currency by 12 percent, right? Are consumers hurt? Absolutely not. We have raised 35 billion worth of tariffs … they’ve borne the entire burden.”
As he began to explain that U.S. farmers back their approach, Vittert, on the edge of his chair, began aggressively interrupting again.
“You’ve got to back off!” Navarro responded, again holding up both hands as if being assaulted.
“I’ll try to roll off the set,” Vittert said, in a failed attempt at humor, before picking up where he left off.
At this point, Navarro can only laugh at the Fox News host’s antics.
“This hostility is puzzling to me,” he then said.
“This isn’t hostile, sir. I’m not sure you’re interested in an interview, but typically people ask questions and they get an answer,” Vittert shot back.
“All you keep doing is interrupting me,” a clearly agitated Navarro said. “That’s all you do here. You roll back the tape here — [it’s] all you do is when I start to ask a question.”
“Clearly not an answer, just a filibuster,” Vittert said, as he brought the segment to a close. “Gotta run …”
“‘Gotta run,’” Navarro said, no longer masking his anger. “After you interrupted me probably 30 times. This is shameful, sir.”
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