Amid bipartisan criticism of President Donald Trump’s capitulation to Russian President Vladimir Putin, some of Trump’s fiercest media allies are standing behind him, even as many of his loyalists defect.
During a July 16 press conference with his Russian counterpart, Trump questioned the findings of his own intelligence community and legitimized Putin’s false claim that Russia did not meddle in the 2016 election, calling his denial “extremely strong and powerful.” His shameful performance garnered sharp rebukes from intelligence community veterans, Democrats, Republicans, and even friends of Trump who have defended the president through some of his most egregious slip-ups.
Nonetheless, a group of Trump’s most ardent supporters in the media rejected the overwhelming consensus and defended the president:
- Fox's Jeanine Pirro: “What was [Trump] supposed to do, take a gun out and shoot Putin?”
- Fox host Sean Hannity praised Trump for being “very strong at the end of the press conference.”
- Infowars host Owen Shroyer on the press conference: “It just kept getting better in time.”
- Conservative radio host Mark Simone: “The whole idea of a summit is to make peace. That’s what he was doing there.”
- Fox host Laura Ingraham admonished “mass hysteria” in reaction to the press conference and downplayed Trump’s performance as involving an “unfortunate word choice.”
- Fox’s Tucker Carlson attacked media for their reactions to the press conference and said it seems like politicians critical of Trump’s actions toward Putin and Russia “seek increased conflict with Russia.”
- Breitbart’s Joel Pollak: “A day after the media/Democrats/NeverTrump meltdown over Trump-Putin summit, they're still wrong, the world's still here, and the future is bright.”
- Breitbart’s Charlie Spiering: “Remind me, did Obama forcefully confront Putin for” the 2014 attack on a Malaysian Airlines passenger flight over Ukraine?
- The Washington Times boosted comments from former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), current host of the web show Liberty Report, who categorized Trump’s meeting with Putin as “significant diplomacy.”