Fox News is no longer just a Republican Party propaganda organ. The network fused with Donald Trump’s administration to an unprecedented degree and has maintained its pervasive influence over the GOP following his departure. A Media Matters review of Fox’s programming and the actions of its personalities from Trump’s 2016 election to the present reveals more than 400 examples of the network’s incestuous relationship with the party as it came to dictate its politics and policymaking.
Fox was founded as a right-wing counterweight to the purportedly left-wing mainstream press that conservatives saw as an obstacle to the Republican Party’s political success. The network was always a ready promoter of right-wing talking points. But it truly embraced its role as the communications arm of the Republican Party following President Barack Obama’s election, and ultimately allied with and helped elect as Obama’s successor Donald Trump, a longtime network regular who channeled the demagoguery of its right-wing culture warriors.
After Trump took office, his obsession with the network’s programming and personalities ensured that Fox effectively merged with his administration. Fox became the closest thing the U.S. media has seen to a state TV outlet, as well as a prominent driver of public policy.
On the air, a feedback loop linked Fox’s programming with Trump’s public communications and state actions. The president often watched hours of Fox programming each day and promoted what he saw on Twitter; he sent nearly 1,300 live tweets about Fox News and its sister network, Fox Business, between September 2018 and his suspension from the service in January 2021. Fox hosts and guests were aware of this Trump-Fox feedback loop and responded to it by deliberately trying to advise the president or gain his approval through his television, with some Republican officeholders using that method to climb the party’s ranks.
Off the air, Trump’s consultations with a Fox Cabinet of advisers from the network’s ranks made it even more influential. Numerous presidential decisions can be traced back to the sway those Fox hosts held over Trump, including but by no means limited to: the immigration deal that fell apart due to advice from Sean Hannity; the drug the U.S. purchased to fight COVID-19 following an Oval Office meeting with Laura Ingraham; airstrikes called off after the intervention of Tucker Carlson; war criminals pardoned thanks to Pete Hegseth; and the actual cabinet officials who lost power struggles with Jeanine Pirro and Lou Dobbs.
Fox has retained its influence since Trump left office, emerging as perhaps the single strongest force in GOP politics. Its daily cacophony determines the party's message and policy aims on issues large and small, while its biggest stars are kingmakers whose endorsements can make or break Republican candidates and elected leaders.
This report includes 427 examples of Fox News’ merger with the GOP, including:
- 35 major examples of Fox’s political influence during the Trump administration.
- 9 ways Fox is still shaping the GOP after the Trump presidency.
- 8 members of Trump’s Fox Cabinet of advisers at the network and 68 examples of their relationship.
- 64 cases of the revolving door between Fox and the GOP.
- 13 former Fox employees who later condemned the network, plus 32 quotes from current or former Fox staff criticizing its propaganda.
- 15 Fox-backed candidates and members of congress and 41 ways the network helped them.
- 24 Fox-fueled instances of Trump’s executive clemency.
- 105 examples of Fox personalities campaigning for GOP candidates or groups and 13 more events canceled after Media Matters reported on them.
The report chronicles Fox’s relationship with the GOP since Trump’s election. For more on the period before this report, see our previous report here.
Fox’s unrivaled influence on the Trump administration: 35 major examples
Trump’s obsession with Fox’s programming gave the network unprecedented impact on his communications strategy, campaign machinations, and administration policymaking.
2017-2019: GOP adopts Fox’s sprawling conspiracy theory to defend Trump from the Mueller probe. Hannity and his cohort of Fox personalities spent years creating an alternate reality in which Trump and his allies did nothing wrong with regard to Russia, and special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election was the result of a sprawling “deep state” conspiracy. Trump and congressional Republicans parroted these claims as they sought to defend the president from the Mueller probe.
March 2017: White House triggers an international incident with the U.K. by citing a Fox analyst. While attempting to support Trump’s baseless conspiracy theory that Obama wiretapped him during the 2016 presidential campaign, then-White House press secretary Sean Spicer cited Fox senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano’s statement that Obama had relied on British intelligence to ensure there were “no American fingerprints on this.” The U.K. publicly denied the claim; U.S. officials apparently apologized for it; Trump praised Napolitano; and Fox said it could not confirm Napolitano’s reporting and suspended him for two weeks.
September 2017: Fox keeps Trump's NFL feud alive. At a rally, Trump lashed out at protesting football players, urging fans to “leave the stadium” if players knelt during the anthem and calling on NFL owners to fire players who did so. He remained fixated on protesting NFL players for months, in part because his favorite program regularly provided negative coverage of their actions – Trump sent at least 13 live tweets responding to Fox & Friends’ NFL commentary.
September 2017: Hannity scuttles a deal to grant legal status to “Dreamers.” Trump initially agreed with Democrats on a deal granting legal status to Dreamers, undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as minors and met certain conditions. But Trump killed the agreement by subsequently issuing a new set of demands after “Hannity made clear in a phone call and on his show that Trump must draw a harder line on broader immigration enforcement as his price” and “Trump sided with Hannity” over his chief of staff, John Kelly, according to the Los Angeles Times.
November 2017: Justice Department initiates a probe of the Uranium One deal that had become a Fox fixation. Fox tried to protect Trump from allegations that he had improper ties to the Russian government by producing hours of coverage pushing the lie that Hillary Clinton, as secretary of state, corruptly influenced the sale of Uranium One to Russian interests. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, under pressure from Fox News critics and the president they regularly advise, appointed U.S. attorney John Huber in November 2017 to review the sale of the company. Two years later The Washington Post reported the probe was winding down, with sources saying that “Huber has largely finished and found nothing worth pursuing.”
January 2018: Trump contradicts his administration’s position after a Fox segment, causing chaos at the Capitol. Fox & Friends was covering a House vote scheduled for that day to renew a portion of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act -- a move supported by the White House – when Napolitano commented, “I don’t understand why Donald Trump is in favor of this,” again alleging that Trump had been surveilled. He then turned to the camera and said, “Mr. President, this is not the way to go.” Roughly 45 minutes later, Trump sent a tweet criticizing FISA on the same grounds, triggering chaos on Capitol Hill and throwing into question whether Republicans would vote for the bill. Trump was ultimately convinced to walk back his initial tweet, and the legislation passed.
May 2018: Trade war with China resumes due to Fox criticism. Fox hosts Lou Dobbs and Brian Kilmeade criticized then-Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin for announcing the end of the trade war with China, and then, “on the basis of those media messages, the president made an abrupt change in policy,” The Washington Post reported.
August 2018: Trump tweet prompted by Fox segment is condemned by South Africa’s government. Shortly after Carlson’s show promoted false white nationalist talking points by claiming that South Africa’s government is “is now seizing land from white farmers,” Trump highlighted the segment on Twitter and said he was asking Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to review the situation. The State Department’s spokesperson subsequently confirmed the pair had discussed the issue. South Africa’s government condemned Trump’s statement, criticizing “this narrow perception which only seeks to divide our nation and reminds us of our colonial past.”
October 2018: Caravan coverage becomes Trump campaign fixation, triggers immigration policy changes. In the closing weeks of the 2018 midterms, Trump’s live tweets turned Fox’s obsessive, fearmongering coverage of a caravan of migrants approaching the U.S. border from Central America into a key election issue. After the election, his administration initiated harsh and potentially illegal policies to curtail that flow of asylum-seekers.
November 2018: Fox gets the change at the Justice Department it sought. After the 2018 midterm election, Trump finally took the advice of his Fox supporters and got rid of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. His replacement, William Barr, had bought into the conspiracy theories of Hannity and his ilk, and he used lies to help stymie special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. He then pushed for Fox’s long-sought criminal investigation into the onset of that inquiry.
December 2018: The Fox government shutdown. In December 2018, Fox personalities goaded Trump into partially shutting down the federal government over funding for his border wall and then keeping it shuttered for a record 35 days. The president spent much of the shutdown watching and tweeting reactions to Fox and seeking advice on negotiation strategy from Dobbs and Hannity.
2019: Trump’s Ukraine scandal is a Fox story. Fox (and Hannity in particular) played a key role in virtually every aspect of the Ukraine abuse of power scandal that led to Trump’s first impeachment in 2019, from stoking Trump’s rage toward that country, to supercharging the corrupt anti-Biden disinformation campaign, to providing the talking points the president and his supporters used to respond, to staffing Trump’s Senate defense team.
February 2019: Trump takes Fox’s advice and declares a national emergency for wall funding. Shortly after he signed the compromise funding legislation ending the shutdown, Trump sided with Fox hosts over Republican congressional leaders and set off a legal fight by declaring a national emergency to divert additional funding to the border wall. During a press conference, Trump responded to a question about how “outside conservative voices” helped to shape his view on the issue by pointing to Hannity, Ingraham, and Carlson.
Spring 2019: Fox powers Trump’s response to the Mueller report. Trump sought to shape the debate over the findings of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election by promoting Fox commentary. Between the release of Barr’s deceptive March 24, 2019, letter summarizing Mueller’s report and April 29, 2019, Trump referenced Fox News or Fox Business in some way in 43 of the 100 tweets he sent about the probe.
March 2019: In an apparent response to Fox, Trump threatens to close the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump tweeted that “if Mexico doesn’t immediately stop ALL illegal immigration coming into the United States,” he would be “CLOSING… the Border, or large sections of the Border, next week.” The night before, Dobbs and his guests urged the president to do just that, as did radio host Rush Limbaugh during a Hannity appearance. Ultimately, Trump did not close the border.
April 2019: Dobbs pushes out the Homeland Security secretary. Kirstjen Nielsen, Trump’s Department of Homeland Security secretary and the face of his cruelest immigration policies, resigned after she had reportedly “run afoul” of Lou Dobbs. On his show and in private conversations with the president, Dobbs “had repeatedly counseled Trump to ditch Nielsen” due to what he viewed as her soft handling of border issues, which Trump allies said had “made her position untenable in the administration.” Before giving her the boot, Trump reportedly “regularly called Nielsen after watching” Dobbs’ show to complain about her performance, while Nielsen often complained that what Dobbs was telling the president she should do was illegal.
