Moments after President Donald Trump wrapped up his primetime ABC town hall which featured him getting pressed with tough questions from undecided Pennsylvania voters, Fox News host Laura Ingraham complained that the president was the victim of an “ambush.”
Ingraham, a Trump loyalist who spoke at the 2016 Republican National Convention, immediately took issue with ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos serving as the town hall’s moderator, labeling him a “Clintonite” while grousing that the “DNC may have put the whole thing on.”
After airing clips from the town hall that featured voters grilling the president on mask-wearing, his admitted downplaying of the pandemic, and pre-existing conditions, Ingraham grumbled that the president was treated unfairly by the network.
“The president loves mixing it up with everybody,” she declared. “He did the interview with Jonathan Swan, the 18 tapes of Bob Woodward. Now he did this. But this is an ambush.”
Insisting that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden “won’t get any questions like this” in a town hall, the pro-Trump Fox star turned to Trump pollster John McLaughlin.
“So why did the president decide to do this to open himself up to a roomful of basically Trump resistance?” Ingraham wondered aloud.
“Well, the president first of all did very well,” McLaughlin cheerfully exclaimed. “I watched it. He answered those questions and the end of it, he demonstrated empathy.”
“There was a woman there that lost her mother, she just became a citizen,” he added. “He was very sensitive and demonstrated empathy with that woman where the president really, really did very well.”
Notably, the president has been on the receiving end of criticism over that very moment as the questioner—who was sobbing heavily and muffled at times—noted her mother had died of breast cancer a short while before. Trump, however, thought the woman said her mother died from COVID-19 and spent the lion’s share of his answer to her talking about coronavirus treatments. (The woman’s question, which she relayed from her deceased mother, was about Trump’s immigration policy.)
McLaughlin went on to say that the town hall was a “win for President Trump” even though Stephanopoulos “interrupted him” during every answer, something that Ingraham agreed with.
“Of course, it was a big set-up by George Stephanopoulos,” she said later.