Fox Host Says Donald Trump Is ‘Engaged In The Most Direct Assault on Freedom of the Press’ In History

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump gestures to Fox News anchor and moderator Chris Wallace after the third U.S. presidential debate at the Thomas & Mack Center on October 19, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace took Donald Trump to task at a recent press event for the president’s repeated attacks on the media.

According to The Hill, Wallace spoke at a Newseum event in Washington, D.C. recently where he said that Trump “is engaged in the most direct, sustained assault on freedom of the press in our history.”

The Newseum, a D.C.-area museum dedicated to the First Amendment — mainly the Freedom of the Press clause of that amendment — is closing its doors at the end of the year. The host was there to honor the museum’s legacy when he weighed in on Trump’s attempts to delegitimize the media.

“I think his purpose is clear: to raise doubts when we report critically about him and his administration that we can be trusted,” he said. “Back in 2017, he tweeted something that said far more about him than it did about us: ‘The fake news media is not my enemy. It is the enemy of the American people.'”

Wallace pointed to a recent poll from the Freedom Forum Institute, which says that 29 percent of Americans think the First Amendment goes to far and a full 77 percent of Americans think that fake news is a threat to U.S. democracy. He concluded that these numbers indicate that Trump’s attacks against the media have “done some damage” to the citizens’ trust in the media.

The Fox News host urged journalists to keep their reporting balanced even in the face of their own personal “animus” for the president and not to use Trump’s “constant bashing of the media as a rationale, as an excuse to cross the line themselves.”

Wallace has recently made a name for himself on a network that is largely supportive of the president for being willing to question guests, no matter their political leaning. For instance, he pushed former Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders for her comments while in office. He also interviewed the acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and aide Stephen Miller. As a result, Trump has attacked Wallace, most recently for a tough interview with Rep. Steve Scalise, for which the president called the host “nasty” and “obnoxious.”

The newsman addressed these comments with a joke at the event.

He said that in the wake of the president’s insults, “afterwards, one of my sons said, ‘Nasty? No. Obnoxious? Well.'”

Most recently, Trump attacked the media on Thursday as part of a series of over 80 tweets in the early morning addressing everything from the impeachment inquiry to his recent rally in Pennsylvania, as The Inquisitr previously reported.

What a great evening! https://t.co/1hNqDdVayL

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 12, 2019