President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE on Tuesday chided Fox News for its town hall event with Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.), a 2020 presidential candidate, as well as its addition of former interim Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Donna Brazile.
“So weird to watch Crazy Bernie on @FoxNews,” Trump tweeted. “Not surprisingly, @BretBaier and the ‘audience’ was so smiley and nice. Very strange, and now we have @donnabrazile?”
So weird to watch Crazy Bernie on @FoxNews. Not surprisingly, @BretBaier and the “audience” was so smiley and nice. Very strange, and now we have @donnabrazile?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 16, 2019
Moderator Bret Baier replied a short time later, thanking the president for watching and inviting him on for an interview.
“Thanks for watching Mr. President – we’d love to have you on a town hall soon — or even an interview on @SpecialReport —it’s been awhile. We cover all sides,” Baier tweeted.
Thanks for watching Mr. President – we’d love to have you on a town hall soon — or even an interview on @SpecialReport —it’s been awhile. We cover all sides. https://t.co/1EDeWFhNe7
— Bret Baier (@BretBaier) April 16, 2019
Sanders — whom Trump has derisively nicknamed “Crazy Bernie” — agreed to take part in a Tax Day town hall Monday evening in Pennsylvania on the network, moderated by Baier, the anchor of “Special Report,” and “The Story” anchor Martha MacCallum.
The audience at one point erupted in cheers and applause when asked by Baier if they would support Sanders’s “Medicare for All” proposal.
Trump’s fondness for Fox News is well documented. He regularly tweets out quotes from guests on various Fox shows, is known to have a close relationship with host Sean Hannity, and his administration has hired multiple former network employees.
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But the president has in recent weeks chastised the network for some of its programming and personnel decisions.
Trump last month tweeted his disapproval with the network’s decision to take host Jeanine Pirro off the air for two weeks after she questioned whether Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarHow language is bringing down Donald Trump Biden, Democrats seek to shut down calls to defund police McEnany, Ocasio-Cortez tangle over ‘Biden adviser’ label MORE (D-Minn.) was loyal to Sharia because she wears a hijab.
He lashed out the same day at a trio of Fox News anchors, suggesting they should work at competitor CNN instead after segments aired that included criticisms of the administration’s policies.
Trump also clashed with Fox News during his own presidential campaign. He boycotted a network debate in January 2016 amid a feud with then-Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly. He later skipped a Fox News debate in March 2016, questioning the need for so many events during the primary cycle.
In recent weeks, the network has featured multiple Democrats seeking the party’s nomination to challenge Trump in 2020.
Fox told The Morning Call in Allentown, Pa., that it reached out to various political and local groups to put together the audience for the Sanders event.
In March, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom PerezThomas Edward PerezClinton’s top five vice presidential picks Government social programs: Triumph of hope over evidence Labor’s ‘wasteful spending and mismanagement” at Workers’ Comp MORE announced that the network would be barred from hosting any of the party’s primary debates. Democratic candidates are not precluded from appearing on Fox News for interviews or town halls, however, and several presidential hopefuls have gone on the network in an effort to appeal to a broader range of voters.
Other presidential candidates, including Sens. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Warren, Pressley introduce bill to make it a crime for police officers to deny medical care to people in custody Senate Dems press DOJ over coronavirus safety precautions in juvenile detention centers MORE (D-N.Y.) and Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Democrats demand Republican leaders examine election challenges after Georgia voting chaos Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk MORE (D-Minn.) and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegScaled-back Pride Month poses challenges for fundraising, outreach Biden hopes to pick VP by Aug. 1 It’s as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE, have done interviews on Fox programs like “Special Report” and “Fox News Sunday.”
Fox News announced last month that it had signed Brazile, a former CNN political analyst, as a contributor.
CNN severed ties with Brazile in October 2016 after she shared town hall debate questions with then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhite House accuses Biden of pushing ‘conspiracy theories’ with Trump election claim Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton qualifies to run for county commissioner in Florida MORE’s campaign.