President Trump said the media owes him a big apology for their years of coverage of the Russian collusion story and, in an interview with Sean Hannity on Thursday, he also said the Fox News host was owed one too.
“You’ve seen the coverage over two-plus years. Russia, Russia, Russia. Trump, Trump, Trump. Collusion, collusion, collusion. The Mueller Report couldn’t be any more clear on the issue specifically,” Hannity said. “Do you think the news media in this country — and their coverage on it — owes you an apology?”
“Well, they do owe me an apology, a big one,” Trump said. “They owe you an apology.”
The president went on to say that the coverage wasn’t all that bad and many of Hannity’s colleagues on Fox News had given him “a lot of support.”
“We actually had a lot of support. I mean, I watch you and Tucker and I watch Laura and your great guys in the morning with Steve and Ainsley and Brian,” Trump said alluding to Fox News’ most prominent opinion talk shows. He also praised non-Fox “fair” media like the conservative Washington Times.
The remarks from Tump came during a 45-minute phone interview with Hannity that took up most of the Fox News host’s show. The president’s call came during the middle of a segment and forced the show to abruptly pivot from Geraldo Rivera.
The phoner was part of a long victory lap that President Trump has been taking after the end of the Special Counsel investigation, which concluded that there had been no organized effort by the Trump 2016 presidential campaign to collude with Russia and declined to charge the president with obstruction of justice.
In the same interview, Trump attacked the investigation as a “coup” and “an attempt to overthrow the United States government.”
The talk reflected the personal chumminess between Trump and Hannity. The pair are known to frequently speak privately by phone and in November 2018, Hannity even took the stage at a Trump rally to praise the president to his fans. (He was also joined by Fox News host Jeanine Pirro).
While he has near limitless availability for Hannity and Fox News opinion hosts, the president has made far less time for the hard news journalists everywhere else. Even at Fox, anchor Bret Baier has been mostly shut out — something he has publicly complained about.