President Donald Trump has once again taken aim at a Fox News host for being insufficiently loyal to him, mocking anchor Neil Cavuto at a Colorado rally on Thursday night hours after blasting him on Twitter over a segment about Trump’s “cringeworthy” 2016 debate performances.
Fox News contributor Richard Fowler and anchor Ed Henry, however, jumped to the defense of their network colleague minutes after Trump’s remarks aired, calling the president’s remarks “problematic” and “un-American.”
The president, who has made it a habit of taking shots at the conservative-leaning network when he feels some of its hosts and commentators are not showing him enough fealty, took issue Thursday afternoon with Real Clear Politics columnist A.B. Stoddard saying his 2016 debate performances were “disastrous” during Cavuto's show.
“Could somebody at @foxnews please explain to Trump hater A.B. Stoddard (zero talent!) and @TeamCavuto, that I won every one of my debates, from beginning to end,” Trump tweeted. “Check the polls taken immediately after the debates. The debates got me elected. Must be Fox Board Member Paul Ryan!”
“Fox is not much better but we got lucky,” Trump bellowed while blasting the media. “All of their high rated shows are the ones that like Trump, all of their loser shows are the ones that don’t like Trump. How is Shepard Smith doing? He had the lowest ratings and now Neil Cavuto took his place.”
Fox News, which was carrying the rally live at that moment, soon cut away and turned to Henry and his panel, which featured Fowler and Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk. After Kirk, a loyal Trump sycophant, said the president appeared to be in “great spirits,” Fowler took aim at Trump for insulting his colleague on Fox airwaves.
“He spent the past 30 or so minutes trashing one of our colleagues Neil Cavuto for no reason in particular,” Fowler declared. “This speaks to the problem with this presidency. He can run on the good economy and I will give him points for that but to sit on this air and trash a good journalist, it speaks to the problem that we have.”
“We can’t tell our kids not to bully, we can’t tell our kids to be nice to your neighbors,” he continued. “We can’t tell our children to do unto others when you have a president attacking a good man for no reason in particular aside from the fact that he criticized a particular policy position of his.”
Henry, for his part, piggybacked on Fowler’s defense of Cavuto, adding: “Neil Cavuto from the first day I walked in to Fox News Channel has always been an outstanding man and outstanding journalist and I want to stand up for him as well.”
Moments later, after Kirk said he was “going to stay out of” Trump’s attacks on Cavuto while brushing off Trump’s rallies as “entertainment,” Fowler pushed back on the pro-Trump pundit comparing Trump to “rock stars and comedians.”
“He’s the leader of the free world, for him to sit here and attack a journalist, multiple journalists for reporting facts on his presidency is not only problematic, it’s un-presidential,” Fowler concluded. “It’s un-American. Our First Amendment is of freedom of the press.”
Fox Business Network host Trish Regan, who was on the air following the president’s remarks, also came to the defense of Cavuto, who also anchors a daily program on Fox Business.
“It’s come to my attention the president, while speaking to the crowd in Colorado Springs, said something disparaging against one of my colleagues,” Regan noted. “He’s someone who started this network, Fox Business, and someone who is the utmost journalist and always fair.”
“I can tell you that about Neil. He is a fair person, a fair guy, and a good man,” she added. “So I’m disappointed that the president said those things. Because Neil Cavuto is one guy who doesn’t deserve it.”