Fox News viewers don’t take kindly to Donald Trump being criticized on the air, which anchor Neil Cavuto found out the hard way.
After Cavuto referred to Donald Trump’s behavior during the summit with Vladimir Putin as “disgusting,” he became so inundated with hate mail from viewers that he dedicated an entire 10 minutes of his show to read it on air. As The Huffington Post reported, many of the viewer mail focused on Cavuto’s appearance and his weight rather than the Trump criticism, including one who asked whether the camera “adds 50 pounds.”
Returning from a day off after his Trump criticism, Cavuto said he returned to plenty of feedback on his Trump criticism.
“OK, I think a lot of you are still mad at me, and I’ve got to tell you, I feel vulnerable coming in today,” Cavuto said. “Let’s just say apparently I was not missed.”
Cavuto had criticized Trump in a discussion with former Deputy Assistant Attorney General Tom Dupree, saying Trump missed an opportunity to directly rebuke Vladimir Putin for what intelligence agencies say was his personal order for Russian intelligence officials to interfere in the 2016 election with the goal of helping to elect Trump. Just days before the summit with Putin, Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation announced indictments against 12 Russian military officers for leading a hacking attack on the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
Cavuto said as Trump shared a stage with Putin, he could have directly rebuked the Russian president.
“But he didn’t and that’s what made it disgusting,” Cavuto said (via The Wrap). “That’s what made his performance disgusting. I’m sorry, it’s just the only way I feel. It’s not a right or left thing for me, it’s just wrong.”
Neil Cavuto was not the only Fox News personality to go after Donald Trump for the Putin summit. Even traditional Trump backers like Laura Ingraham were upset at Trump siding with Putin over American intelligence agencies and with Trump’s willingness to consider Putin’s request to turn over Americans for questioning to Russia.
But as the week went on, many of those on Fox News shifted back to defending Trump, even Ingraham who after criticizing Trump on Twitter had changed her tone and decided it was just a rookie mistake.
“It’s complex,” Ingraham said about Trump’s foreign policy on The Ingraham Angle Monday night (via Newsweek). “[Trump is] new to it… he’s a year and a half into this.”