President Donald Trump criticized Fox News on Friday in some of his sharpest rhetoric to date, noting that the network was “no longer great” in 2020.
Trump spoke about Fox News in an event with talk radio legend Rush Limbaugh on Friday and also in an interview with talk radio host Mark Levin.
The president said that Fox News was sharply different in their coverage during the 2020 election compared to the network in 2016 when he ran against Hillary.
“One of the biggest differences is Fox,” he said during Levin’s show. “Fox is a whole different ballgame than it used to be. Fox was great. Fox was great. Fox is no longer great.”
Levin, who has a weekend program on Fox News, noted that he would probably get some phone calls from Fox News executives to complain about Trump’s comments.
“I say it on Fox. I don’t care,” Trump replied. “What difference does it make at this point?”
The president also criticized Fox News during his two-hour “radio rally” with talk radio host Rush Limbaugh.
“You have such an incredible audience. So I can tell them about Fox being a big obstacle,” said Trump. “It’s a problem. Fox is a problem.”
Trump admitted to Limbaugh that he would continue to deal with Fox’s more critical tone toward his presidency.
“I deal with ’em. I deal with ’em,” he said. “But they’ve gone a very different path. It’s a much different group. They have guys on there that are so bad.”
The president blamed the network’s more critical tone toward him on former Speaker Paul Ryan, whom they hired to sit on the company’s board.
“When Roger Ailes ran Fox, I mean, Roger had a very strong point of view. It’s totally gone,” Trump said to Limbaugh. “And I think it’s influenced by Paul Ryan.”
Trump said that Fox News should spend more time defending him, but instead chose to imitate networks like CNN and MSNBC.
“They’re going the way of CNN, and they’re going the way of MSNBC, and it’s a shame,” Trump said. “I mean, it’s a shame. When I watch it, I look at the people they hire. I mean, I could tell you some of the anchors, they’re so bad.”
He clarified that Fox and Friends was still “terrific” and that late-night hosts Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham were still “great.”
Trump said that host Tucker Carlson “has his moments” but was “pretty good.”
“Fox is 50 percent of what they were — I would say less than 50, but 50 percent of what they were,” he said. “That’s still better than nothing. At some point maybe they’ll go all of the way, and that will be fine too. I’ll figure that out.”