June 2019: Trump calls off missile strikes in response to a Fox monologue. Trump claimed to have called off missile strikes on three Iranian sites with minutes to spare. Trump was reportedly responding at least in part to Carlson’s argument, made both on his show and to the president personally, that using force against Iran could spiral into a war that would endanger his reelection.
December 2019: Trump awards a wall-building contract due to a Fox PR campaign. It became common during the Trump years for media consultants to buy ads on Trump’s favorite shows in hopes of reaching him directly. One construction company’s CEO went even further, promoting his firm’s bid to build sections of wall along the U.S.-Mexico border in 11 interviews on Fox programs like Fox & Friends. It worked: the company won $1.7 billion in federal contracts – one in December 2019, one in May 2020 – after Trump reportedly saw the segments and overruled government officials skeptical of the proposal.
November 2019: Navy secretary loses power struggle with Fox host and is forced out of administration. In November 2019, Trump granted clemency to three accused or convicted war criminals, including Eddie Gallagher, following an aggressive on-air and behind-the-scenes lobbying campaign from Pete Hegseth. Defense Secretary Mark Esper asked for and received U.S. Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer’s resignation later that year following a clash over whether Gallagher would be stripped of membership in the Navy SEALs, a move publicly opposed by Hegseth. Spencer’s removal came after a Fox & Friends Weekend segment in which Hegseth interviewed Gallagher and the latter made his case directly to the president -- a broadcast Trump apparently watched.
July 2019: Trump targets Democratic congresswomen with a racist rant after a Fox segment. Roughly 20 minutes after Fox & Friends Weekend aired a segment highlighting Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Trump responded on Twitter with a racist and factually inaccurate screed about the congresswomen. Trump wrote that they should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done.” Trump’s comments triggered a dayslong firestorm that culminated with the crowd at a Trump rally responding to his criticism of Omar, who came to the U.S. as a refugee from Somalia, by chanting, “Send her back!”
July 2019: Angered by Fox segments, Trump demands investigation of Google’s “treason.” In response to misleading and conspiracy-minded Fox coverage of Google, Trump has accused the company of “suppressing voices of Conservatives,” engaging in “illegal” activities, and even committing “treason,” and promised to use federal power to investigate its operations. He held a White House event in July 2019 and issued an executive order in May 2020 over his bias claim. The Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit against the company after Barr overruled career attorneys who sought more time to build the case.
July 2019: A Fox segment provokes Trump’s racist attack on Rep. Cummings of Baltimore. Responding to a Fox & Friends Weekend segment criticizing Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings and his Baltimore, Maryland, district, Trump declared Cummings’ district a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess,” and added, “No human being would want to live there.” Trump’s racist diatribe set off days of controversy.
September 2019: Trump fires his national security adviser after Carlson’s “lobbying.” Trump hired John Bolton as national security adviser in March 2018, reportedly because he was enamored with the longtime Fox contributor’s on-air defenses of his policies. But 18 months later, Bolton was forced out of the administration after Carlson reportedly spent months “lobbying” the president to fire him.
September 2019: The White House reportedly plans a dehumanizing homelessness “crackdown” after a Fox demonization campaign. The Washington Post reported in September 2019 that Trump “has ordered White House officials to conduct a sweeping crackdown on homelessness in California,” possibly including “razing existing tent camps for the homeless” and institutionalizing people experiencing homelessness. Trump’s sudden interest in homelessness followed a monthslong Fox campaign to demonize homeless people, with a particular focus on California.
October 2019: Justice Department launches criminal investigation in pursuit of Fox’s “deep state” conspiracy theories. The New York Times reported in October 2019 that what was initially an administrative review into the Russia probe, led by John H. Durham but closely overseen by Barr, had become a criminal investigation. The Trump campaign credited the probe to Hannity, who was devoted to the sprawling conspiracy theory that “deep state” operatives tried to smear Trump by means of the Russia probe because they wanted him to lose the 2016 election to Hillary Clinton. In October 2020, Barr appointed Durham as a special counsel, ensuring that his investigation would continue into the Biden administration.
January 2020: Trump’s Fox viewing influences his response to Iranian military strike. After the U.S. killed Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, a key figure in Iran’s military and government, and Iran launched a retaliatory strike at a U.S. base, Trump decided not to order a further military escalation. Carlson’s on-air commentary opposing “a new Middle East war” reportedly played a role, as Trump “told people that he had watched Carlson’s show and it had affected his view on the Iran situation.”
February/March 2020: The Fox feedback loop slows the coronavirus response, with lethal results. Fox irresponsibly downplayed the threat of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 in late February and early March of 2020, likely leading to Trump and the rest of the network's audience failing to take the virus seriously during initial weeks that were vital to curbing the spread -- with lethal results. The president briefly changed his tune after Carlson, in a monologue and a personal visit, warned that the virus “could be really bad.”
April 2020: Trump backed the coronavirus “miracle cure” he saw on Fox. After Ingraham and Carlson ran credulous segments touting the untested antimalarial drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine as coronavirus treatments, Trump touted the drugs, leading to weeks of Fox relentlessly promoting them. In response to Fox’s coverage -- and a White House meeting with Ingraham -- Trump reportedly pressured federal agencies to focus on the drugs as potential therapies. The government subsequently owned a massive stockpile of the drugs -- even as the accumulated evidence suggested they were ineffective and the Food and Drug Administration, National Institutes of Health, and World Health Organization all issued cautions regarding their use.
April 2020: “Reopening” the economy on the advice of the Fox Cabinet. Beginning in late March 2020, Fox hosts goaded Trump to focus on ending business closures rather than stopping the virus, and by early April they were claiming on air that the crisis had passed while Ingraham pressed the same argument in the Oval Office. Trump adopted their message, endorsing anti-social distancing protests after seeing a Fox segment on them and celebrating “reopening our country” after the Fox Cabinet insisted that experts were wrong and it was time to do so.
May 2020: Carlson monologue leads to U.S. cutting off funding to World Health Organization. A Carlson monologue in which the host argued against restoring funding to the WHO that Trump had freezed the previous month was reportedly crucial to the president “leaning toward preserving his total funding cut.” Days later, Trump sent a letter to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus threatening to permanently pull all U.S. funding, and in July 2020, the U.S. formally announced it was leaving the WHO.
May-July 2020: Fox helps turn protests against police brutality into quasi-fascistic campaign fodder. In late May 2020, the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor triggered nationwide protests against police brutality and racism. For months, Trump steeped himself in often-misleading Fox coverage from Carlson and others, which focused on virulently denouncing instances of rioting, arson, looting, and other property damage. In response, he abandoned legislative efforts at police reform; delivered a quasi-fascist speech at Mount Rushmore in which he echoed Carlson’s monologues; made that demagogic message the centerpiece of his reelection campaign; and ordered federal law enforcement deployed to U.S. cities.
July 2020: Trump demands termination of HUD rule after Carlson paints it as a plot to “abolish the suburbs.” During the 2020 presidential campaign, Biden pledged to restore an Obama-era rule suspended under Trump which required cities and towns that receive funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to develop plans to reduce neighborhood segregation. On July 9, 2020, Carlson denounced the rule as part of a Democratic plot to “abolish the suburbs.” At a press conference five days later, Trump used identical language and said he had spoken with HUD secretary Ben Carson and they were planning to eliminate “Obama-Biden’s radical AFFH.” Trump repeatedly attacked the rule using racist appeals to white suburbanites, and on July 23, 2020, Carson terminated it.
August 2020: A White House coronavirus adviser is plucked from Fox’s green room. Radiologist and conservative think-tanker Scott Atlas became a White House coronavirus adviser in August 2020 because he reportedly “caught Trump’s attention with a spate of Fox News appearances in recent months” in which he praised the president’s response. In that role, he reportedly urged Trump to allow the virus to spread through the country’s population in order to build “herd immunity,” a strategy public health experts warned would prove ineffective while incurring a staggering death toll.
September 2020: A Fox segment leads to an administration-wide turn against diversity training. After right-wing activist Christopher Rufo condemned the supposed influence of “critical race theory” in “the federal bureaucracy” on Carlson’s show in September 2020, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows reportedly called Rufo and asked him to share his findings, explaining that Trump had watched the segment. Trump’s “administration soon echoed many of his points and began pushing to limit diversity training within the government, federal contractors and grant recipients,” including with an executive order from the president himself, The Wall Street Journal reported.
November 2020-January 2021: The Fox News coup. The Fox-Trump feedback loop fueled Trump’s plot to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Fox cast doubt on or pushed conspiracy theories about the election results nearly 600 times over the nine days after the network declared Biden had won, and Trump himself repeatedly promoted the network’s election fraud lies on social media, apparently after watching his favorite shows. Fox’s increasingly unhinged lies helped convince its audience Biden didn’t actually win, paving the way for the January 6, 2021, insurrection in which Trumpists sacked the U.S. Capitol in an effort to stop the peaceful transition of power.
After Trump, Fox retains its hold on GOP policy and politics: 9 major examples
Once Trump left office, Fox effectively became the single most powerful force in the Republican Party, wielding outsized influence on its leaders, policy positions, and fixations.
Fox runs an extremely effective campaign against COVID-19 vaccination. For more than a year, Fox’s biggest stars have waged a nightly sabotage campaign against the effort to vaccinate Americans against COVID-19. Led by Tucker Carlson, they and their guests regularly suggest the vaccines may not work, stoke baseless fears about their safety, use incendiary rhetoric about their deployment, and denounced door-to-door campaigns to urge residents to get vaccinated as akin to the tactics of the Gestapo. Many of its viewers came to believe the network’s misinformation about the vaccines and refused to take the life-saving shots. Many GOP politicians followed its lead in expressing skepticism about vaccination, and deaths soared in heavily Republican parts of the country.
