Trump Pans Fox News Over Coverage of Border Wall Negotiations

January 28, 2019 Updated: January 28, 2019

President Donald Trump criticized Fox News on Jan. 27 for its coverage of the negotiations for a wall on the U.S.–Mexico border. The president specifically took issue with Fox News chief White House correspondent John Roberts and Washington correspondent Gillian Turner.

“Never thought I’d say this but I think [Roberts] and [Turner] [at Fox News] have even less understanding of the Wall negotiations than the folks at FAKE NEWS CNN & NBC!” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Look to final results! Don’t know how my poll numbers are so good, especially up 19% with Hispanics?”

The second part of Trump’s message references a poll (pdf) released this month showing that 50 percent of Latinos approve of his performance as a president. Trump had previously said that his approval among Hispanics is increasing “because they know the border issue better than anyone, and they want security, which can only be gotten with a wall.”

While the president frequently rips into establishment media for lopsided coverage of his presidency, he rarely singles out Fox News and has never targeted Roberts or Turner. Hours before his message about Fox News, the president said that the recent layoffs at BuzzFeed and HuffPost are the result of “fake news and bad journalism.”

In a follow-up message, the president pointed to his success to assure skeptics that he will deliver on his promise to build a wall on the southwest border.

“After all that I have done for the Military, our great Veterans, Judges (99), Justices (2), Tax & Regulation Cuts, the Economy, Energy, Trade & MUCH MORE, does anybody really think I won’t build the WALL?” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Done more in first two years than any President! MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”

It is unclear which coverage Trump referred to specifically, but some right-leaning outlets perceived the president’s deal to reopen the government for 21 days as a cave to the Democrats.

End of the Shutdown

Trump announced the deal from the White House on Jan. 25, reopening the government for three weeks without funds for a border wall. The president said that if lawmakers fail to come up with a legislative compromise that funds the wall during the brief reopening, he will use executive powers to secure the funds needed. The House and the Senate passed the temporary measure hours later.

The president is at an impasse with Democrats over funds for building a wall on the southwest border, his signature campaign promise. The $5.7 billion needed for the structure is part of a larger border security package requested by experts from the Department of Homeland Security.

President Donald Trump speaks
President Donald Trump announces a deal to temporarily reopen the government, in the Rose Garden of the White House, Jan. 25, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

On Jan. 27, Trump told The Wall Street Journal that he is skeptical about lawmakers reaching a compromise before the 21 days expire.

“I personally think it’s less than 50-50, but you have a lot of very good people on that board,” Trump said, referring to a group of 17 lawmakers tasked with negotiating the compromise bill.

The president said he would not rule out another shutdown. The first shutdown ended after 35 days on Jan. 28, the longest partial government shutdown in modern U.S. history.

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