During a news conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May in the United Kingdom on Friday, President Trump refused to field a question from Jim Acosta of CNN.
Trump said “no, no,” as Acosta tried to ask him a question.
“CNN is fake news, I don’t take questions– I don’t take questions from CNN,” Trump added. “CNN is fake news, I don’t take questions from CNN. John Roberts of Fox — let’s go to a real network.”
Instead of deferring to Acosta, Roberts thanked Trump for calling on him, and proceeded to ask a question.
A short time later on Twitter, Fox News amplified Trump’s attack on CNN.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) July 13, 2018
As ThinkProgress has extensively detailed, Trump has a symbiotic relationship with Fox News. The network downplays Trump’s controversies while relentlessly touting and all successes that can be attributed to him.
In exchange, Trump promotes Fox News’ programming and gives the network a level of access no other network receives.
Acosta wasn’t the only reporter Trump insulted during the news conference. At another point, he attacked NBC’s Kristen Welker after she asked if Trump “is giving Russian President Vladimir Putin the upper hand, heading into your talks, given that you are challenging these alliances that he seeks to break up and destroy?”
“See, that’s such dishonest reporting, because — of course it happens to be NBC, which is possibly worse than CNN,” Trump said. “Possibly. Possibly.”
During an interview with a British tabloid owned by Rupert Murdoch published on Thursday — Murdoch also owns Fox News — Trump bashed the Washington Post as “totally fake. They are just a lobbyist for Amazon.”
UPDATE (7/13, 1:15 p.m.) — In a statement distributed Friday afternoon by Fox News, John Roberts tried to explain his conduct during the news conference, and defended Welker and Acosta.
Here’s the statement:
“In today’s press conference, I paused while my colleague from CNN went back and forth with President Trump over a question. When it became clear that the president wasn’t going to entertain a question from him, I proceeded with my question, as did my fellow colleagues in the press corps. I know Kristen Welker of NBC. She is honest as the day is long. For the President to call her dishonest is unfair. I also used to work at CNN. There are some fine journalists who work there and risk their lives to report on stories around the world. To issue a blanket condemnation of the network as ‘fake news’ is also unfair.”