Donald Trump has laid into Fox News saying it cost him the election, the same day host Neil Cavuto cut away from Kayleigh McEnany’s press conference over her baseless claims of ‘illegal voting’ and Sandra Smith was caught ridiculing a guest who questioned the validity of the result.
The president accused Fox of ‘tampering with the election’ because its polls were ‘so inaccurate’ in a series of irate tweets Monday night where he threw the blame for his election defeat onto the media.
This came the same day the network, which has long been a close ally of Trump’s, appeared to make its stance clear over his campaign’s repeated unsubstantiated claims that the election is ‘rigged’.
Fox News’ host Cavuto cut away from Kayleigh McEnany’s press conference Monday afternoon saying he ‘can’t in good countenance continue showing this’ as she made a series of baseless claims that Democrats ‘welcome fraud and illegal voting’.
Meanwhile, hours earlier anchor Sandra Smith was caught frowning and rolling her eyes and asking ‘what is happening’ as a Trump supporter repeated Trump’s accusations of widespread election fraud.
This comes as Rupert Murdoch’s media empire appears to be seeking to distance itself from Trump, with Fox and several of its other conservative media outlets switching their messaging in the days after the election much to Trump’s ire.
Donald Trump has accused Fox News of ‘tampering with the election’ because its polls were ‘so inaccurate’ along with those by other networks and newspapers
The president launched into a series of irate tweets Monday night where he threw the blame for his election defeat onto the TV networks
Trump reeled off a barrage of tweets Monday accusing several outlets of ‘election interference’ and ‘tampering’ with the election because their polls were ‘so far off’ in several states.
He singled out Fox saying it was ‘wrong on everything’ adding to his increasingly fractured relationship with Fox News and Murdoch.
‘@FoxNews, @QuinnipiacPoll, ABC/WaPo, NBC/WSJ were so inaccurate with their polls on me, that it really is tampering with an Election. They were so far off in their polling, and in their attempt to suppress – that they should be called out for Election Interference,’ Trump blasted.
He pointed to states including Wisconsin and Iowa where he said the media projected he would lose to Joe Biden.
‘ABC/WaPo had me down 17 points in Wisconsin, the day before the election, and I WON! In Iowa, the polls had us 4 points down, and I won by 8.2%! Fox News and Quinnipiac were wrong on everything,’ he wrote.
‘The worst polling ever, and then they’ll be back in four years to do it again. This is much more then voter and campaign finance suppression!’
His Twitter rant came after Fox refused to air much of Enany’s press briefing Monday, breaking away from the president’s press secretary moments after she launched into a number of claims of election fraud – none of which have yet been backed up by evidence.
McEnany kicked off her press conference insisting the election is ‘not over’ and that Republicans had ‘only begun the process of obtaining an accurate, honest vote count.’
She then launched into a string of unsubstantiated claims, including that the Democrats oppose voter ID laws, the verification of signatures, citizenship, residency and other identity markers, and that they had prevented Republican poll observers watching ballots being counted.
Fox News cut away from Kayleigh McEnany’s press conference Monday afternoon saying they ‘can’t in good countenance continue showing this’ as she made a series of baseless claims that Democrats ‘welcome fraud and illegal voting’
Fox News cuts away from the Trump campaign press conference with Neil Cavuto saying that they “can’t in good countenance continue showing this” when @PressSec says that Democrats are “welcoming fraud and welcoming illegal voting” in the election pic.twitter.com/0d5B5cJ0D8
‘You don’t take these positions because you want an honest election,’ McEnany said.
‘You take these positions because you are welcoming fraud and you are welcoming illegal voting.’
She continued saying ‘we want every legal vote to be counted and we want every illegal vote – ‘ before Fox News’ host Neil Cavuto cut across her.
‘Whoa, whoa, whoa. I just think we have to be very clear: she’s charging the other side as welcoming fraud and illegal voting, unless she has more details to back that up, I can’t in good countenance continue to show you this,’ Cavuto said.
Cavuto said the network would return to the press conference if McEnany presented any evidence to back up the claims.
‘But that’s an explosive charge to make, that the other side is effectively rigging and cheating, if she does bring proof of that of course we’ll take you back so far she has started saying, right at the outset, welcoming fraud, welcoming illegal voting,’ Cavuto said.
‘Not so fast,’ he added.
Fox did not resume airing the press conference.
When McEnany was later asked by a reporter for evidence of fraudulent votes, Trump’s press secretary was unable to present anything and asked for ‘patience’.
‘What we are asking for right now is patience as we explore these equal protection claims among others,’ McEnany said.
Cavuto’s refusal to give the baseless claims airtime comes the same day footage surfaced online of his colleague ridiculing a guest on the network who was questioning the election result.
In a leaked clip circulating online, Smith – who was not on air at the time – pulls faces at the DC-based lawyer Cleta Mitchell’s comments and asks ‘what is happening’.
