President Donald Trump’s Election Day began the only way it could, with the president calling in to his buffoonish muses at Fox & Friends, the inane Fox News morning show that launched his political career and provides his daily news intake.
Following an extensive, unexplained, and hilarious delay, Steve Doocy, Ainsley Earhart, and Brian Kilmeade served up ridiculous softball questions to the president and ignored his numerous falsehoods. Trump praised the program and highlighted his relationship with its hosts.
Today’s interview marks Trump’s 100th on the network and 24th on Fox & Friends as president (he also made three appearances on the program’s weekend edition), according to Media Matters’ database. That total is second only to Sean Hannity’s program, which has hosted Trump 26 times. He called in to Fox & Friends on Election Day 2016 as well.
Fox & Friends is the keystone of the president’s unprecedented relationship with Fox News.
Trump built his connection to the GOP base through weekly hits on the show, catapulted to the Republican nomination and the presidency with the help of Fox’s eager promotion of his campaign, and has regularly retreated to the network’s comfortable confines throughout his presidency.
Fox & Friends’ hosts are bigots and morons, but they are Trump’s bigots and morons, interspersing their vile conspiracy theories and right-wing misinformation with sycophantic praise of the president and his administration.
Trump isn’t just a Fox & Friends regular; he’s also its biggest fan.
Long before the president receives his morning intelligence briefing, his worldview is shaped by Fox & Friends’ funhouse-mirror take on the day’s headlines, and he regularly touts the program on the campaign trail.
The president frequently chimes in when a cable news segment catches his eye, and no program has a greater hold over him than Fox & Friends. Trump live-tweeted in response to the program an astonishing 355 times over a two-year span, by far the most of any show.
There was a brief moment of tension during the interview when Trump responded to a question from Kilmeade about former President Barack Obama’s criticism of him by lashing out at Fox for airing Democratic speeches during the election. Trump has repeatedly leveled criticism at the network for supposedly not being sufficiently similar to state TV for his liking, while treating its right-wing hosts as adjuncts to his White House.
But Trump quickly pivoted back to praising the hosts he likes. “You have great people,” he said. “When you have Sean, and you have Laura, and, you know, yourselves, and you have some incredible people. I’m just saying -- Tucker’s been great.” After poking at the grievance one more time, he reverted back to his standard talking points.
“Mr. President, we thank you for opening up with us before you ran for president, while you were running for president and when you won the presidency, and best of luck to getting four more years,” Kilmeade concluded the interview.
“That was pretty awesome,” he added after Trump was off the line.
“That was pretty awesome,” Doocy agreed.