Trump is annoyed with Fox News over poll results

After a series of unfavorable polls from Fox News’ polling unit, President Trump has stepped up his complaints about the network, which he no longer considers a reliable ally.

“There’s something going on at Fox [News], I’ll tell you right now. And I’m not happy with it,” Trump told reporters Sunday, adding, “Fox has changed. My worst polls have always been from Fox.”

Trump was complaining about a recent Fox News poll that showed him down 12 points to former Vice President Joe Biden in a hypothetical 2020 matchup. The poll also showed him down 9 points to Sen. Bernie Sanders, 7 to Sen. Elizabeth Warren and 6 to Sen. Kamala Harris.

It wasn’t the first time he was annoyed by the network’s polling arm, which is considered a respected and relatively nonpartisan part of the generally conservative and pro-Trump network.

“[Fox News] is at it again,” he tweeted on July 26. “So different from what they used to be during the 2016 Primaries, & before - Proud Warriors! Now new Fox Polls, which have always been terrible to me (they had me losing BIG to Crooked Hillary), have me down to Sleepy Joe.”

At that time, Trump was complaining about another poll that showed Biden up 10 points in a hypothetical general election race. This month, the president has also tweeted insults about analyst Juan Williams (“always nasty and wrong”) and anchor Shepard Smith (“Watching Fake News CNN is better”). He said he preferred the coverage of Fox’s conservative rival, One America News Network.

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Shep Smith out and about
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 20: 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)
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)
LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS -- Episode 248 -- Pictured: Fox News Shepard Smith during an interview on August 17, 2015 -- (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - DECEMBER 16: 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)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 30: Television Anchors Shepard Smith, Maria Bartiromo, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, and Megyn Kelly at The Cable Show on April 30, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Bezjian/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 10: 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 VIEW - Shepard Smith was a guest on 'THE VIEW,' THURSDAY, NOV. 5, 2009 (11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Steve Fenn/ABC via Getty Images) SHEPARD SMITH
WASHINGTON - JANUARY 08: FOX News host Shepard Smith poses on the red carpet upon arrival at a salute to FOX News Channel's Brit Hume on January 8, 2009 in Washington, DC. Hume was honored for his 35 years in journalism. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
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)

He has also objected to the network hiring as a commentator Donna Brazile, a former interim chair of the Democratic National Committee. “[T]he wonderful woman that gave Hillary Clinton the questions,” he said Sunday, referring to a minor scandal during the 2016 primaries when Brazile gave the Clinton campaign advance notice of a question that would be asked at a televised debate. “That was a terrible thing. And all of a sudden, she’s working for Fox. What’s she doing working for Fox?

Trump’s administration has had extremely close relationships with Fox News and Fox Business. Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson have served not just as boosters to Trump, giving him cozy interviews and promoting his policies, but also as advisers. The third member of Fox News’ primetime lineup, Laura Ingraham, spoke at the 2016 Republican National Convention in support of Trump and was under consideration to be his first press secretaryHope Hicks and Raj Shah, former Trump White House communication officials, are now vice presidents at Fox Corporation.

As president, Trump has frequently repeated talking points from the morning news show “Fox & Friends.” At one time it was reported he spoke regularly with Hannity. But last week, followers of Trump’s Twitter feed noted a rare implied criticism of Hannity, over the host’s taking the side of CNN anchor Chris Cuomo in a dispute with a heckler.

An earlier break with the network occurred in April, when he fumed at the network hosting a town hall for Sanders. The town hall, which received high ratings and saw Sanders getting the crowd to support his Medicare for All health care proposal, left the president displeased.

“Many Trump Fans & Signs were outside of the @FoxNews Studio last night in the now thriving (Thank you President Trump) Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, for the interview with Crazy Bernie Sanders,” Trump tweeted. “Big complaints about not being let in — stuffed with Bernie supporters. What’s with @FoxNews?”

Other polling organizations have shown Trump losing support on important issues, making the Fox News’ polls showing Trump losing hypothetical matchups to the top Democratic contenders appear plausible. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released Sunday showed half of Americans disagreeing with Trump’s response to the recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, with 54 percent saying he bore some responsibility for the attacks. A July poll from Quinnipiac found that 51 percent of Americans thought Trump was racist. His overall approval rating is hovering around 42 percent, consistent with where it’s been for the last year save for a dip during the record-breaking government shutdown.


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