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

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.

16 PHOTOS
Shepard Smith through the years
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Shepard Smith through the years
LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS -- Episode 248 -- Pictured: (l-r) Fox New�s Shepard Smith during an interview with host Seth Meyers on August 17, 2015 -- (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and guest Shepard Smith during Friday's 12/16/16 show in New York.

(Photo by Scott Kowalchyk/CBS via Getty Images)

LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS -- Episode 248

Pictured: (l-r) Fox News Shepard Smith during an interview with host Seth Meyers on August 17, 2015

(Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Shepard Smith attends the 19th Annual National Lesbian And Gay Journalists Association New York Benefit at The Prince George Ballroom on March 20, 2014 in New York City.

(Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images)

Shepard Smith attends the 19th Annual National Lesbian And Gay Journalists Association New York Benefit at The Prince George Ballroom on March 20, 2014 in New York City.

(Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images)

Shepard Smith attends salute to Brit Hume at Cafe Milano on January 8, 2009 in Washington, DC.

(Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage)

Fox News anchor, Shepard Smith on the set of 'Studio B with Shepard Smith' during a rehersal at Fox News studios in New York. Fox News Channel celebrated its 15th anniversary on the air on October 7th.

(The Washington Post via Getty Images)

THE VIEW

Shepard Smith was a guest on 'THE VIEW,' THURSDAY, NOV. 5, 2009 

(Photo by Steve Fenn/ABC via Getty Images) SHEPARD SMITH

Fox News anchor Shepard Smith on the set of 'Studio B with Shepard Smith' at Fox News studios in New York. Fox News Channel celebrated its 15th anniversary on the air on October 7th.

(The Washington Post via Getty Images)

FOX News Correspondent Shepard Smith attends the Fox News Channel 10th Anniversary celebration on October 4, 2006 in New York City.

(Photo by Peter Kramer/Getty Images)

Harvey Weinstein, John Antioco, Chairman/CEO of Blockbuster Video, Joshua Jackson, Emilio Estevez, Sharon Stone, Christian Slater, Mathew Smith, General Merchandise Manager of Blockbuster video, Nick Shepard, President of Blockbuster Video, Freddy Rodriguez, Bob Weinstein, Trevor Drinkwater, Steve Bannon and Larry Madden, CFO of The Weinstein Company. 

(Photo by Jamie McCarthy/WireImage for The Weinstein Company)

Chairman & CEO, FOX News Roger Ailes (R) and (via satellite from Kiryat Shmona, Israel) anchor Shepard Smith from 'Fox News' speak during the 2006 Summer Television Critics Association Press Tour for the FOX Broadcasting Company at the Ritz-Carlton Huntington Hotel on July 24, 2006 in Pasadena, California.

(Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Shepard Smith and Rick Leventhal, news anchors for FOXNews.

(Photo by Jamie McCarthy/WireImage)

Jane Skinner and Shepard Smith during Fox at NCTA - FX, Fuel TV and Fox Reality - April 10, 2006 in Atlanta, GA, United States.

(Photo by Moses Robinson/WireImage for Fox Television Network)

The Pulse correspondents, Bill O'Reilly and Laurie Dhue with 'The Pulse' host, Shepard Smith at the FOX 2002 Summer TCA Tour, held at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, Los Angeles, CA, January 22, 2002.

(photo by Kevin Winter/ImageDirect).

Shepard Smith during 2002 Fox Summer TCA Party at Sky Bar at The Mondrian Hotel in West Hollywood, California, United States.

(Photo by Jon Kopaloff/WireImage)

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