President Donald Trump is worried that Fox News is turning its back on him, instructing his aides to “keep an eye on” the conservative network, according to a new report from The Daily Beast.
What appears to have reignited Trump’s concerns is Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ successful Fox News town hall. Visibly upset, Trump recently took to Twitter to air his grievances, slamming both Sanders and Fox.
“So weird to watch Crazy Bernie on @FoxNews. Not surprisingly, @BretBaier and the ‘audience’ was so smiley and nice,” Trump tweeted, observing that former DNC Chair Donna Brazile is now also a regular Fox News contributor.
In another tweet, the president alleged a conspiracy against him, seemingly suggesting that Fox News had stacked the audience during Sanders’ town hall, ensuring the Democrat positive coverage.
“Many Trump Fans & Signs were outside of the @FoxNews Studio last night in the now thriving (Thank you President Trump) Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, for the interview with Crazy Bernie Sanders. Big complaints about not being let in-stuffed with Bernie supporters,” he wrote, taking another shot at the conservative network.
But the audience was not stacked to be pro-Sanders, on the contrary. As Vox reported, the very first two questions Sanders was asked came from a Turning Point USA (conservative youth organization) member and from a well-known Clinton campaigner. Sanders’ appearance was such a hit that other Democrats are now looking to appear on the network, even though it has been officially blacklisted by the DNC.
Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar, according to Axios, will participate in a Fox News town hall, but other Democratic presidential candidates are also holding conversations with Murdoch’s cable news channel.
But as The Daily Beast notes, none of this means that Trump should worry about Fox News turning its back on him. The publication described the president’s fears as “hilariously irrational,” pointing out that many of the leading Fox News figures remain ardent supporters of the president and his agenda, some of them even acting as informal White House advisers.
Nevertheless, according to the report, Trump has been worried about the network for quite some time, and he continues to instruct aides and advisers to investigate the behind-the-scenes happenings at the news channel. Several individuals briefed on the matter revealed that Trump has a tendency to “interpret even the smallest deviations as a slight or a betrayal.”
Former Trump adviser Sam Numberg recalled the early days of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign for The Daily Beast, claiming that Fox News was not as friendly to Trump as it is now, but the publication’s sources revealed that the president has, essentially, kept tabs on the conservative network since taking office, despite the largely positive coverage.