While Fox News remains one of the few cable networks to air live remarks by Donald Trump, it showed Monday that it will still quickly pull the plug if the former president depicts the right-wing network in a bad light.
The network broadcasted Trump’s speech uninterrupted from when he began speaking at 2:52 p.m. EST until thirteen minutes into the next programming block, when he mentioned his absence from last month’s GOP primary debate, which Fox News hosted. “I was someplace else,” he told the crowd, referring to his friendly interview with Tucker Carlson, during which he explained that he bailed on getting on stage with other candidates to avoid being “harassed.”
Trump then dubiously claimed that “we had 271 million people listening to” his conversation with Carlson, who, as The Daily Beast reported earlier this year, has privately feuded with the network that fired him in April. (The 46-minute long video on X, formerly known as Twitter, currently only lists 266 million views, and merely scrolling past the post qualifies as a view, according to X, which adds that “multiple views may be counted if you view a post more than once.”)
After Fox cut away from the speech, anchor Martha MacCallum, who co-moderated last month’s debate that drew 11.1 million viewers, jumped in: “So here we are, back in the thick of campaign season, just four months from the Iowa [caucuses].”
Trump, whose lead in the GOP primary has only grown amid his four indictments in the span of five months, has frequently griped about Fox News while opting to conduct interviews on smaller, rival stations like Newsmax. In June, for instance, he called the network “fake news” and complained that it was “hostile” in the wake of anchor Bret Baier challenging him on his false 2020 election claims.
The 2024 candidate is also expected to skip Wednesday’s GOP primary debate at the Reagan Library in California, an event hosted by Fox Business Network and Univision. He will instead be giving a speech before autoworkers in Detroit.