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President Donald Trump lamented the change at Fox News and called out reporter John Roberts for having “abused” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany during a news briefing.
During a call-in interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity on Thursday, the president took aim at Roberts for his heated exchange with the press secretary over the topic of white supremacy during a White House briefing earlier in the day. His complaints about Fox News’ chief White House correspondent led the president to also note how things have changed at the network.
Trump kicked off his call on “Hannity” by addressing, once again, his condemnation of white supremacy, the KKK, and other white nationalist groups, saying, “I go through this every year.”
The president had come under fire, even by some Republicans, after what many saw as an inadequate response to a question by Fox News anchor Chris Wallace during Tuesday’s debate with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. Bringing up deadly protests and rioting in some U.S. cities, Wallace had asked Trump to condemn white supremacists and militia groups.
The president’s response for groups like the Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by” was widely criticized and he was, again, accused of not strongly condemning extremists. At the start of his conversation with Hannity on Thursday, the president delivered an unequivocal condemnation and criticized how Roberts was “screaming” at McEnany earlier to speak for him by making a “definite and declarative statement” denouncing white supremacism.
(Source: Fox News)
“When I saw John Roberts’ today going crazy,” Trump said. “Kayleigh is just an incredible person. She was abused by John Roberts. It’s a terrible thing. Fox is a much different place than it used to be, Sean.”
Roberts was slammed on social media after his outburst at McEnany who gave multiple examples of Trump’s remarks condemning white supremacy. The Fox News reporter said she had “just read a bunch of quotes from the past” and demanded she give a statement on behalf of the president. McEnany accused Roberts of “contriving a storyline and narrative” in the heated exchange.
‘I’m tired of it’: John Roberts lashes out at critics who ripped ‘obnoxious’ presser behavior, backlash grows https://t.co/1glStS31n3
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) October 1, 2020
Trump called on Biden to condemn far-left Antifa supporters as he told Hannity that, no matter how many times he has disavowed groups, “it won’t be enough” to satisfy his critics.
“I’ve said it many times, let me be clear again, I condemn the KKK, I condemn all white supremacists, I condemn the Proud Boys. I don’t know much about the Proud Boys, almost nothing, but I condemn that,” Trump said.
“He should condemn also Antifa. Antifa is a horrible group of people…What they do to people — they are causing insurrection, they’re causing riots. He doesn’t want to do that, the press doesn’t go after him,” he said of Biden.
“That a really bad group of people. I condemn them,” he added. “If I say it 100 times, it won’t be enough because it’s fake news.”
— James Klüg (@realJamesKlug) October 1, 2020
Hannity clarified by reiterating the president’s previous comments.
“Mr. President, I played earlier, Joe Biden is out there all day today saying you’ve never condemned white nationalists, you just did. You’ve never condemned segregationists, you just did. You’ve never condemned the KKK, you have. You’ve never condemned David Duke, you are condemning all of them tonight on record tonight, sir, is that correct?” the Fox News host asked.
“Yes, but I’ve condemned them in the past,” Trump replied.
He later remarked about the “total hypocrisy” of the media in not going after his Democratic opponent and his past comments on the issue.
“It’s a different standard. Total hypocrisy, it’s a disgrace. I think the people are wise to it, I really do. The people are wise to it,” Trump told Hannity. “Chris Wallace asked me the same question last time and you know, it’s a shame. It’s a shame that they can get away with it.”
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