President Trump on Thursday morning boasted of “great news” reported the previous night by Fox Business Network host Lou Dobbs, claiming his approval ratings are “soaring.” That claim, however, was wildly inaccurate, and both Fox Business and Fox News have now been forced to issue on-air corrections.
While highlighting a recent Georgetown Politics poll showing Trump’s job approval rating on the economy is 58 percent, Dobbs—a pro-Trump host who has been patched into Oval Office phone calls—claimed the same poll revealed Trump’s overall approval rating to be “soaring” at 55 percent. That figure would represent a huge jump from other polls showing the president in the low 40s.
“The president’s victories are showing up in the polls according to a Georgetown University poll,” Dobbs said Wednesday night, accompanied by a graphic. “The president’s overall approval is now 55 percent—let’s hear that, 55 percent—and approval rating for president’s handling of the economy, a robust 58 percent. Fifty-five percent is pretty robust too, don’t you think?"
On Thursday morning, the president shared Dobbs’ on-air graphic, and wrote: "Great news! #MAGA."
Georgetown University Politics director Mo Elleithee, a Fox News contributor, pointed out that the poll actually shows Trump’s approval rating at 43 percent. The 55-percent rating Dobbs touted was actually Trump’s unfavorability rating.
Fox Business Network reporter Blake Burman issued an on-air correction Thursday morning. “It’s been a quiet start to the day for President Trump, though he did send out a tweet this morning from the Lou Dobbs show last night on Fox Business,” Burman said. “That tweet featured a poll that was not entirely accurate, which Fox Business would like to correct.”
“According to a poll from Georgetown University, 58 percent of respondents approved of the president’s handling of the economy. That portion of the graphic was right,” he further explained. “However, the graphic also showed that 55 percent of the respondents approve of the president, that number is not correct. The 55 percent number was those who have an unfavorable impression of President Trump.”
And on Fox News, White House correspondent Kevin Corke issued another—this time, slightly bungled—correction, claiming there was “a typo in the graphic” (ignoring the fact that Dobbs’ spoken monologue was entirely about the false 55-percent figure).
A Fox Business spokesperson, meanwhile, told The Daily Beast that Dobbs will also address the issue on his own Thursday night broadcast.
As of publication, the president’s tweet on the fake job-approval numbers is still active.