Fox helps Republicans whitewash Jan. 6 insurrection and lay groundwork for future election theft. After the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trumpists bent on overturning the election because of Trump’s fraud lies, Fox hosts responded by validating the concerns of the rioters, downplaying Trump’s culpability, working to keep Republicans in line and purge dissenters, creating an alternate reality in which the perpetrators were actually persecuted victims of Biden and the Justice Department, and continuing to raise questions about the validity of the 2020 election results. This appears to be having an impact – polls show that Republicans overwhelmingly believe the election was stolen, while the party’s dominant faction continues to lie about the election results and the insurrection provoked by those lies and those who oppose those lies are being removed from power. It’s easy to imagine Fox teaming up with GOP leaders to try the 2020 playbook all over again if the party’s nominee loses at the ballot box.
Fox plays a key role in developing and promoting GOP “critical race theory” strategy. Fox helped popularize the right’s effort to toxify “critical race theory” for political gain, mentioning the term more than 1,900 times over a period of three and a half months in 2021, and portraying the legal theory as a “civilization-ending poison” that could lead to the genocide of white Americans. This fixation created incentives for GOP candidates and officeholders, who began highlighting it as a core part of their political strategy for future elections and introducing, passing legislation banning “critical race theory” in public schools, or otherwise taking steps to curtail its supposed spread in dozens of states.
Fox becomes a critical player in Virginia’s gubernatorial election. Republican businessman Glenn Youngkin became the GOP nominee after his skill in exploiting phony Fox narratives earned him critical support from Tucker Carlson. His fixation on the supposed influence of “critical race theory” in the state aligned with Fox’s obsessive local coverage, turning it into a major issue in the general election, which Youngkin won, turning him into a plausible future presidential candidate.
With Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law, Republicans weaponize their Fox base against teachers. By passing Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law, state Republicans effectively deputized the most Fox-News-addicted members of the party’s base to act on frenzied smears that LGBTQ teachers are “grooming” children that are common on the network. These extremists may soon be unleashed across the country in response to similar legislation in the works in other red states.
The 2024 Fox primary begins in earnest. Over the first eight months of 2021, Media Matters identified 498 Fox weekday appearances by 18 potential GOP presidential candidates -- nearly three interviews each day. Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) had the most, with 113 interviews, while Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis emerged as a possible compromise candidate. By contrast, that group combined for a total of 12 appearances on weekday CNN and MSNBC, almost all of which were made by the less serious contenders in the group.
Republicans rip “working class” agenda from Fox culture war monologues. Following Trump’s 2020 defeat, Republican leaders circulated a memo by Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) promoting a “working class” agenda that largely amounted to rehashed Fox culture war salvoes against “Big Tech” and “wokeness” (Tucker Carlson’s son is Banks’ communications director).
A Fox contributor is helping author the GOP’s 2022 campaign platform. Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker and longtime Fox contributor, is reportedly helping Trump and McCarthy assemble the campaign platform Republican candidates for the House will promote during the 2022 midterm elections.
Foxers rally around Sen. Rick Scott’s (R-FL) radical GOP blueprint. Fox personalities have championed Scott’s 11 Point Plan to Rescue America, complicating Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) attempts to shut it down. Hannity, Ingraham, Gingrich, Kudlow, and Fox contributor Ben Domenech have all endorsed or praised Scott’s proposal, which would raise taxes on half of Americans, put Social Security and Medicare at risk, and turn Fox culture war attacks into federal law.
The Fox Cabinet: 8 Trump advisers and 68 examples of their relationship
As president, Trump’s worldview was shaped by the hours of Fox he watched each day — but he also consulted privately with an array of the network’s personalities, treating them as trusted political and policy advisers. Here are eight members of his Fox Cabinet, and examples of the influence each of them wielded off the air.
Rupert Murdoch, Fox News founder and Fox Corp. chairman
- Murdoch and Trump spoke by phone “at least once a week” after he became president, The New York Times reported in December 2017.
- Murdoch’s counsel included “urging the president to stop tweeting and advising him to improve his relationship with Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson.”
- Murdoch also spoke weekly with Jared Kushner, Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law.
- Trump called Murdoch to confirm that Fox News’ ownership would not be affected by Murdoch’s sale of parts of his company to the Walt Disney Company.
- Trump and his White House both publicly expressed support for the megadeal.
- The deal sailed through Justice Department scrutiny, making Murdoch’s family roughly $16 billion.
- The similar AT&T-Time Warner deal, involving Fox competitor CNN, was held up for years when the Justice Department sued to prevent it, the first time in 40 years that had happened.
- While the DOJ scrutinized that merger, AT&T’s CEO reportedly received an unsolicited pitch from Murdoch to buy CNN “to get the deal done,” perhaps to “neuter [CNN] to curry favor with the president.”
- The Federal Communications Commission blocked a deal for the right-wing Sinclair Broadcast Group to buy Tribune Media, which would have created “an instant competitor to Fox News,” shortly after Kushner met with the FCC’s chairman.
Sean Hannity, Fox News prime-time host
- Hannity endorsed Trump in a promotional video for his 2016 campaign.
- He “is so close to Trump that some White House aides have dubbed him the unofficial chief of staff,” The Washington Post reported in 2018.
- The Post reported that “Trump is known to cite Hannity when he talks with White House advisers.”
- Hannity reportedly spoke with Trump “most weeknights” in phone calls in which the Fox host would advise the president about politics and policy and the president would weigh in on the Fox host’s show.
- Hannity reportedly “strategized with the Trumps about how to keep” news of Donald Trump Jr.’s Trump Tower meeting with Russians offering “dirt” about Hillary Clinton “from coming out, and what to say if it did.”
- Hannity convinced Trump in a phone call to back off a September 2017 deal with Democrats that would have granted legal status to the “Dreamers.”
- He was revealed as a secret client of Trump’s longtime lawyer Michael Cohen in April 2018, a fact the Fox host had not disclosed in his commentary on Cohen’s case.
- He appeared on stage and spoke at a Trump political rally on the eve of the 2018 midterm elections.
- He convinced Trump to hire his longtime friend and former producer Bill Shine as White House deputy communications director.
- After shutting down the government in December 2018, Trump sought strategic advice from Hannity.
- According to a pool report chronicling Trump’s January 2019 border tour: “Sean Hannity has special access here. He huddled with Bill Shine and [Homeland Security] Secretary [Kirstjen] Nielsen and is following along on Trump’s tour, only standing with the staff and federal officials as opposed to the press corps.”
- Hannity was a central figure in the Ukraine disinformation plot that triggered Trump’s impeachment by the House of Representatives.
- Hannity regularly served as a mouthpiece for Trump, who attributed his statements to “sources.” In January 2020, Trump “briefed” a vacationing Hannity on the U.S. airstrike which killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, who then “called in to his own show to recite what Trump had told him.”
- Text messages revealed in January 2020 showed that Hannity had served as a back channel between Trump and his associates under investigation during special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.
- He reportedly scripted an ad for Trump’s reelection campaign which was produced but aired only once, on his Fox program.
- Hannity sought, received, and carried out marching orders from the Trump White House on what to say on Election Day 2020, text messages with then-chief of staff Mark Meadows reveal.
- Hannity repeatedly texted Meadows in the lead-up to January 6, 2021, warning him about potential political fallout from Trump’s actions.
- Hannity texted Meadows during the January 6, 2021, insurrection, urging Trump to make a statement asking his supporters to leave the Capitol.
- Hannity texted with White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany after the insurrection, providing what McEnany called a “playbook” for how to manage Trump and prevent more “stolen election talk.”
- In January 10, 2021, texts with Meadows and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Hannity said, “We have a clear path to land the plane in 9 days,” and detailed a recent call with Trump.
Tucker Carlson, Fox News prime-time host
- According to CNN’s Brian Stelter, “Unlike Hannity, Carlson never initiated calls to POTUS, but when the White House switchboard called, he answered.”
- Trump reportedly consulted with Carlson while considering a missile strike against Iran in June 2019.
- That same month, Carlson accompanied Trump to the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea in his national security adviser’s stead.
- “For months, the Fox News Channel host Tucker Carlson had been lobbying President Donald Trump to fire John Bolton,” including by portraying him as a leaker, Politico reported in September 2019 after Bolton left the administration.
- Carlson used a personal meeting with Trump in March 2020 to encourage him to take the coronavirus pandemic more seriously.
Laura Ingraham, Fox News prime-time host
- Ingraham spoke at the 2016 Republican National Convention, calling Trump “the solution” and urging his election.
- She reportedly participated in Trump’s debate prep sessions during the general election campaign.
- Her close relationship with Republican lawyer Pat Cipollone was reportedly “instrumental” in his selection as Trump’s White House counsel.
- She was reportedly under consideration for White House press secretary during the presidential transition, but the role went to Sean Spicer.
- White House officials reportedly reached out to her again to replace Spicer in 2017, but she was not interested.
- In April 2020, Ingraham and two doctors who regularly appear on her show went to the White House to brief Trump and FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn on the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat the coronavirus.
- During a second meeting with the president in the Oval Office, Ingraham advised Trump “that the country needed to reopen and argued for limits on contact tracing.”
- During the January 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters, Ingraham texted White House chief of staff Mark Meadows that “the president needs to tell people in the Capitol to go home,” adding, “This is hurting all of us. He is destroying his legacy.”
Lou Dobbs, Fox Business host
- “During the first year of the Trump era, the president has patched in Dobbs via speakerphone to multiple meetings in the Oval Office so that he could offer his two cents,” The Daily Beast reported.
- “Close associates of both Trump and Dobbs say they speak off-air often — as frequently as every day some weeks,” The Washington Post reported.
- After shutting down the government in December 2018, Trump sought strategic advice from Dobbs.
- Trump called Dobbs and put him on speakerphone to participate in a March 2019 meeting of the Council of Economic Advisers on the state of the U.S. economy.
- Dobbs used both private conversations with Trump and his show to urge the firing of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who was pushed out in April 2019.
