Trump Hits Media Bias in Interview with ABC

Former campaign aide says Trump perceived ABC fairest of the Big Three

President Trump, in his first network interview since taking office, pushed back against what he perceives as media bias.

Trump on Wednesday, in an interview with ABC “World News Tonight” anchor David Muir, accused his network of mischaracterizing his speech at the CIA over the weekend.

“I hate to say this to you and you probably won’t put it on, but turn on Fox and see how it was covered.”

“People loved it. They loved it,” he said. “They gave me a standing ovation for a long period of time … You and other networks covered it very inaccurately. I hate to say this to you and you probably won’t put it on, but turn on Fox and see how it was covered.”

When Muir protested that he, personally, had not commented on the speech, Trump responded, “Not you personally but your network — and they tried to demean the speech.”

David Bossie, a conservative activist who helped engineer Trump’s victory in November as deputy campaign manager, said Thursday on “The Laura Ingraham Show” that ABC got the first interview with the president because it was the fairest of the Big Three.

“There’s always got to be a first,” he said. “And ABC in general, of the three major networks, seemed to have been the best coverage of the campaign, meaning the fairest. Not that it was great. But if you look at NBC and MSNBC, you eliminate them pretty quickly.”

Bossie, who is president of the conservative Citizens United, said Trump believed Muir was most likely to play it straight.

“Once you decide on ABC, it’s then which anchor,” he said. “And, you know, George Stephanopoulos still has that political edge to him from his Clinton days. So I think you have, you know David Muir is, unfortunately, the go-to guy.”

LifeZette Editor-in-Chief Laura Ingraham said she would not have suggested Trump agree to such a wide-ranging interview.

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“I would say, ‘OK, what three things do you want to get out of this interview? What three points do you want to make?'” she said. “And then, how do we set this interview up so that those three points are conveyed clearly and that there’s no venturing into other territory? I think you have to manage that stuff.”

Bossie said the Trump White House is still figuring out those issues, just as the campaign and the transition did.

“That’s going to be a learning curve,” he said.

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PoliZette senior writer Brendan Kirby can be reached at [email protected].