Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke is taking aim at Donald Trump and Fox News, saying the conservative cable news network has been taking its marching orders directly from the White House.
O’Rourke spoke at a rally on Sunday in San Francisco, telling supporters that the White House has “free rein, almost” over what Fox News covers. As Reuters noted, many Democrats and media critics have pointed out the bias in the network’s reporting of Trump and the close relationship between Trump and Fox News.
There are several close connections between Trump and the cable network. Last year, Trump hired former Fox News executive Bill Shine as a White House communications official, and he has since moved on to take a role with Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign. Trump is also close with Fox News host Sean Hannity, with the two reportedly speaking frequently on the phone and sharing a lawyer in Michael Cohen — something that Hannity never disclosed during his reporting of the president and Cohen’s legal troubles.
The allegations were heightened with a recent expose from The New Yorker that found a Fox News reporter uncovered allegations during the 2016 presidential campaign that Trump had an affair with adult film star Stormy Daniels and then paid her to keep quiet about it, but executives at the network ordered the story killed in what was seen as an effort to protect Trump. Fox News denies having any ulterior motives, saying the story did not meet editorial standards to run.
O’Rourke picked up on this line of criticism on Sunday, saying the relationship between the White House and Fox News is improper.
“You have members of the organization moving into the White House, you have a White House with free rein, almost, over what is broadcast over one of the most widely watched cable networks in the country today,” O’Rourke said.
Democrat O'Rourke accuses Trump White House of dictating Fox News... https://t.co/I9ypv5uqWK— Sharon Nelson (@snelsonagain) April 29, 2019
The redacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia report also detailed what some saw as an unethical relationship between Trump and Fox News, with the White House reportedly considering reaching out to Fox News to dictate what should be cut from an interview Trump gave to the network. It was not clear if the Trump administration followed through, or if Fox News made any changes at the behest of the White House. As The Inquisitr noted, the revelation was met with criticism from media critics, who said that Fox News would amount to state-run media if it were true.