- Dobbs reportedly used “the same mix of public and private pressure” to get Trump to force out Attorney General Jeff Sessions, which he did in November 2018.
- “Former Trump chief of staff John F. Kelly told others in the White House that Dobbs’s show was critical to understanding the president and that Trump’s ideas and feelings about people often originated from that program,” The Washington Post reported.
Pete Hegseth, Fox News host
- Hegseth reportedly met with Trump multiple times to discuss the possibility of being named secretary of veterans affairs following Trump’s 2016 election.
- Hegseth reportedly “has been a confidant of Trump’s, who watches his Fox News show and frequently calls him to discuss veterans’ policy.”
- Trump reportedly called Hegseth during a 2018 Oval Office meeting with Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin to get Hegseth’s views on legislation to reform the VA.
- Trump reportedly considered Hegseth to replace Shulkin as veterans affairs secretary.
- Trump pardoned four former contractors for the Blackwater mercenary company for crimes incurred during a 2007 massacre of Iraqi civilians after Hegseth reportedly spoke with him on their behalf.
- Trump pardoned Mathew Golsteyn and Clint Lorance and cleared Eddie Gallagher, all of whom had been accused or convicted of war crimes, after Hegseth aggressively lobbied him on their behalf.
- U.S. Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer was forced out of the Trump administration after losing a power struggle with Hegseth over Gallagher’s fate.
Jeanine Pirro, Fox News host
- The New York Times reported in November 2017 that Pirro had once interviewed to be Trump’s deputy attorney general.
- The Times further reported that she had met with Trump in the Oval Office to “excoriate” Attorney General Jeff Sessions and urge an investigation of Hillary Clinton.
- She reportedly told Trump’s advisers she was interested in replacing Sessions.
- Trump reportedly regularly consults Pirro “privately for advice on political and policy matters.”
- She said in 2018 that she speaks to Trump “quite often.”
- She reportedly discussed with Trump the possibility of writing a rebuttal book to Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury.
- She appeared on stage and spoke at a Trump political rally on the eve of the 2018 midterm elections.
- White House officials reportedly “rotate going on Pirro’s show because they know Trump will be watching” and will be more responsive to their advice if he sees it on TV.
- Pirro sought and received a presidential pardon for her ex-husband, Albert Pirro Jr.
Karl Rove, Fox News contributor
- Rove began advising then-Trump reelection campaign manager Brad Pascale after the 2018 midterms, a fact generally not disclosed during Rove’s Fox appearances.
- He reportedly met with Trump to advise him about his reelection campaign.
- His work on Trump’s bid reportedly involved the campaign’s battleground swing-state strategy.
The Fox-GOP revolving door: 64 cases
Trump stocked his administration and legal team with people who impressed him while they were making appearances on Fox. Cabinet secretaries overseeing federal departments, senior White House aides advising the president on crucial issues, and U.S. ambassadors representing the country abroad, among others, all worked for the network before joining Trump’s administration. Fox and its parent company also hired numerous members of his administration, both during his presidency and after he left office.
Fox employees subsequently hired by the Trump administration: 20
John Bolton, national security adviser. A hawkish Bush administration official, Bolton caught Trump’s attention as a Fox contributor and the network’s go-to voice for national security stories since joining it in 2006. Bolton served as Trump’s national security adviser from March 2018 to September 2019.
Scott Brown, U.S. ambassador. Brown had two stints as a Fox contributor between runs for the U.S. Senate, then became Trump’s ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa.
Ben Carson, cabinet secretary. Carson, who spent roughly a year as a Fox contributor between 2013 and 2014, became Trump’s secretary of housing and urban development.
Elaine Chao, cabinet secretary. Chao, who spent time as a Fox contributor and a board member of Fox’s then-parent company, served as Trump’s secretary of transportation.
Monica Crowley, Treasury Department assistant secretary for public affairs. Crowley, a C-list conservative commentator who spent two decades as a Fox contributor, was appointed to a Treasury post.
Lea Gabrielle, State Department special envoy. The State Department named Gabrielle, a former Fox News reporter, as special envoy and coordinator of the State Department’s Global Engagement Center, an agency that counters foreign propaganda and disinformation.
Sebastian Gorka, deputy assistant to the president. Gorka, a bombastic, self-proclaimed national security “expert” with dubious credentials, made frequent appearances on Fox News during the 2016 presidential campaign and was briefly hired by the network before decamping for the Trump White House. His job was largely to go on television to support the president and he was canned in August 2017.
Richard Grenell, presidential envoy, acting director of national intelligence, and U.S. ambassador. After nine years as a Fox contributor, Grenell became Trump’s ambassador to Germany, special presidential envoy for Serbia and Kosovo peace negotiations, and acting director of national intelligence (a cabinet-level position overseeing 17 U.S. intelligence agencies).
Hope Hicks, counselor to the president. Following stints on Trump’s campaign and in his White House, Hicks became executive vice president and chief communications officer of Fox Corp., Fox News’ parent company. She later returned to the White House as a counselor to the president.
Kayleigh McEnany, White House press secretary. McEnany spent three years as a production assistant for Mike Huckabee’s Fox show, then joined CNN during the 2016 election cycle to serve as one of the network’s full-time Trump surrogates. She later worked for the Republican National Committee and then Trump’s reelection campaign before being named White House press secretary in April 2020.
John McEntee, head of the White House Presidential Personnel Office. McEntee went from working as a Fox production assistant to serving as Trump’s personal aide during the campaign and in the White House, and he later became head of the Presidential Personnel Office.
K.T. McFarland, deputy national security adviser. McFarland, a longtime Fox national security analyst, served briefly as deputy national security adviser under Michael Flynn and was unsuccessfully nominated to be U.S. ambassador to Singapore.
Georgette Mosbacher, U.S. ambassador. Mosbacher, a Republican businesswoman and donor, longtime Trump friend, and Fox News contributor, became U.S. ambassador to Poland.
Morgan Ortagus, State Department spokesperson. After working in the Bush and Obama administrations, Ortagus became a Fox contributor, then was named State Department spokesperson in April 2019.
Heather Nauert, acting undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs. Nauert worked at Fox from 1998-2005 and 2007-2017 in a variety of roles. In 2017, she left her position reading headlines as a news anchor on Fox & Friends to become spokesperson for the State Department. She was later named acting undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs and then nominated unsuccessfully as U.S. ambassador to the U.N.
Tony Sayegh, former White House and Treasury communications staff. Sayegh, a former Republican communications consultant and Fox contributor, served in senior communications roles in the Treasury Department and White House.
Anthony Scaramucci, White House communications director. Scaramucci, a hedge fund mogul and a former Fox Business contributor and host, spent 10 days as White House communications director in 2017 before his proclivity for giving expletive-laced interviews and publicly feuding with other White House staffers triggered his removal.
Mercedes Schlapp, White House director of strategic communications. Before joining the White House in September 2017, Schlapp was a Republican political consultant and a Fox News contributor. In July 2019, she left the White House for Trump’s reelection campaign.
Bill Shine, White House deputy chief of staff for communications. Shine, a close friend of Hannity’s who once produced his show, rose through the executive ranks at Fox News, eventually becoming Fox co-president. He resigned from Fox in May 2017 and Trump hired him – reportedly, at Hannity’s urging – as assistant to the president and deputy chief of staff for communications. Shine left the White House for a role on Trump’s reelection campaign in March 2019.
Kiron Skinner, State Department director of policy planning. Skinner, a professor of international relations at Carnegie Mellon University who served as a Trump surrogate, joined Fox as a contributor in October 2017. In August 2018, Pompeo selected her to serve as the department’s director of policy planning.
Other Trump administration officials hired for their Fox commentary: 3
Mark Meadows, White House chief of staff. Trump reportedly hired Meadows, a Republican congressman from North Carolina, as his fourth chief of staff after “developing an appreciation of Meadows’s appearances on cable television,” interviews which “cemented his relationship with Mr. Trump." Those appearances overwhelmingly came on Fox, and particularly on Hannity.
Anthony Tata, undersecretary of defense for policy. Reporting on retired Gen. Tata’s appointment, Politico described him as a “Fox News regular” who had “been featured in Trump tweets for lauding the president on Fox News.”
Douglas Macgregor, senior adviser to the acting defense secretary. On the strength of his frequent appearances on Tucker Carlson Tonight and other Fox shows, Trump considered Macgregor for several senior roles and nominated him as U.S. ambassador to Germany before he was eventually hired for a senior Defense Department position in November 2020.
Trump hired his personal legal team from Fox’s green room: 7
Jay Sekulow. A longtime fixture of right-wing media, particularly Hannity’s Fox and radio programs, Sekulow joined Trump’s personal legal team in June 2017. He was reportedly hired because “Trump thinks Sekulow does a good job defending him on TV.”
Joseph diGenova and Victoria Toensing. The married Republican lawyers were regulars on Fox for years. In March 2018, Trump’s legal team announced that the pair were joining, but they ultimately did not amid reports of conflicts of interest with other clients.
Pam Bondi, Alan Dershowitz, Robert Ray, and Ken Starr. The quartet of lawyers made at least 365 weekday appearances on Fox combined – usually to defend Trump from various allegations – from January 2019 to January 17, 2020, when they joined Trump’s legal team for his first impeachment.
Members of Trump’s orbit and administration subsequently hired by Fox: 16
David Bossie, Fox News contributor. Bossie was Trump’s deputy campaign manager in 2016 and was hired by Fox as an on-air contributor in February 2017.
Sebastian Gorka, Fox News contributor. After being fired by the White House, Gorka returned to Fox News as a full-fledged contributor. He left the network in March 2019 for other right-wing media gigs.
Hope Hicks, executive vice president at Fox Corp. Following stints on Trump’s campaign and in his White House, Hicks became executive vice president and chief communications officer of Fox Corp., Fox News’ parent company. She subsequently returned to the White House.
Tom Homan, Fox News contributor. Homan served as acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement from January 2017 until his retirement in June 2018, after which he joined Fox as a contributor.