The conservative network refused to air the entire briefing from the Trump administration, breaking away from the president’s press secretary moments after she launched into a number of claims – none of which have yet been backed up by evidence
Fox News’ host Neil Cavuto cut across McEnany saying ‘unless she has more details to back that up, I can’t in good countenance continue to show you this’
‘I think everybody wants to know that this was done properly and legally and we can trust the results,’ said Cleta Mitchell, as she reiterated Trump’s claims of voter fraud, despite the president providing no evidence.
‘And I think we have to look into every one of these concerns.
‘Remember, just because CNN says, or even Fox News says that somebody’s president doesn’t make them president,’ Mitchell told Fox News’ Trace Gallagher who was interviewing her.
Smith is caught on camera rolling her eyes, furrowing her brow and shaking her head.
‘What?’ Smith said, looking up in disbelief and appearing to be unaware she was being picked up on a hot mic.
While Mitchell continues speaking, Smith then interjects in an angrier tone: ‘What is happening? Like, Trace, we’ve called it.’
Mitchell was either unable to hear Smith or chose to ignore her heckles, as she continued speaking without faltering.
In a clip circulating online, the host of America’s Newsroom was heard exasperatedly asking ‘what is happening’ as DC-based lawyer Cleta Mitchell (shown center left) repeated Donald Trump’s unfounded accusations of widespread election fraud
While Mitchell was speaking, Smith, who was not on air at the time, could be seen rolling her eyes, furrowing her brow and shaking her head.
Smith, who first joined Fox Business Network as a reporter in October 2007, is a regular foil of White House spokespeople and has a back catalogue of viral clips showing her clashing with members of the Trump administration, including the likes of Kellyanne Conway.
Similarly, Cavuto has regularly questioned Trump hitting out at the president in May after he recommended taking hydroxychloroquine by citing multiple studies that have shown the drug ‘will kill you’.
Cavuto’s refusal to air McEnany’s press conference comes after seven television networks including CBS, ABC and NBC cut away from Trump’s White House address Thursday evening to fact check him with many calling out his ‘falsehoods’.
NBC cut the president off before the end of his speech, with host Lester Holt saying: ‘We have to interrupt here, because the president has made a number of false statements, including the notion that there has been fraudulent voting. There has been no evidence of that.’
Meanwhile CNN’s Jake Tapper called it a ‘sad night’ for Americans who had to hear the president ‘try to attack democracy that way with this feast of falsehoods.’
‘Lie after lie, after lie about the election being stolen. No evidence for what he’s saying, just smears about the integrity,’ he told viewers.
‘When he wins a state it’s legitimate, when he loses it’s because the vote is being stolen from him. It’s not true, it’s frankly pathetic.’
Fox, which has long been a close ally of the president, had been one of the few to air the president’s address in full that night.
However its actions today come after the network and several other Rupert Murdoch-owned conservative outlets have changed their messaging in the days following the election.
Murdoch and Trump have often rubbed shoulders in the same social circles and the media mogul’s right-wing networks have long sided with Trump.
It also marks the latest move from Rupert Murdoch’s media empire to distance itself from Trump, as several of its conservative media outlets appear to have switched their messaging in the days after the election. Trump and Rupert Murdoch playing golf in 2016
Fox News host Laura Ingraham said Donald Trump should accept ‘the unfavorable outcome’ of the election with ‘grace and composure’, as several of Rupert Murdoch’s right-wing news outlets shifted tone to prepare for the president’s defeat
The Wall Street Journal editorial board sent an almost identical message of defeat to Trump Friday
The front cover of Saturday’s New York Post all but declared Biden the winner before it was called later that day
But when Fox became the first outlet to call Arizona for Biden Tuesday night, Trump reportedly called Murdoch in a fury ‘to scream about the call and demand a retraction’, a source told Vanity Fair.
The 89-year-old media mogul refused to order his staff to retract the Arizona call.
Several of Murdoch’s conservative outlets then changed their messaging as Trump’s chances of reelection slipped away in the days that followed, urging him to bow out with grace and all but declaring Biden the winner prior to the crucial state of Pennsylvania – and the election – being called.
Fox News host Laura Ingraham sent a message to Trump to accept ‘the unfavorable outcome’ of the election with ‘grace and composure’ on her show Friday night.
Meanwhile, the front cover of Saturday’s edition of the New York Post – which last month exposed emails from Hunter Biden’s laptop and in October publicly endorsed Trump on its front cover – all but declared Biden’s victory hours before it was called.
And the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board penned an opinion piece Friday warning Trump his ‘legacy will be diminished greatly if his final act is a bitter refusal to accept a legitimate defeat.’
Trump has refused to concede to Joe Biden and has made numerous unsubstantiated claims of fraud – despite presenting no evidence.
The Trump campaign has said it will order a recount in Wisconsin, where Biden is up by 20,000 votes, and a recount is also likely in Georgia, where he is currently up by 10,000.
