The hosts of Fox & Friends dutifully covered The New York Times‘ front-page bombshell on Friday, but stopped short of accepting the report that President Trump tried to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller last June. That put the hosts in a bit of an awkward spot, though, seeing as Fox News has independently corroborated the story.
Nevertheless, host Steve Doocy began by telling viewers that “what [President Trump] just told reporters, you’re going to want to hear, it’s not in the papers,” which Media Matter‘s Matthew Gertz points out is simply because Trump made the comments overnight. But Doocy had set the tone for the morning coverage at Fox News, which focused intently on Trump’s claim that the New York Times‘ scoop is “fake news.”
“There’s a huge difference between talking and taking action,” argued Pete Hegseth. Ainsley Eardardt boldly pivoted off topic by telling viewers: “The president says it’s fake news, that happened last June, it’s something we have to tell you about because it’s a headline on The New York Times. What do you think about that? Do you even care? Something you probably do care about is immigration.”
Watch the bizarre segment below, and check out Sean Hannity’s gymnastics to avoid the awkward topic here.
Hegseth: The president says it’s fake news, and even if it’s true he didn’t fire Mueller so it isn’t news.
Earhardt: He says it’s fake news, let’s move on to something you actually care about. pic.twitter.com/pDUwDVCTDj
— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) January 26, 2018