Fox News declined to air former President Donald Trump’s Tuesday speech at the America First Policy Institute (AFPI) summit, despite airing a speech by Vice President Mike Pence hours earlier.
Although the network skipped Trump’s speech, Fox News aired former Vice President Mike Pence’s speech at the Young Americas Foundation’s national student conference just hours before Trump spoke.
Trump’s speech at the AFPI summit, organized by former senior officials in his administration, marked the first time the former president had been in Washington D.C. since President Joe Biden took office in January 2021.
Fox News’s decision to skip Trump’s speech comes as Trump and Pence are drifting apart in key political races across the country. For example, the two recently held rallies in Arizona on the same day in support of their respective gubernatorial candidates.
In addition, both Trump and Pence are reportedly eying a presidential run in 2024.
However, in his speech, Pence told the audience he does not see a divide in the conservative movement.
Pence said in response to a question about any purported divide between him and Trump:
I don’t know that our movement is that divided. I don’t know that the president and I differ on issues. But we may differ on focus. I truly do believe that elections are about the future, and that is absolutely essential at a time when so many Americans are hurting.
Social media users quickly noticed Fox’s decision not to air Trump’s speech and called the network out for its decision.
“Fox News had Mike Pence’s speech on today but they did not have President Trump,” one user tweeted. “I won’t be watching Fox News again, today was the straw that broke the camel’s back.”
Fox News had Mike Pence's speech on today but they did not have President Trump.
I won't be watching Fox News again, today was the straw that broke the camel's back.
— Dennis Patrick All Dems Blocked (@Vazz1950) July 26, 2022
Another user added, “It’s like Fox is cutting ties with Trump.”
MSNBC’s Ari Melber noted that Fox News “aired roughly six of House Jan. 6 Committee hearings live,” but failed to air Trump’s AFPI speech.
As part of Fox News’s January 6 committee coverage, the outlet fell for Cassidy Hutchinson’s hoax testimony to the committee, which salaciously alleged Trump tried to commandeer the presidential Suburban during the Capitol riots.
One day before his speech in Washington D.C., Trump blasted Fox News’s Fox and Friends show, claiming the program has “gone to the ‘dark side’.”
“@foxandfriends just really botched my poll numbers, no doubt on purpose. That show has been terrible – gone to the ‘dark side,’” Trump posted on TRUTH Social.
“RINO Paul Ryan, one of the weakest and worst Speakers EVER, must be running the place,” Trump added.
In his AFPI speech, Trump focused on law and order and securing the southern border.
“Under the Democrat rule, in Democrat-run cities, Democrat-run states, and a Democrat-run federal government, the criminals have been given free rein more than ever before. There’s never been a time like this,” Trump said in his speech.
"You execute a drug dealer, and you'll save 500 lives.” – Donald Trump at AFPI pic.twitter.com/0R3Jtlo5aq
— Jacob Bliss (@JacobMBliss) July 26, 2022