While the opinion side of Fox News often lines up behind President Trump, the news side has increasingly found itself calling out an administration that often plays loose with the facts.
Take Shepard Smith, the longtime Fox News host and managing editor of the network’s breaking-news division. In recent months, Smith has called out Trump for not condemning Russia, labeled a Republican memo released by the House Intelligence Committee a “weapon of partisan mass distraction” and blasted the president for “inaccurate” claims about Hillary Clinton.
On Monday afternoon, Smith continued to go after the Trump administration, this time on guns. On Shepard Smith Reporting, the Fox News host called out White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders for backing the president’s contention that there’s “not much political support” behind the idea of raising the age requirement on firearm purchases from 18 to 21.
“That’s not true. It’s just not factually accurate,” Smith said. “There is broad-based support for raising the gun age limit. The president said to the kids at Parkland, ‘I’ll go strong on this, I’ll work on this age thing.’ He came up to the general public and said to the Congress, ‘The NRA has a lot of pressure on you, but not on me so much.’ And then he met with the NRA.”
Since the massacre at a Florida high school last month that claimed the lives of 17 people, Smith has been outspoken about the need for change. “We’re failing our children,” he said following the shooting, after somberly listing the 25 fatal school shootings that have occurred in the United States since two students killed 13 of their classmates at Columbine High School in Colorado in 1999.
Trump initially signaled he supported several comprehensive gun-control measures, including expanding background checks for weapons purchased at gun shows and online, and restricting gun sales for some young adults. He called out Republicans, like Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey, and said they were “afraid of the NRA,” and even suggested it may be time to revisit a ban on assault weapons that expired back in 2004.
But after Trump met privately with the NRA last week, he reversed those positions and now favors a move to arm teachers and make modest improvements to the background-check system, an about-face Smith pointed out during his broadcast.
“The percentage for support for a 21 gun-buying limit are astronomical by United States standards. It’s above water in every constituent group. Republicans are for it. Democrats are for it. … But the NRA isn’t for it,” Smith said. “The NRA gets to them, and that’s that. You can like that or not like that, but that’s the fact of what happened. That’s exactly what happened.”
Pence accepts apology from ‘The View’ cohost
During an appearance on Fox News on Monday night, Vice President Pence told Sean Hannity he accepted an apology from The View cohost Joy Behar over comments she made about Christianity.
“I give Joy Behar a lot of credit. She picked up the phone. She called me,” Pence said. “She was very sincere, and she apologized and one of the things my faith teaches me is grace — forgive as you’ve been forgiven.”
Behar, an outspoken critic of Trump and his administration, mocked Pence’s Christian faith in a show last month and suggested his religious conviction made him mentally ill.
“It’s one thing to talk to Jesus. It’s another thing when Jesus talks to you,” Behar said as part of a discussion about comments made about Pence’s religious fervor by former White House staffer Omaraosa Manigault Newman. “That’s called mental illness, if I’m not correct, hearing voices.”
Behar addressed the controversy over her comments the next day on The View but fell short of a full apology, saying, “It was a joke.” Pence told Hannity that, despite having accepted Behar’s personal apology, he still felt she needed to apologize to all Christians on The View or from some other platform.
“I did encourage her and I am still encouraging her to use the forum of that program or some other public forum to apologize to tens of millions of Americans who were equally offended by what she and people said,” Pence said.
WATCH: Vice President Mike Pence talks to Sean Hannity about Joy Behar's apology for mocking his Christian faith. Tune in to the full interview tonight on "Hannity" at 9p ET. http://fxn.ws/2p67xRj
Posted by Fox News on Monday, March 12, 2018
CNBC personality could join the White House
It appears Trump might have found his new economic adviser by flipping through the channels.
Multiple outlets are reporting that Larry Kudlow, a longtime CNBC personality and an informal adviser to Trump on economic issues, is the president’s top choice to replace National Economic Council director Gary Cohn, who announced that he would resign following the president’s decision to enact tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.
CNBC host and Montgomery County native Jim Cramer, who hosted a show for years alongside Kudlow, was first to report on Monday that his former on-air partner was the leading contender to replace Cohn in Trump’s administration.
“I believe that the president thinks that the market would really like this,” Cramer said.
CNN Reliable Sources host Brian Selter wrote on Monday that Trump’s interest in Kudlow once again shows the president’s reliance on experts from the world of television, something he dubbed the “Trump-TV feedback loop.”
“When President Trump wants to make a change, he frequently consults the TV,” Stelter wrote. “He gets policy ideas, talking points, and even personnel advice from conservative cable news shows.”
One interesting wrinkle, if Trump does indeed tap Kudlow as Cohn’s replacement, is that the former CNBC host has been an outspoken critic of the tariffs the president is seeking to impose. In a column last week, Kudlow called the president’s tariffs “tax hikes” and “a regressive tax on low-income families.”