President Donald Trump took to Twitter Thursday to mock the ratings of MSNBC and CNN in the days since Attorney General William Barr said the Mueller report showed no evidence of collusion between Trump and his 2016 campaign and the Russians.
He started by singling out a favorite target, the MSNBC morning show hosted by former fans Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski.
“Wow, ratings for ‘Morning Joe,’ which were really bad in the first place, just ‘tanked’ with the release of the Mueller Report,” Trump said in an early morning tweet. “Likewise, other shows on MSNBC and CNN have gone down by as much as 50%. Just shows, Fake News never wins!”
Trump didn’t cite specific numbers or say which shows had suffered a 50 percent drop-off, but he may have been obliquely referring to a widely shared piece in the Daily Beast citing ratings concerns at MSNBC now that the Trump-Russia collusion narrative was on ice.
“Within MSNBC, there’s an acknowledgement that the Trump-Russia narrative on which the cable network–and especially its primetime star Maddow — built monster ratings has fizzled for the moment,” the Beast reported.
There was also an Associated Press story published Wednesday showing a sharp ratings drop-off for Rachel Maddow in the days following delivery of the Mueller report. Neither the Beast or AP mentioned “Morning Joe” ratings specifically or any show with a 50 percent decline in viewership.
Meanwhile, the AP reported that the audience for Trump-friendly Fox News host Sean Hannity’s show surged 32 percent above average on Monday, to 4 million viewers.
The Trump jab came during a “Morning Joe” interview of 2020 presidential contender Sen. Amy Klobuchar and went ignored by the show hosts. Reps for MSNBC declined to comment. Reps for CNN did not immediately respond to request for comment.
Though Trump has long been known as a “Fox & Friends” watcher in the morning, he does occasionally turn the channel to rivals at MSNBC or CNN. Before becoming president, Trump had been friendly with Scarborough and Brzezinski — something the pair frequently talk about on air.
Since taking office, however, however, the show has turned sharply against Trump and the president has never been shy about giving it right back to his old friends.