‘It’s Not Only What They Say, It’s What They Don’t Say’
President Donald Trump held a Town Hall with host Sean Hannity, while visiting Green Bay, Wisconsin. During the wide-ranging discussion, which aired Thursday night on Fox News, Trump accused the media of being unfair and in the tank for Joe Biden.
Trump answered questions from Hannity and members of the studio audience but always managed to bring the conversation back to his favorite topic: media bias.
“If I don’t do a show like this, we’re not going to get the word out. … The press is really corrupt and dishonest. I used to say ‘fake news, fake news’ but it’s much worse than fake news. It’s not only what they say. It’s what they don’t say. Something great could be happening, and they refuse to report it.”
When an audience member asked about his proudest achievement as president, Trump pointed to his administration’s Veterans Affairs reforms, saying a recent poll shows 91 percent approval for the VA among veterans. The mainstream media has largely ignored this turnaround from the VA scandals of the Obama administration.
Trump also addressed the Russia collusion scandal, including the groundbreaking report that proves Obama and Biden were aware of, if they didn’t order, the spying on the Trump campaign.
“What’s happening is a disgrace,” said Trump, “This is a corrupt situation. We caught them spying on my campaign. … I said that a long time ago. … It turned out to be correct. They were spying on my campaign.”
Trump said if a Republican had spied on a Democrat’s campaign, the media would have vigorously pursued the story and reported fairly on the latest developments, which look bad for Obama, Biden, and many other top-ranking members of the Obama administration. “If that were the other way around, if it were switched with Democrat and Republican the opposite way, you’d have people in jail for 50 years for what they did because that’s treason!” Trump said.
Trump also touted his pre-coronavirus economy, declaring it the best in U.S. history for all Americans, including minorities. Prior to coronavirus, he said, China had the worst economy in 67 years, which he attributed to his trade war with the communist nation. Pivoting back to the media, he said, “But they’ll say ‘he got beat by China.’” Trump also said if he had not been elected, China would have “destroyed our country economically.”
During discussions on the Wuhan virus and mortality rates, the president raved about the amount of testing being done in the U.S. He claimed countries that appear to have fewer cases also have less testing and that the media failed to cover the U.S.’s coronavirus successes.
When asked about why he fights so hard with the media, Trump said:
I don’t think I have a choice. If I didn’t take on the media, I guarantee I wouldn’t be here with you tonight. … I’d be watching. I wouldn’t be interviewed. You couldn’t win. … The New York Times is so dishonest, The Washington Post is so dishonest. They write things — you can do something great, and they can make it sound horrible. You could do something, and they can make it sound beyond-belief bad, like it’s the worst thing ever. Or — and I said it a little bit before — you can do something great, and it doesn’t get reported. That’s, in a way, just as bad because a lot of people couldn’t figure it out. … I think they’re the most dishonest people I’ve ever dealt with.”
Trump also spoke about the Pulitzer Prize, which he said has “lost a lot of its credibility” since several high-profile journalists received the award for their coverage of the so-called Russia scandal, for which Trump says, “they were all wrong.”
“You’ve said you wanted to have more than three debates with Joe Biden,” Hannity said, before Trump interjected.
“I said I’ll have three and any amount they want,” Trump said, explaining that he never actually said he wanted more, but if he did, the media would say, “‘Oh he’s losing. He wants more!’”
Trump expressed concern that Biden, who has had very limited public engagements since the pandemic started, is already hinting that debates should be called off because of coronavirus.
“[Biden] is a candidate that will destroy this country, and he may not do it himself,” Trump warned as the event concluded. “He will be run by a radical fringe group of lunatics that will destroy our country, and people have to know that.”
Eva Duffy is an intern at The Federalist and a junior at the University of Chicago where she studies American history. She loves the Midwest, J.R.R. Tolkien, writing, & her family.