President Donald Trump unleashed a Twitter tirade against Fox News on Sunday, taking shots at the outlet’s coverage of Democratic presidential candidates, namely South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
“Hard to believe @FoxNews is wasting airtime on Mayor Pete, as Chris Wallace likes to call him,” Trump wrote, referring to one of the channel’s moderate hosts. “Fox is moving more and more to the losing (wrong) side in covering the Dems.”
The scrutiny from the president is noteworthy given his reportedly cozy relationship with Fox News and his routine praise of its employees, which he’s offered on social media and in public.
....who got them there. Chris Wallace said, “I actually think, whether you like his opinions or not, that Mayor Pete has a lot of substance...fascinating biography.” Gee, he never speaks well of me - I like Mike Wallace better...and Alfred E. Newman will never be President!
Unlike some Democrats, Buttigieg has expressed an openness to Fox News appearances and held a town hall discussion with Wallace on the channel Sunday.
Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg
Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 23: Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigeig speaks during a news conference January 23, 2019 in Washington, DC. Buttigeig held a news conference to announce that he is forming an exploratory committee to run for the Democratic presidential nomination. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS -- Episode 547 -- Pictured: (l-r) South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg during an interview with host Seth Meyers on June 22, 2017 -- (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, center, speaks with attendees during a campaign stop in Ankeny, Iowa, U.S., on Friday, Feb. 8, 2019. A flurry of proposals to slap new taxes on the ultra-wealthy, extend Medicare to all Americans and make college debt-free reflect a rapidly changing Democratic Party that sees a sharp left turn as the path to defeating President Donald Trump. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, speaks during a campaign stop in Ankeny, Iowa, U.S., on Friday, Feb. 8, 2019. A flurry of proposals to slap new taxes on the ultra-wealthy, extend Medicare to all Americans and make college debt-free reflect a rapidly changing Democratic Party that sees a sharp left turn as the path to defeating President Donald Trump. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
THE VIEW - Mayor of South Bend, Indiana and democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg visits ABC's 'The View' on Thursday, January 31, 2019. 'The View' airs Monday-Friday (11:00 am-12:00 noon, ET) on the ABC Television Network.
(Photo by Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC via Getty Images)
JOY BEHAR, PETER BUTTIGIEG, SUNNY HOSTIN
South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who is exploring a Presidential candidacy speaks at the University of Chicago on February 13, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Joshua Lott / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOSHUA LOTT/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 14: 32nd Mayor of South Bend, Indiana and 2020 Democratic Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg is seen arriving at 'The Late Show With Stephen Colbert' at the Ed Sullivan Theater on February 14, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images)
AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 09: Pete Buttigieg speaks onstage at Conversations About America's Future: Mayor Pete Buttigieg during the 2019 SXSW Conference and Festivals at Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater on March 8, 2019 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Hutton Supancic/Getty Images for SXSW)
NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 13: The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and guest Pete Buttigieg during Thursday's February 14, 2019 show. (Photo by Scott Kowalchyk/CBS via Getty Images)
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In March, the candidate stressed the need for his fellow party members to appear on the channel, pointing out that elections “are supposed to be about our whole country” and “we can’t just concentrate on those areas where people, for the most part, already agree with us.”
A handful of other 2020 Democratic hopefuls have also taken interviews on Fox News, including Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) and Kamala Harris (Calif.). Former Maryland Rep. John Delaney, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and entrepreneur Andrew Yang have also made appearances this year.
In April, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) participated in a town hall discussion with the outlet, taking the opportunity to speak out against Trump while talking to viewers.
The willingness of Democratic candidates to engage in certain media opportunities with Fox News is at odds with the Democratic National Committee’s stance on the outlet, which it plans to bar from hosting or televising its party’s primary debates.