Kelsey Koberg, Fox News Digital editor. A Republican communications operative, Koberg worked as a press secretary for the Export-Import Bank of the United States during the Trump administration. She subsequently became an editor for Fox News Digital.
Larry Kudlow, Fox Business host. Kudlow, who served as director of Trump’s National Economic Council, subsequently joined Fox Business Network as the host of his self-named afternoon show.
Kerri Kupec, Fox News Washington editor. Kupec, who served in senior communications roles under Attorney General William Barr, subsequently became Fox’s Washington editor, a position in which the network said she would “participate in story selection.”
Kelly Laco, Fox News Digital politics editor. Laco worked as a spokesperson in the Office of Public Affairs for the Trump Department of Justice. She joined Fox in 2021 and is now a politics editor for Fox News Digital.
Kayleigh McEnany, Fox News host. McEnany, Trump’s final White House press secretary, joined Fox as a contributor in March 2021, and the following month she debuted as a co-host of the panel show Outnumbered.
Mike Pompeo, Fox News contributor. Pompeo served in the Trump administration as director of the CIA and secretary of state the following year. He was hired as a Fox contributor in April 2021.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Fox News contributor. Sanders served as Trump’s deputy White House press secretary and then White House press secretary until June 2019. She joined Fox as a contributor in August 2019, leaving to run for governor of Arkansas in 2021.
Raj Shah, senior vice president at Fox Corp. Shah served as White House principal deputy press secretary before leaving the administration in January 2019. In July 2019, he joined Fox Corp. as a senior vice president.
Kiron Skinner, Fox News contributor. After a year as the State Department’s director of policy planning, Skinner was fired, reportedly for poor management practices and “abusive” workplace behavior that included making anti-gay remarks, and subsequently rejoined Fox as a contributor.
Abigail Slater, senior vice president for policy and strategy at Fox Corp. Slater joined the White House in February 2018 as special assistant to the president for technology, telecommunications, and cybersecurity. In April 2019, she left the administration to lead Fox Corp.’s federal policy team.
David Trulio, Fox News Digital managing editor and head of strategy. Trulio had senior roles at the Export-Import Bank of the United States and Defense Department under Trump. In February 2021, he was named managing editor and head of strategy for Fox News Digital.
Lara Trump, Fox News contributor. Lara Trump is married to Donald Trump’s son Eric and was a senior adviser to Donald Trump’s presidential reelection campaign, then joined Fox as a paid contributor in March 2021.
Other current Fox employees with GOP ties: 18
Fox employs an array of hosts, anchors, contributors, and analysts who previously worked for GOP campaigns and presidential administrations or ran for or served in office as Republicans.
Bill Bennett, Fox News contributor. Bennett served in the administrations of Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush before joining Fox in 2017.
Dan Bongino, Fox News host. Bongino lost several congressional campaigns in multiple states as a Republican before joining Fox as a contributor, and now hosts a Fox weekend show and a Fox Nation program.
Gianno Caldwell, Fox News contributor. Caldwell, who worked for a local GOP party and on Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, joined Fox in 2017.
Ben Domenech, Fox News contributor. Domenech worked as a speechwriter in President George W. Bush’s administration and for a Republican senator, and joined Fox in 2021.
Sean Duffy, Fox News contributor. Duffy served as a Republican congressman and joined Fox in 2020.
Newt Gingrich, Fox News contributor. Gingrich, a Republican former U.S. congressman from Georgia who served as speaker of the House in the 1990s and ran for president in 2012, is a longtime Fox contributor.
Trey Gowdy, Fox News host. Fox’s obsessive Benghazi coverage helped launch Gowdy, a South Carolina congressman, to prominence as the head of the select committee established to investigate it. He resigned in 2018, becoming a Fox contributor a few days later, and in 2021 became the host of Sunday Night in America with Trey Gowdy.
Ari Fleischer, Fox News contributor. Fleischer served as White House press secretary under President George W. Bush and joined Fox in 2017.
Caitlyn Jenner, Fox News contributor. Jenner ran for governor of California as a Republican before joining Fox in 2022.
Dana Perino, Fox News host. Perino, who served as White House press secretary under President George W. Bush, co-anchors America’s Newsroom, Fox’s morning “straight news” program and is a co-host of The Five, its afternoon “opinion” panel program.
Jeanine Pirro, Fox News co-host. Pirro briefly ran for U.S. Senate against Hillary Clinton in 2006 before dropping out to run for attorney general of New York state. After losing that election she became a Fox contributor, and she currently co-hosts The Five.
Ed Rollins, Fox News political analyst. Rollins is a veteran Republican political consultant who worked for an array of the party’s campaigns and administrations, including as deputy White House chief of staff under Reagan. He joined Fox in 2011.
Karl Rove, Fox News contributor. Rove, a Republican political consultant who worked on George W. Bush’s presidential campaigns and served as his deputy White House chief of staff, has provided political analysis for Fox since 2008.
Paul Ryan, Fox parent company board member. Ryan, a Fox favorite as a Republican member of Congress who became House speaker, was appointed to the board of directors of Fox Corp. in 2019.
Mark Thiessen, Fox News contributor. Thiessen previously served as chief speechwriter to George W. Bush and to his defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld.
Fox personalities admit Fox is bigoted propaganda: 13 on-the-record employees plus 32 anonymous quotes
Fox News veterans regularly leave the network and then tell friends or the public that their former employer is a right-wing propaganda outlet. Fox employees have repeatedly responded to the network’s embarrassing coverage and ethical failings by anonymously leaking their displeasure to media reporters at other news outlets.
Former parent company executive James Murdoch: Fox acts to “legitimize disinformation.” The son of network founder Rupert Murdoch and a longtime executive at its parent companies, James Murdoch resigned from his seat on News Corp’s board of directors in June 2020, citing in part his “disagreements over certain editorial content published by the Company’s news outlets.” He later suggested Fox was acting to “legitimize disinformation,” “sow doubt,” and “obscure fact.”
Former anchor Chris Wallace: Fox commentators “start[ed] to question the truth” in ways that were “unsustainable.” Wallace, the longtime anchor of Fox News Sunday, told The New York Times in March 2022 after leaving for CNN: “I’m fine with opinion: conservative opinion, liberal opinion. But when people start to question the truth — Who won the 2020 election? Was Jan. 6 an insurrection? — I found that unsustainable.”
Former anchor Shepard Smith: “I don't know how some people [at Fox] sleep at night” given their lies. Smith, a longtime Fox anchor, abruptly resigned in 2019 and told CNN after joining CNBC “that his presence on Fox became untenable as opinion shows on the network spread falsehoods that hosts knew were lies,” and quoted him saying of his former colleagues, “I don't know how some people sleep at night.”
Former chief political correspondent Carl Cameron: Fox’s “right-wing hosts drowned out straight journalism with partisan misinformation.” Cameron, who spent two decades at Fox before resigning in 2017, said two years later: “I was one of Fox’s first hires. The idea of fair and balanced news appealed to me. But over the years, the right-wing hosts drowned out straight journalism with partisan misinformation. I left.”
Former host Gretchen Carlson: Fox “allowed” Trump “to dictate what news they put out.” Gretchen Carlson worked at Fox for more than a decade until 2016, when she filed the sexual harassment lawsuit that ultimately brought down Roger Ailes. She later said that after Ailes left, Fox “allowed [Trump] to dictate what news they put out to the American people.”
Former strategic analyst Ralph Peters: Fox is a “propaganda machine” that is “wittingly harming our system of government for profit.” In a blistering March 2018 email to his Fox colleagues, Peters said he was not renewing his contract after nine years because the network “is assaulting our constitutional order and the rule of law, while fostering corrosive and unjustified paranoia among viewers” and has become “a mere propaganda machine for a destructive and ethically ruinous administration.”
Former political editor Chris Stirewalt: Under Trump, Fox became “an arm of a political party.” Stirewalt, a network veteran who was fired over his role in the network correctly calling Arizona’s 2020 race for Joe Biden, said that the “conduct for the opinion hosts went way down” during the Trump administration, adding, “It's bad for business, it’s bad for the country, it’s bad for everything when you become an arm of a political party.”
Former contributor Bill Kristol: Fox is now “just propaganda.” Kristol, a Fox contributor from 2002 to 2012, told The New Yorker in 2019 that Fox has “changed a lot. Before, it was conservative, but it wasn’t crazy. Now it’s just propaganda.”
Former contributors Jonah Goldberg and Stephen Hayes: “The voices of the responsible are being drowned out by the irresponsible.” Goldberg and Hayes, who had been Fox contributors since 2009, quit in 2021 in response to Carlson’s Patriot Purge special. They explained to their readers at the conservative outlet The Dispatch that “the voices of the responsible are being drowned out by the irresponsible” at the network, who are producing “misinformation” that is “dangerous.”
Former foreign correspondent Conor Powell: “I didn’t get into journalism to have coworkers defend neo-Nazis and white supremacists.” Powell left Fox in 2018 after nine years, with a friend of his explaining, “Conor was growing increasingly embarrassed by the channel, by the positions, by the relentless blind defense of Trump.” CNN’s Brian Stelter later reported that Fox’s noxious coverage of the deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, was a “tipping point,” and that Powell had told his wife, “I didn’t get into journalism to have coworkers defend neo-Nazis and white supremacists.”
Former co-host Clayton Morris left “in protest” of Fox’s Charlottesville coverage. Stelter reported that Morris “felt queasy going on the air going on the air the morning after the riot and listening to pro-Trump commentators try to rationalize what had happened.” Three weeks later, Morris quit “in protest” with two years remaining on his contract.
Former correspondent Adam Housley left after becoming “unhappy with the [pro-Trump] tone of the conversation.” Housley left Fox in 2018 after 17 years at the network, reportedly because he was “unhappy with the tone of the conversation of the channel” as the network became more Trump-centric.
