The Fox News Channel morning show Fox & Friends has been seen as one of the most loyal when it comes to the hosts’ support for President Donald Trump, to the point where Trump has been known to frequently live-tweet the show. He is even scheduled to appear on the show on Friday morning.
However, on Thursday morning, one of the show’s hosts had a rare moment of dissent from the president.
Per The Daily Beast, the moment was in reaction to the president’s interview Tuesday with ABC News, when he was asked by George Stephanopoulos what he would do if offered dirt on a political opponent by a foreign entity. Trump replied that “there’s nothing wrong with listening,” and added that he might go to the FBI “if I thought there was something wrong.”
The comments raised eyebrows, especially after the last two years of investigation into Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election.
The Trump comments led to a rare rebuke of the president from Fox & Friends.
After hosts Ainsley Earhardt and Steve Doocy agreed with the president’s line, Brian Kilmeade dissented, albeit not forcefully.
“Actually, nothing’s free in this world. You don’t want a foreign government or foreign entity giving you information because they’re going to want something back,” Kilmeade said on the show. “I think the president has got to clarify that… he opened himself wide up to attacks.”
After Kilmeade’s comment, the other two hosts immediately changed the subject to the Steele Dossier and Fusion GPS, before taking various shots at the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates.
Brian Kilmeade says Trump "knows" that "you don't want a foreign government or a foreign entity giving you information because they're gonna want something back," and says that the president just needs to "clarify" his pro-collusion commentary, hopefully on Fox & Friends. pic.twitter.com/GfiY3vGjRO— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) June 13, 2019
Trump had also said in the ABC interview that he has never called the FBI in his life, although New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, who has covered Trump for years, tweeted that the future president met with the FBI at least once in the early 1980s, when he was concerned about mob involvement in a construction project.
After Trump’s interview on ABC News, former CIA director John Brennan, a longtime Trump critic, slammed the comments.
“This is just the latest example of what Vice President Biden meant when he said that Mr. Trump is an existential threat to our country,” Brennan tweeted on Wednesday in reaction to the comments. “‘Unfit to be President’ is a gross understatement. @realDonaldTrump is undeserving of any public office, and all Americans should be outraged.”
Trump announced last year that he was revoking Brennan’s security clearance, but he never actually did so, per The New York Times.