NEW YORK — President Donald Trump longs for the days when Fox News was run by Roger Ailes, an ardent supporter of the former New York real estate mogul-turned-politician.
Seemingly displeased that the right-wing cable channel aired a speech by Barack Obama on Tuesday, Trump told reporters that wouldn’t have happened if the late TV executive accused of harassing 20 women were still at the helm.
“I only saw that he was on Fox and Fox puts Sleepy Joe on all the time,” the president said outside the White House later that afternoon, using a nickname he gave his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden.
The president appeared upset that his predecessor was given airtime, which Obama used to blast Trump’s handling of the pandemic while hosting a drive-in style speech in Florida.
“Fox is very disappointing,” the president said. “This would not have happened with Roger Ailes.”
Ailes, 77, died in 2017, less than a year after parting ways with Fox News following sexual misconduct claims that have since been the topic of a blockbuster movie and a hit streaming series.
In his verbal rebuke of Trump, Obama painted his successor as someone who watches too much television when he could be working.
“Tweeting at the TV doesn’t fix things,” Obama said. “Watching TV all day doesn’t fix things. Making stuff up doesn’t fix things.”
Trump tweeted his frustration while Obama spoke.
“Fox News is playing Obama’s no crowd, fake speech for Biden, a man he could barely endorse because he couldn’t believe he won,” Trump wrote. “Also, I PREPAID many Millions of Dollars in Taxes.”
A bombshell New York Times report in September claimed the president paid no taxes in 10 of the 15 years prior to his entering office. That report also claims Trump paid only $750 in taxes the year he was elected and the following year. The president has offered no evidence to support his claim, nor has he provided his tax returns.
While Fox News famously avails itself to the president and pushes his agenda, Trump occasionally expresses frustration when he feels the network isn’t doing enough.
“They totally forgot who got them where there are!” Trump tweeted in July after seeing something on his flight he didn’t like.
In August 2019, he accused Fox News of letting “millions of great people down” and suggested his fan base might have to turn the channel.
“Fox isn’t working for us anymore!” he declared.
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