Even at President Donald Trump’s go-to news network, his constant scorn for and attacks on journalists are wearing thin with at least one high-profile reporter.
Fox News’ chief White House correspondent John Roberts responded via Twitter on Thursday after Trump ― in a slight variation to his usual refrain ― referred to the news media as “the real enemy of the people” (apparently in contrast to Russia).
“That makes me an enemy of the state,” Roberts said.
Trump came under siege for his widely panned comments at Monday’s Helsinki summit with Vladimir Putin, in which he seemed unconcerned about the U.S. intelligence community’s findings of Russian interference in the 2016 election and gave credence to Putin’s denials of such actions. Even diehard supporters like former House Speaker Newt Gingrich aired their disappointment with Trump.
Trump awkwardly and absurdly sought to reverse course on Tuesday, insisting that when he said on Monday that “I don’t see any reason why it would be Russia” [interfering with U.S. politics], he meant to say “wouldn’t” instead.
As he continued to try to dig himself out of his self-created hole as the week progressed, his Thursday “real enemy of the people” tweet showed that American journalists doing their job irritates him more than a Putin-led effort to subvert the U.S. democratic process.
And despite Roberts’ willingness to cast his lot with the “enemy” camp, Fox News remains “must-see” TV for Trump ― at least as long as Sean Hannity anchors its primetime schedule.