Trump takes dig at Shepard Smith’s Fox News exit: ‘He had bad ratings’

J. Clara Chan

President Donald Trump took a final dig at Fox News’ Shepard Smith on Friday after learning about the longtime anchor’s departure from the network, suggesting that Smith’s exit was likely “because he had bad ratings.”

Speaking with reporters outside the White House on Friday, Trump appeared to not have known Smith was leaving the network. When asked by a reporter whether his administration had pressured Fox News to “get rid of” Smith, Trump said, “No, I don’t know. Is he leaving? Oh, that’s a shame.”

The president continued, “Wait, did I hear Shepard Smith was leaving? Is he leaving because of bad ratings? Tell me, I don’t know. He had terrible ratings.

“If he’s leaving, I assume he’s leaving because he had bad ratings. He had the worst ratings on Fox, so there’s a reason — why is Shepard Smith leaving?”

Until Friday’s announcement, Smith — the host of Fox News’ daytime show, “Shepard Smith Reporting” — had been one of the network’s rare critics of Trump. The president, in turn, had also frequently tweeted his critique of Smith; as of Thursday, Trump had singled Smith out in a thread of tweets disparaging Fox News over an impeachment poll the network had commissioned.

But on Friday after the announcement, Trump said he had well wishes for Smith.

“I wish him well,” Trump said. “I wish Shepard Smith well.”

Watch Trump’s remarks above.