Fox staffers told CNN that the network’s coverage of Mueller indictments was “absurd” and “laughable.” In October 2017, following the revelation that a grand jury had indicted two top Trump campaign staffers as part of Mueller’s probe, Fox seemingly devoted less airtime to the revelations than the other networks and repeatedly questioned the special counsel’s credibility. Fox staffers commented anonymously on the situation, telling CNN:
- “I’m watching now and screaming. … I want to quit.”
- “It is another blow to journalists at Fox who come in every day wanting to cover the news in a fair and objective way. … Fox feels like an extension of the Trump White House.”
- “This kind of coverage does the viewer a huge disservice and further divides the country.”
- "That segment on Outnumbered [questioning Mueller's integrity] was absurd and deserves all the scorn it can get.” It was “laughable” seeing hosts Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham “tripping over themselves saying [Mueller's team has] found nothing thus far.”
- “It's an embarrassment. Frankly, there are shows on our network that are backing the President at all costs, and it's that short term strategy that undermines the good work being done by others.”
Fox employees tell CNN they are “disgusted” by the network's Seth Rich coverage. In May 2017, after Fox published and promoted a story that amplified the conspiracy theory that murdered Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich, and not the Russians, had provided the Democratic National Committee emails published by WikiLeaks, Fox staffers denounced the situation to CNN’s Darcy. Quotes from Fox sources included:
- “I'm disgusted by it. ... It hurts those of us who are legitimately focused on journalism. We have a chance to turn the corner at Fox, and perpetuating this conspiracy theory damages our integrity.”
- “It is disappointing because it drags the rest of us down.”
- Hannity is still talking about the Rich story because he wants to “distract from any and all Trump scandals.”
Network staffers slam Hannity’s Seth Rich conspiracy theories to The Daily Beast for “embarrassing” Fox. The Daily Beast spoke to “nearly a dozen reporters, pundits, and hosts inside Fox News who all conveyed the same sentiment: Hannity is ‘embarrassing’ the network, and the promotion of the Rich conspiracy theory is senselessly cruel to a grieving family.” According to the report, “Several of the network’s opinion pundits expressed disgust at the conspiracy theorizing, using words like ‘absurd’ and ‘unhinged’ to describe Hannity’s antics.” Other quotes from Fox sources included:
- “ARE WE STILL AIRING THAT SHIT?!”
- “The other reporters I’ve talked to [about this] are similarly pissed about the whole thing. … Some find it embarrassing, others downright heartless [to spread this]. ... It’s just gross.”
- “I mean, have you seen some of the stuff we put on air?”
Fox staffers on retracted Rich report: “People need to start getting canned,” but no one is held accountable at Fox. Fox retracted its initial Rich report and promised to conduct an investigation into what went wrong. More than two months later, Fox staffers spoke to CNN about the network’s lack of transparency. Quotes from Fox sources included:
- “People are talking about it. Frankly, there's confusion over it.”
- “This is like a huge question mark internally. This is a giant mystery.”
- “People need to start getting canned over the [Seth Rich] thing. What a mess.”
- “It stirs up the same embarrassment as when the story first got peddled. It makes people doubt Fox.”
- “I think the lack of transparency is not that surprising. But it really forces the question, how much journalistic integrity does Fox News really have? Because most other news outlets, these situations come up, but they are dealt with appropriately. People are held accountable. People are fired, they are disciplined or whatever. But this is like classic Fox. No one ever gets fired from Fox for publishing a story that isn't true.”
Foxers express outrage to CNN and The Daily Beast over Hannity’s 2018 rally appearance. “Fox News journalists were outraged and disgusted after Sean Hannity, the network's star host, campaigned with President Donald Trump on Monday night ahead of the midterm elections, more than half a dozen employees told CNN Business,” CNN reported in November 2018. Quotes from Fox sources to CNN included:
- “People throughout the company think a new line was crossed.”
- “It disturbs me to my core. ... I am so f---ing mad.”
- “I'm aghast as are a number of other people.”
- “The whole thing is just so embarrassing that this guy basically has free rein to do whatever he wants, and management is either helpless or uninterested in doing anything about it.”
Fox sources told The Daily Beast:
- “It’s just embarrassing that Hannity is allowed to play by his own rules, and that management is so hapless that they either can’t or won’t do anything about it. He’s out of control and the second floor needs to step in because it’s getting ridiculous.”
- “Sean Hannity dealt a major blow to those who work in the news division here. Our leadership should do a better job at protecting the news folks whose great work is overshadowed by selfish moves such as the one we saw last night.”
After police brutality rallies, Fox staffers condemn network’s “rank racism” and “white supremacist crap.” The Daily Beast reported in July 2020 that it “spoke to more than a dozen Fox News insiders, who all suggested that behind the scenes there is a growing despair among employees about the network’s role in demonizing and spreading fear about Black Americans in particular.” Quotes from Fox staff included:
- “They created a cell—they created a white supremacist cell inside the top cable network in America, the one that directly influences the president… This is rank racism excused by Murdoch.”
- “What the viewers hear is the white supremacist crap. And that crap goes straight to the White House.”
- “What [Fox executives] don’t understand is you had a white supremacist in a very senior position on [Carlson’s] show. That kind of thing doesn’t live in a garden that isn’t fertile.”
During the 2020 campaign, Fox staffers say the network is “an extension of” the Donald Trump administration and behaves “like state media.” Following September 2020 layoffs concentrated in Fox’s “news side,” particularly its internal research “Brain Room,” The Daily Beast published a piece that attributed the following quotes to current network employees:
- “Fox has acted like state media for a long time. This is just one small element to it.”
- “As an employee, I have had concerns about how close Fox has become with the White House and the administration. I don’t think I’m the only person there who has these concerns.”
- “With these layoffs in multiple news departments coming just a few weeks before the election, it looks like Fox is more like an extension of this administration, instead of a news network.”
- “The opinion team appears to have won the internal battle” with the news side.
- The leaders of the Fox News website “are not interested in facts. They are obsessed with pitching ‘on-brand’ stories that include Blue Lives Matter, anything antifa-related, anyone who has suffered during BLM protests that can put the protestors in a negative light, anything that threatens Christianity, and anyone who is a Trump supporter who has somehow been wronged.”
- “The Brain Room, in their research, came up with facts that were not used in Fox reports or were in contradiction to what Fox aired. I have to imagine that kind of tension has always existed there, between the fact-checkers and what is often reported.”
- Top Fox executives have “long been unsupportive of real, unbiased reporting. They do not see themselves as a real news operation in the sense that people are doing original work, trying to break stories and get to the bottom of things, wherever the chips fall.”
The Fox caucus and candidates: 15 Republicans and 41 ways the network boosted them
During and after the Trump administration, ambitious party politicians used Fox appearances to boost their standing in the party and get better gigs.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis
- DeSantis, at the time a third-term congressman, “made a name for himself” during Trump’s first year in office by defending him and attacking Mueller’s investigation, particularly on Fox.
- He formally announced he was running for governor of Florida in a Fox & Friends appearance.
- He won the Republican nomination with a “Fox first campaign” featuring more than 100 appearances on the network.
- Trump appreciated “DeSantis’ unwavering loyalty on Fox” and tweeted an endorsement after watching a clip of the congressman appearing on the network.
- DeSantis’ campaign website touted his endorsements by Fox hosts Sean Hannity and Mark Levin.
- Hannity publicly campaigned with DeSantis during the primary campaign.
- DeSantis thanked Hannity and Levin for their support during his primary night speech.
- As governor, DeSantis signed Florida’s new voter suppression bill during a live appearance on Fox & Friends.
- During a joint interview on The Ingraham Angle, he informed a Florida couple arrested for violating local mask ordinances that he was granting them clemency.
- DeSantis has emerged as a compromise candidate for the 2024 presidential campaign that Fox’s most powerful hosts all support.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL)
- Gaetz, who took office in 2017, built a relationship with Trump by maintaining “a near-constant presence on the president’s favorite network,” using those appearances to establish himself as one of Trump’s “fiercest and most frequent defenders.”
- Sean Hannity campaigned for Gaetz’s reelection in 2018, calling him the “Mickey Mantle” of Congress and a “rising rock star.”
- Gaetz highlighted Hannity’s endorsement of his campaign.
- Hannity counseled Gaetz after he threatened former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen with retaliation on the eve of his 2019 House testimony.
- Gaetz revealed that he and a date had dinner with Tucker Carlson and his wife during an interview about allegations he had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl.
Dave McCormick, candidate for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania
- Laura Ingraham has criticized Trump for endorsing Oz and repeatedly hosted and praised McCormick.
- Host Mark Levin told McCormick he would make “an excellent senator” during an interview, while contributors Mike Huckabee and Mike Pompeo have endorsed and campaigned with him.
Mehmet Oz, candidate for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania
- Fox helped Oz build a political profile with dozens of appearances on the network during the early phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Oz made 25 Fox weekday appearances between declaring his candidacy and May 6, 19 of which came on Sean Hannity’s prime-time show.
- Hannity frequently praised Oz’s campaign and publicly endorsed him on both his Fox and nationally syndicated radio shows.
- Oz prominently highlighted Hannity’s endorsement on his campaign website.
- Hannity reportedly helped convince Trump to endorse Oz’s candidacy.
Kathy Barnette, candidate for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania.
- As a right-wing political commentator, Barnette built a national profile with numerous appearances on Fox & Friends, which she highlights on her campaign website.
- Hannity suggested he would support her Senate campaign and later praised her as “a star” with a “bright future” before turning on her in support of his favored candidate, Oz.
J.D. Vance, nominee for U.S. Senate in Ohio
- Vance made dozens of appearances on Fox both before and after declaring his candidacy, particularly on Tucker Carlson’s show.
- Carlson regularly praised Vance’s intellect and honesty and endorsed his candidacy on-air.
- Vance used his Carlson appearances to ask for donations and turned the interviews into Facebook ads.
- Carlson reportedly urged Trump in a phone call to endorse Vance, promising “that Vance was with him on the issues.” A few days later, Trump did.
