Trump would make aides call Fox to complain about poor coverage and get them to ‘fix it’, ex-press secretary says
A former official in the Trump administration said the one-term president kept such close ties with Fox News that he would sometimes have aides call the network to pressure employees to turn whatever was irking him into news stories.
Stephanie Grisham, the former White House Communications Director under Donald Trump, recalled her interactions with Fox News during an interview with CNN’s Jim Acosta.
During the discussion, Acosta said he recalled seeing Fox News personalities like Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham being openly invited in to meet with White House officials despite the fact they were ostensibly members of the press.
“It almost seemed as though there was a pretty cozy relationship between the White House and Fox News,” Acosta said before asking Ms Grisham if she had similar experiences.
She laughed and said recalling those times was like “PTSD”, before she said it was a “very cozy relationship” and claimed the network’s star personalities tattled on her if she didn’t give them what they wanted immediately.
“I would have Judge Jeanine [Pirro] or Sean [Hannity] or Tucker [Carlson] calling me, and if I didn’t get back to them right away they would call the president, and I would get a talking-to for not speaking with them,” she said.
She also recalled talking directly to Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott and impressing the president’s desire to make sure a town hall he was attending “looked full in there” for the broadcast.
“We did work hand in hand with [Fox News]. And that came at the president’s direction,” she said. “If he didn’t like something, we would immediately call Fox and have them fix it or try to make a news story out of it.”
Fox News has been under scrutiny in recent days after communications between its top stars and officials were made public thanks to a defamation lawsuit targeting the company.
Dominion Voting Systems is suing Fox News, as well as other conservative media personalities, for allegedly defaming the company by promoting and airing conspiracy theories about the 2020 election being stolen.
That lawsuit revealed not only that Fox News personalities were close to the White House, but that many did not even believe the ideas or even like the people they were promoting.
Several openly called the 2020 election deniers crazy, while Tucker Carlson, tired of covering Mr Trump, expressed his excitement to stop featuring the man on his shows, saying in a text that “I hate him passionately.”
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