Fox News spins world leaders laughing at Trump during NATO summit

The world of politics is abuzz this week about a hot mic moment at the NATO summit reception in London, in which world leaders Justin Trudeau of Canada, Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom, Emmanuel Macron of France, and Mark Rutte of the Netherlands mocked President Donald Trump’s impromptu Q&A session with reporters on Tuesday. Indeed, Trump himself is reportedly so angry about this, he has canceled a press conference and is leaving the summit early.

So how is Fox News handling it? Well, by spinning it as either a sign of how petty those other countries’ leaders are, or evidence of how great Trump himself really is.

“What next? Are they going to bring out the ‘burn book’ from Mean Girls? ‘We’re totally not inviting him to the next sorority mixer!’” Laura Ingraham said mockingly, closing out the December 3 edition of The Ingraham Angle. “Oh my goodness. They’re just mad because Trump dominated, they had to sit there like potted plants.”

Leading from Ingraham’s show into “news”-side anchor Shannon Bream’s hour, Bream herself chimed in: “I mean, all of life really is like middle school. It never really changes. I try to tell people, it doesn’t matter if you’re 50, it’s still the same.”

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Citation From the December 3, 2019, edition of Fox News’ The Ingraham Angle

On Wednesday morning’s edition of Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade sought to put the NATO leaders’ feud — ranging from Trump’s arguments with Macron about NATO’s direction, to the conversation that occurred at the reception — in a positive light, as a sign of healthy diplomacy.

“But I actually think sometimes an open, honest relationship, even if it means a clash, actually could bring you closer,” said Kilmeade. “I think that the fact that they're being candid in front of us is new. The fact that they're usually are candid behind closed doors is the old way. Then you hear, 'According to reports, they clashed.' And you wonder, are those reports true? No, we watched. They clashed. But it didn't seem acrimonious, it just seems as though there was disagreements.”

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Citation From the December 4, 2019, edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends

But the real prize for spin must go to Fox Business host Stuart Varney, who proclaimed that he didn’t see it as those world leaders laughing at Trump. Varney hosted Fox columnist Liz Peek to discuss the issue, with the latter explaining that the leaders were really “uncomfortable” because of Trump’s dominance of the entire proceedings, his economic success, his rising poll numbers — and yes, his great sense of humor, too.

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Citation From the December 4, 2019, edition of Fox Business’ Varney & Co.

STUART VARNEY (HOST): The Times says that they're laughing at our president. I don't see it that way. How about you?

LIZ PEEK (FOX NEWS COLUMNIST): I think they're extremely uncomfortable around our president because he comes over there and he dominates the show. Which of those foreign leaders would not happily change place with Donald Trump, with his economy? And yes, in fact, his rising approval ratings. The truth is that the president has led to a moment in NATO where they have to reassess their commitments, they have to reassess their commitments to each other and to the organization. I think they kind of can't believe that after 40 years, that an American president has finally got this done. Are they laughing at him? In the same way, possibly, that you and I laugh when he says something that is hilarious — and he is hilarious, a good deal of the time.

VARNEY: That's true.

PEEK: And it's unexpected. And yes, he says something unexpected, and the people who work for him, their jaws do drop because they're never quite sure what's going to come out next. But the sum total of all that disruption, of all that discomfort, is that NATO is having to face a lot of important and serious questions. And he is totally right to hold their feet to the fire.