- Vance cited Carlson’s support in his speech after winning his primary election.
Herschel Walker, U.S. Senate candidate in Georgia
- Walker made at least 38 Fox appearances between June 2020 and his August 2021 announcement that he was running for U.S. Senate in Georgia.
- Hannity relentlessly promoted Walker’s potential candidacy, repeatedly urging him to run for office in their regular interviews and talking him up to other GOP guests.
- Trump endorsed Walker’s run the day after one such promotional Hannity segment.
- Hannity endorsed Walker during an interview the night Walker declared his candidacy.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH). Jordan used the support he garnered from Trump through his numerous sycophantic Fox appearances to climb the ranks from back-bench congressman from Ohio to House Oversight and Reform Committee ranking member, potential candidate for statewide office, and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). McCarthy auditioned to succeed Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) as head of the House GOP caucus by praising Trump on the president’s favorite show, Fox & Friends, and has continued to make frequent appearances on the network. By contrast, Ryan’s relationship with Trump reportedly suffered because Ryan was unaware of what was happening on Fox.
Former Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC). Meadows was another frequent defender of Trump who used appearances on his favorite shows to gain influence, and news outlets noted when Trump selected the North Carolina congressman as his chief of staff that his TV appearances were crucial to building his relationship with the president.
Former Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA). As a Republican congressman, California Rep. Devin Nunes was a frequent presence on Fox defending Trump and championing Mueller conspiracy theories, then resigned from Congress after 19 years to become CEO of the Trump Media & Technology Group.
Former Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX). Ratcliffe made dozens of appearances on Fox to promote the network’s Mueller conspiracy theories while serving in Congress, resulting in his appointment by Trump as Director of National Intelligence despite his lack of experience in that realm.
Blake Masters, candidate for U.S. Senate in Arizona. Masters is, like Vance, a protégé of right-wing billionaire Peter Thiel and a frequent presence on Fox, particularly on the program of Tucker Carlson, who has said that his candidacy is “good news” and a sign that the “Republican Party is getting better -- much better.”
Morgan Ortagus, U.S. House candidate in Tennessee. Ortagus, a former Fox contributor who subsequently joined the Trump administration, made a series of appearances on the network after Biden took office and is now running for a U.S. House seat in Tennessee, though she was removed from the ballot by the state GOP.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Arkansas gubernatorial candidate. Sanders, who served as Trump’s White House press secretary before leaving the administration and joining Fox as a contributor, is the presumptive Republican nominee for the 2022 Arkansas gubernatorial race.
Fox-fueled acts of executive clemency: 24
Trump’s grants of executive clemency were often influenced by Fox. He gave pardons and commutations to individuals whose cases had the support of Trump-loving network personalities, heroes of Fox’s programming, and clients of prominent pro-Trump lawyers. Individuals seeking clemency and their family members and lawyers descended on the network during Trump’s presidency, using the president’s favorite programs to request clemency from him directly.
Fox personalities urged pardons for Mueller’s “victims.” Trump pardoned his former advisers Paul Manafort, George Papadopoulos, Michael Flynn, and Roger Stone, all of whom had pleaded guilty or been convicted of crimes related to the Mueller probe. Several Fox personalities had used the network’s programming to urge Trump to pardon each of them.
Blagojevich’s wife campaigned for his pardon on Fox. Trump pardoned Rod Blagojevich, the corrupt former governor of Illinois, telling reporters, “I watched his wife on television.” This was a reference to Patti Blagojevich’s frequent appearances on Fox -- at least seven -- which she used to plead her husband’s case.
Saucier’s lawyer put him on Trump’s favorite Fox show. Trump pardoned Kristian Saucier, who had pleaded guilty to unauthorized possession and retention of national defense information. The pardon came a week after Saucier asked for clemency during a Fox & Friends appearance, and his lawyer subsequently credited a Fox-centric PR strategy for capturing the president’s attention.
Three alleged war criminals got favorable Fox coverage, lobbying from Hegseth. Trump pardoned Mathew Golsteyn and Clint Lorance and cleared Eddie Gallagher, all of whom had been accused or convicted of war crimes. Fox had given each of them months of favorable coverage (including interviews with their family members) and Hegseth aggressively lobbied Trump to grant them clemency.
Hegseth spoke to Trump on behalf of four convicted Blackwater contractors. Trump pardoned four Blackwater contractors, Nicholas A. Slatten, Paul A. Slough, Evan S. Liberty, and Dustin L. Heard, for war crimes after Hegseth gave them positive coverage and spoke with the president on their behalf.
D’Souza is a frequent Fox guest, network hosts said he was railroaded. Trump pardoned Dinesh D’Souza, a right-wing troll and frequent Fox guest who pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations and lying to investigators, saying he had been “treated very unfairly by our government.” Several Fox hosts had declared D’Souza, a frequent network guest, to be the victim of political persecution.
Fox turned Arpaio into a right-wing folk hero. Trump pardoned Joe Arpaio, the former sheriff of Maricopa County, AZ, shortly after he was convicted of criminal contempt. Fox had celebrated Arpaio’s brutal treatment of undocumented immigrants for years, bolstering his stature in dozens of laudatory interviews, and Fox personalities Gregg Jarrett and Sean Hannity may have played roles in securing the pardon.
Libby’s pardon lawyer was a pro-Trump Fox regular. Trump pardoned I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, a Bush White House aide convicted of four felonies during the investigation into the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson’s identity. The lawyer for Libby’s pardon bid was Victoria Toensing, a Republican attorney who used regular Fox appearances to attack the Mueller probe.
Rubashkin’s commutation lawyer was a pro-Trump Fox regular. Trump commuted the sentence of Sholom Rubashkin, who had been convicted on more than 80 charges of financial fraud. Rubashkin’s lawyer was Alan Dershowitz, who made regular appearances on Fox in the prior months arguing that the Mueller probe was a “criminalization of political differences.”
Pirro’s ex-wife is a pro-Trump Fox host who demanded his pardon. Trump pardoned Albert Pirro Jr., the ex-husband of Fox host Jeanine Pirro, who had been convicted on tax evasion and conspiracy charges, on the morning he left office. Jeanine Pirro reportedly had been “angry” that her ex-husband was not on the previous night’s list of last-minute clemency beneficiaries, “and that message was conveyed to the White House and its former resident,” who then scrambled to enact the pardon before Trump’s term expired, CNN reported.
Trump White House highlighted clemency support from Fox personalities for six more acts. White House press releases for Trump’s pardons of Randall “Duke” Cunningham, Michael Milken, Bernard Kerik, and Angela Stanton and commutations of James Brian Cruz and William Walters each highlighted support for clemency from one or more Fox personalities.
Fox personalities campaign for Republicans: 105 events plus 13 more appearances canceled
Fox News personalities participated in at least 105 Republican events between the start of 2017 and the publication of this report, while 13 more such planned appearances were canceled after Media Matters reported on them. Participants include: hosts Dan Bongino, Rachel Campos-Duffy, Lou Dobbs (no longer with the network), Greg Gutfeld, Sean Hannity, Pete Hegseth, Laura Ingraham, Larry Kudlow, Mark Levin, and Jeanine Pirro; contributors Jason Chaffetz, Trey Gowdy, Tom Homan, Alveda King, Tomi Lahren, Mike Pompeo, Lara Trump, and David Webb; legal analyst Gregg Jarrett; Fox News Radio host Todd Starnes (no longer with the network); and Fox Nation hosts Diamond and Silk (no longer with the network).
Here is a chronological list of Fox News personalities doing Republican events since January 2017. (This list was originally published here.)
- January 26, 2017. Pete Hegseth speaks at a fundraising event for the Republican Party of Brazos County in Texas.
- February 18, 2017. Jeanine Pirro speaks at a fundraising event for the Kent County Republican Committee in Delaware.
- March 4, 2017. Lou Dobbs speaks at a fundraising event for the Manatee County Republican Executive Committee in Florida.
- March 9, 2017. Pirro speaks at a fundraising event for the Erie County Republican Committee in New York.
- March 13, 2017. Pirro speaks at a fundraising event for the Georgia Republican Party.
- March 20, 2017. Pirro speaks at a fundraising event for the Republican Committee of Lower Merion and Narberth in Pennsylvania.
- March 31, 2017. Pirro speaks at a fundraising event for the Bonneville County GOP in Idaho.
- April 21, 2017. Hegseth speaks at a fundraising event for the Snohomish County Republican Central Committee in Washington.
- July 28, 2017. Pirro speaks at a fundraising event for the Republican Party of Arkansas.
- July 29, 2017. Hegseth speaks at a fundraising event for the Larimer County Republican Party in Colorado.
- September 21, 2017. Greg Gutfeld speaks at a fundraising event for the Washington State Republican Party.
- October 8, 2017. Pirro speaks at a fundraising event for the Volusia County Republican Party in Florida.
- October 14, 2017. Jason Chaffetz speaks at an event for the Gallatin and Madison County Republican Central Committees in Montana.
- October 17, 2017. Laura Ingraham speaks at a “campaign kickoff event” for Kelli Ward's Senate campaign in Arizona.
- October 21, 2017. Pirro speaks at a fundraising event for the California Republican Party.
- November 2, 2017. Hegseth speaks at a fundraising event for the Montgomery County Republican Women's PAC in Texas.
- November 9, 2017. Pirro speaks at a fundraising event for the Alachua County Republican Party in Florida.
- January 18, 2018. Pirro speaks at an event for the Trumpettes USA club at Mar-a-Lago.
- February 8, 2018. Pirro speaks at a fundraising event for the Sangamon County Republican Central Committee in Illinois.
- February 17, 2018. Chaffetz speaks at an event for the San Jacinto County Republican Party in Texas.
- February 17, 2018. Gutfeld speaks at an event for the Morris County Republican Committee at Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey.
- February 23, 2018. Hegseth speaks at a fundraising event for the Alabama Republican Executive Committee.
- March 16, 2018. Pirro speaks at a fundraising event for the Kern County Republican Central Committee in California.