It has also filed multiple lawsuits including the latest filed in Pennsylvania Monday making its case to throw out more than 600,000 votes.
STATE-BY-STATE: WHERE TRUMP IS SUING AND HOW IT’S GOING
BIDEN MAJORITY TRUMP NEEDS TO OVERTURN: 45,646
On Monday the Trump campaign filed their big shot at overturning all mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania, claiming that Democratic and Republican counties did not administer them in the same way; instances of fraud; and that poll watchers could not see them being counted.
The case faces an uphill struggle. The Supreme Court has already allowed mail-in ballots to be issued in Pennsylvania, and the claim of poll watchers not seeing them being counted had failed before when a Trump lawyer last Friday agreed that a ‘non-zero number’ of Republicans had observed the count in Philadelphia.
The new suit provided no actual evidence of fraud.
Trump’s campaign last Wednesday filed a motion to intervene in a case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court challenging a decision from the state’s highest court that allowed election officials to count mail-in ballots postmarked by Tuesday’s Election Day that were delivered through Friday.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito on Friday night ordered county election boards in the state to separate mail-in ballots received after 8 p.m. EST on Election Day.
Pennsylvania election officials have said those ballots were already being separated.
The justices previously ruled there was not enough time to decide the merits of the case before Election Day but indicated they might revisit it afterwards.
Alito, joined by fellow conservative Justices Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch, said in a written opinion that there was a ‘strong likelihood’ the Pennsylvania court’s decision violated the U.S. Constitution.
Pennsylvania’s Secretary of the Commonwealth Kathy Boockvar has said late-arriving ballots are a tiny proportion of the overall vote in the state.
Rudy Giuliani unveiled a ‘witness’ to his claims – a Republican poll watcher – on Saturday but the man, Daryl Brooks, has not been included in any legal papers. He was previously convicted of exposing himself to underage girls.
BIDEN MAJORITY TRUMP NEEDS TO OVERTURN: 16,985
Trump’s campaign said on Saturday it had sued in Arizona, alleging that the state’s most populous county incorrectly rejected votes cast on Election Day by some voters.
The lawsuit, filed in state Superior Court in Maricopa County, said poll workers told some voters to press a button after a machine had detected an ‘overvote.’
The campaign said that decision disregarded voters’ choices in those races, and the lawsuit suggested those votes could prove ‘determinative’ in the outcome of the presidential race.
It is a modification of an earlier suit which was submitted and then withdrawn claiming that Trump voters were given sharpies to mark their ballots and claiming this made them more prone to error. The ‘sharpie-gate’ claims have n basis in fact, Arizona’s secretary of state says.
BIDEN MAJORITY TRUMP NEEDS TO OVERTURN: 36,186
A voter, a member of the media and two candidate campaigns sued Nevada’s secretary of state and other officials to prevent the use of a signature-verification system in populous Clark County and to provide public access to vote counting.
A federal judge rejected the request on Friday, saying there was no evidence the county was doing anything unlawful.
No new suits have been lodged so far.
Trump campaign officials have also claimed evidence that non-residents have voted but have not sued.
BIDEN MAJORITY TRUMP NEEDS TO OVERTURN: 10.620
The Trump campaign on Wednesday filed a lawsuit in state court in Chatham County that alleged late-arriving ballots were improperly mingled with valid ballots, and asked a judge to order late-arriving ballots be separated and not be counted.
The case was dismissed on Thursday. No new suits have been filed. The state is going to a recount.
The two Republican senators, Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, called for the GOP Secretary of State to quit claiming there were election irregularities Monday. They offered no evidence and he scoffed: ‘That’s not going to happen.’
BIDEN MAJORITY TRUMP NEEDS TO OVERTURN: 146,123
Trump’s campaign on Wednesday filed a lawsuit in Michigan to halt the vote count in the state. The lawsuit alleged that campaign poll watchers were denied ‘meaningful access’ to counting of ballots, plus access to surveillance video footage of ballot drop boxes.
On Thursday, Michigan Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens dismissed the case, saying there was no legal basis or evidence to halt the vote and grant requests.
No new suit has been filed.
U.S. POSTAL SERVICE
The U.S. Postal Service said about 1,700 ballots had been identified in Pennsylvania at processing facilities during two sweeps on Thursday and were being delivered to election officials, according to a court filing early Friday.
The Postal Service said 1,076 ballots, had been found at its Philadelphia Processing and Distribution Center. About 300 were found at the Pittsburgh processing center, 266 at a Lehigh Valley facility and others at other Pennsylvania processing centers.
U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan in Washington is overseeing a lawsuit by Vote Forward, the NAACP, and Latino community advocates.
Sullivan on Thursday ordered twice-daily sweeps at Postal Service facilities serving states with extended ballot receipt deadlines.
The judge plans to hold a status conference on Monday.