Fox News host Shep Smith fired back at an angry viewer on Tuesday, telling a woman on live TV that President Trump was using her “fear of invasion” to whip up votes from his conservative base.
Smith read out loud a tweet from a viewer named “Heidi,” who took issue with Smith’s coverage of the migrant “caravan” slowly making its way to the U.S. border.
“Heidi tweets just now, ‘Sorry, Shep,'” the anchor read. “We are not falling for your fake story. This is an invasion. This is not a caravan of poor migrants seeking a better life. Yes, there may be some of that there. But you’re full of it if you believe what you’re saying. POTUS has intel. You don’t.'”
Looking directly at the camera, Smith responded: “No he doesn’t. POTUS has politics. He told us just the other day — so I can report to you with certainty — they’re running on [Supreme Court Justice Brett] Kavanaugh and caravan. Your fear of an invasion of migrants. We just showed you their pictures.”
Smith, known for reporting on stories that often anger Fox News viewers, opened his Tuesday show with a detailed fact-check of the president’s recent remarks, in which he called the caravan an “assault” on the country.
“A caravan of thousands of migrants, including women and children and babies, some in diapers, and strollers is pressing onward through the very southern part of Mexico in the general direction of the United States border,” Smith said at the beginning of the segment. “The president has called it an assault on the U.S. border. It is absolutely not. It’s nowhere near the U.S. border.”
Smith went on to describe the difficult conditions facing the migrants who have been trekking hundreds of miles in the sweltering heat.
“The heat has been brutal,” Smith told his viewers. “The walkers are reported to be exhausted, many sick, riddled with injuries from the hard journey. There is concern that children could die if they pass out because there aren’t enough ambulances and doctors even to treat them.”
“What would it take for you to walk with your family for more than 1,100 miles in 105 degree feels-like temperature with an entire government telling you, ‘We don’t want you?'” he asked.
“They’re not coming to get anyone,” Smith said. “They’re seeking relief.”
This isn’t the first time Smith has broken away from the Fox News party line. On Monday, Smith delivered a scathing refute of a claim floated by his own network that ISIS fighters had infiltrated the “caravan” of thousands of migrants en route to the U.S.-Mexican border, an unverified claim that was later echoed by President Trump in a tweet.
“President Trump is calling the caravan a national emergency,” Smith said. “And he’s claiming criminals and unknown alleged Middle Easterners are mixed in with the crowd. An important note: Fox News knows of no evidence to suggest the president is accurate on that matter. And the president has offered no evidence to support what he has said.”
Earlier on Monday, “Fox & Friends” host Pete Hegseth said on air that the president of Guatemala told a local newspaper that “over 100 ISIS fighters” had been caught in Guatemala “trying to use this caravan.”
The reports originated from a recent article in a Guatemala newspaper, which quoted Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales saying that 100 people linked to terrorism, including ISIS, were captured by local authorities.
The story was picked up by right-wing media outlets, including The Gateway Pundit, known for pushing conspiracy theories.
Reporters traveling with the caravan, including those from The New York Times, said they have not seen any Middle Easterners walking with the group and no government agency has so far confirmed the president’s claim.
Watch the full segment above and Smith’s response to the viewer below.
Shep Smith responds to a Fox viewer who said Trump has special intel about the caravan: "No he doesn't. POTUS has politics." pic.twitter.com/Nxdfn7HbI2
— John Whitehouse (@existentialfish) October 23, 2018