- May 17, 2018. Hegseth speaks at a fundraising event for the Benton County Republican Central Committee in Washington.
- May 22, 2018. Chaffetz speaks at an event for the Ingham and Eaton County Republican Party in Michigan.
- May 24, 2018. Hegseth speaks at a fundraising event for the Livingston County Republican Party in Michigan.
- June 2, 2018. Chaffetz speaks at an event for the Spokane County Republican Party in Washington state.
- June 15, 2018. Chaffetz speaks at an event for the Jackson County Republican Party in Michigan.
- June 28, 2018. Sean Hannity speaks at a Manhattan Republican Party event in New York honoring him.
- June 30, 2018. Todd Starnes speaks at an event for the Fayette County Republican Party in Tennessee.
- July 2, 2018. Hannity participates in three campaign rallies for two Florida Republicans: gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis and congressional candidate Rep. Matt Gaetz.
- August 3, 2018. Chaffetz speaks at an event for the Modesto Republican Women Federated in California.
- August 6, 2018. Chaffetz speaks at an event for Rep. Lee Zeldin’s (R-NY) congressional campaign in New York.
- September 26, 2018. Chaffetz speaks at an event for the Republican Party of Story County in Iowa.
- October 10, 2018. Pirro speaks at an event for Scott Wagner’s gubernatorial campaign in Pennsylvania.
- October 19, 2018. Chaffetz speaks at an event for the Aliso Viejo and San Clemente Area Republican Women Federated in California.
- October 20, 2018. Chaffetz speaks at an event for the San Bernardino County Federation of Republican Women in California.
- November 5, 2018. Hannity and Pirro both speak at a campaign rally with Trump.
- February 23, 2019. Pirro again headlines a Trumpettes USA party at Mar-a-Lago.
- March 23, 2019. Chaffetz speaks at an event for the Weber County Republican Party in Utah.
- March 30, 2019. Diamond and Silk are special guests at a fundraising dinner for the Bush Legacy Republican Women of Weatherford in Texas.
- April 18, 2019. Gregg Jarrett headlines a fundraiser for the Columbiana County Republican Party in Ohio.
- April 26, 2019. Chaffetz speaks at an event for the Hamilton County Republican Party in Tennessee.
- May 4, 2019. Chaffetz speaks at an event for the Yakima County Republican Party in Washington state.
- May 19, 2019. Mark Levin headlines a rally for Geary Higgins’ Virginia state Senate campaign.
- May 31, 2019. David Webb emcees a fundraising event for the Belknap County Republican Committee in New Hampshire.
- June 7, 2019. Trey Gowdy keynotes a fundraiser for the Republican Party of Arkansas.
- June 27, 2019. Rachel Campos-Duffy headlines a fundraising event for the Desoto County Republican Party in Mississippi.
- August 10, 2019. Diamond and Silk appear at an event for the Watauga and Ashe County Republican Parties in North Carolina.
- August 30, 2019. Tom Homan speaks at an event for the Nashua Republican City Committee in New Hampshire.
- September 23, 2019. Diamond and Silk appear at an event for the Republican Women Federation clubs in San Diego County, California.
- October 4, 2019. Chaffetz speaks at an event for then-Rep. Cynthia Lummis’ (R-WY) Senate campaign in Wyoming.
- November 3, 2019. Pirro makes a “surprise appearance” at a fundraiser for the Volusia County Republican Party in Florida.
- November 4, 2019. Chaffetz speaks at an event for the Saginaw County Republican Party in Michigan.
- November 4, 2019. Levin headlines a rally for Higgins’ campaign.
- November 5, 2019. Chaffetz speaks at an event for the Clinton County Republican Party in Michigan.
- November 5, 2019. Chaffetz speaks at an event for the Bay County Republican Party in Michigan.
- November 6, 2019. Chaffetz speaks at an event for the Republican Party of Kalamazoo County in Michigan.
- November 12, 2019. Pirro appears at a fundraiser for the Seminole County Republican Party.
- November 13, 2019. Chaffetz speaks at an event for the New Hampshire Republican Party.
- December 13, 2019. Chaffetz speaks at a fundraiser for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Republican Women committee in North Carolina.
- December 16, 2019. Jarrett speaks at a meeting of Club 45 USA in West Palm Beach, Florida.
- February 12, 2020. Chaffetz speaks at an event for the Sangamon County Republican Party in Illinois.
- February 22, 2020. Homan speaks at an event for the Culpeper County Republican Committee in Virginia.
- March 6, 2020. Chaffetz speaks at an event for the Jefferson County Republican Party in Texas.
- September 10, 2020. Gowdy keynotes a fundraiser for the Comal County Republican Party in Texas.
- September 28, 2020. Chaffetz speaks at an event for the Teton County Republican Party in Wyoming.
- October 16, 2020. Homan speaks at an event for Steve Negron’s congressional campaign in New Hampshire.
- April 8, 2021. Gowdy speaks at a fundraiser for the Harris County Republican Party in Texas.
- April 16, 2021. Gowdy keynotes a fundraiser for the Mahoning County Republican Party in Ohio.
- April 17, 2021. Mike Pompeo keynotes a fundraiser for the Republican Party of Palm Beach County in Florida.
- June 2021. Pompeo speaks at an event for the Republican National Committee in California.
- June 5, 2021. Lara Trump speaks at the North Carolina Republican Convention.
- June 18, 2021. Pompeo keynotes a fundraiser for the Miami-Dade County Republican Executive Committee in Florida.
- July 22, 2021. Tomi Lahren speaks at an event for the Sumter County Republican Party in Florida.
- July 23, 2021. Pompeo speaks at a fundraiser for the Kern County Republican Party in California.
- July 30, 2021. Pompeo speaks at a fundraiser for the South Carolina Republican Party.
- August 7, 2021. Larry Kudlow speaks at a fundraiser for the Bridgeport Republican Town Committee in Connecticut.
- August 7, 2021. Homan appears at a rally for Jarome Bell’s congressional campaign in Virginia.
- August 7, 2021. Pompeo speaks at an event for the Williamson County Republican Party in Tennessee.
- August 19, 2021. Pompeo speaks at two events for Sen. James Lankford’s (R-OK) Senate campaign in Oklahoma.
- September 10, 2021. Dan Bongino keynotes a fundraiser for the Martin County Republican Executive Committee in Florida.
- September 24, 2021. Pompeo speaks at a fundraiser for the Maryland Republican Party.
- October 2, 2021. Pompeo speaks at an event for Maverick PAC, which supports Republican candidates.
- October 20, 2021. Lara Trump speaks at an event for the Republican Party of Medina County in Ohio.
- October 22, 2021. Pompeo speaks at a fundraiser for Rep. Doug Lamborn’s (R-CO) congressional campaign in Colorado.
- January 26, 2022. Lara Trump speaks at an event for the Collin County Conservative Republicans in Texas.
- February 18, 2022. Alveda King keynotes an event for the Alabama Republican Party.
- March 11, 2022. Pompeo speaks at a fundraiser for the Iowa Republican Party.
- March 12, 2022. Pompeo speaks at an event for the Kansas Republican Party.
- March 18, 2022. Levin keynotes a fundraising event at Mar-a-Lago Club for the Republican Party of Palm Beach County, Florida.
- March 24, 2022. Pompeo speaks at an event for the Republican Party of Sarasota County in Florida.
- March 26, 2022. Homan speaks at a rally for Trump in Georgia.
- April 7, 2022. Pompeo keynotes a fundraiser for the Hillsborough County Republican Committee in New Hampshire.
- April 8, 2022. Pompeo speaks at a fundraiser for the Butler County Republican Party in Ohio.
- April 11, 2022. Pompeo speaks at a fundraiser for the Dallas County Republican Party in Texas.
- April 20, 2022. Pompeo speaks at a rally for David McCormick’s Senate campaign.
- April 26, 2022. Pomepo speaks at a fundraiser for the Allen County Republican Party in Indiana.
- April 29, 2022. Pompeo speaks at a fundraiser for the Delaware County Republican Party in Ohio.
- March 5, 2022. King speaks at an event for the Spokane County Republican Party in Washington.
- April 2, 2022. King speaks at an event for the Republican Party of Charlotte County in Florida.
- May 6, 2022. Pompeo holds a press briefing for McCormick’s Senate campaign in Pennsylvania.
And here are 13 instances when Fox News personalities withdrew from a Republican event -- including their originally scheduled date -- after Media Matters reported on their participation:
- February 16, 2019: Brian Kilmeade withdrew from a fundraiser for the Williamson County Republican Party in Tennessee.
- April 25, 2019: Hegseth withdrew from a fundraiser for the Bridgeport Republican Town Committee in Connecticut.
- September 18, 2019: Pirro withdrew from an event for the Trump fan club Trump Team 2020 Florida in Pensacola, Florida.
- September 19, 2019: Pirro withdrew from an event for Trump Team 2020 Florida in Jacksonville, Florida.
- September 22, 2019: Pirro withdrew from an event for Trump Team 2020 Florida in The Villages, Florida.
- September 24, 2019: Pirro withdrew from an event for Trump Team 2020 Florida in Vero Beach, Florida.
- October 20, 2019: Pirro withdrew from an event for the pro-Trump group Jexit.
- October 25, 2019: Pirro withdrew from a fundraiser for the King County Republican Party in Washington state.
- November 7, 2019: Pirro withdrew from an event for the Valley Young Republicans in Fresno, California.
- February 21, 2020: Fox News host and reporter Lawrence Jones withdrew from a fundraiser for the Snohomish County Republican Party in Washington.
- February 23, 2020. Fox News contributor Tyrus withdrew from a fundraiser for Daniel Rodimer’s congressional campaign in Nevada.
- April 21, 2022. Fox News host Katie Pavlich withdrew from a fundraiser for the Trumbull County Republican Party in Ohio.
- May 7, 2022. Fox News contributor Joe Concha withdrew from a fundraiser for the Snohomish County Republican Party in Washington.