Donald Trump has hit back at the Democrats’ move to bar Fox News from televising one of the upcoming debates being held for it 2020 presidential contenders.
Trump took to Twitter to defend the broadcaster, suggesting other networks might be subject to a similar ban during the general election debates.
“Democrats just blocked @FoxNews from holding a debate. Good, then I think I’ll do the same thing with the Fake News Networks and the Radical Left Democrats in the General Election debates!,” Trump wrote.
Trump has frequently slammed NBC, MSNBC and CNN, among others, for their coverage of his presidency.
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Democrats just blocked @FoxNews from holding a debate. Good, then I think I’ll do the same thing with the Fake News Networks and the Radical Left Democrats in the General Election debates!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 7, 2019
Democrat party chairman, Tom Perez, said he has concluded that the network isn’t in a position to host a fair and neutral debate.
He cited a New Yorker magazine article released on Monday that detailed how some Fox News personalities and President Donald Trump echo each other.
Even before that story, some Democratic activists were complaining about the committee’s consideration of Fox as a potential broadcast partner.
Perez has said that it is important for Democrats to expand the electorate and reach all voters, and that was why he had considered Fox.
The Democrats have announced 12 debates for later this year; NBC News and CNN are set to broadcast the first two.
Fox said it hoped the Democrats would reconsider its decision to host a debate that would be moderated by Chris Wallace, Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum.
“They’re the best debate team in the business and they offer candidates an important opportunity to make their case to the largest TV news audience in America, which includes many persuadable voters,” said Bill Sammon, senior vice president and managing editor of Fox’s Washington bureau.
Evening news anchor Baier tweeted that the decision was “really a shame.”
Fox News is owned by News Corporation.
COHEN HITS BACK AT FALSE STATEMENT ALLEGATIONS
Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, turned over documents to politicians on Wednesday as he tried to back up his claims that a false statement he delivered to Congress in 2017 was edited by the president’s lawyers, two people familiar with the case said.
It’s unclear who edited the documents or what exactly was changed. But in public testimony last week on Capitol Hill, Cohen said Trump’s lawyers, including Jay Sekulow, had reviewed and edited the written statement he provided to Congress in 2017.
Cohen acknowledged in a guilty plea last year that he misled politicians by saying he had abandoned the Trump Tower Moscow project in January 2016, when in fact he pursued it for months after that as Trump campaigned for the presidency.
At issue is whether Trump or his lawyers knew that Cohen’s statement to Congress would be false, and whether the lawyers had any direct role in crafting it.
Cohen has said he believed the president wanted him to lie, but he also said Trump never directed him to do so.
It’s also unclear whether any of the president’s lawyers knew the truth about when the Trump Tower negotiations had ended.
Sekulow has flatly denied ever editing any statement about the duration of the project.
“Testimony by Michael Cohen that attorneys for the President edited or changed his statement to Congress to alter the duration of the Trump Tower Moscow negotiations is completely false,” Sekulow said in a statement last week.
Cohen appeared behind closed doors on Wednesday before the House intelligence committee, his fourth day of testimony on Capitol Hill as he prepares for a three-year prison sentence for lying to Congress and other charges.
Cohen has become a key figure in congressional investigations since turning on his former boss and co-operating with special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.
During last week’s public testimony, he called Trump a conman, a cheat and a racist. He was also interviewed privately by both the Senate and House intelligence committees last week.
“I will continue to co-operate to the fullest extent of my capabilities,” Cohen said in a short statement to reporters after he finished Wednesday’s testimony.
Among the issues discussed in Cohen’s closed-door interviews last week was a pardon, according to people familiar with those interviews.
They spoke on condition of anonymity to reveal the confidential discussion.
Cohen told Congress last week that he had never asked for and would not accept a pardon from Trump.