President TrumpDonald John Trump2020 Dem hits back at Trump for giving ‘firefighting advice’ to Paris: ‘Do your own damn job’ French officials reject Trump suggestion to use ‘flying water tankers’ on Notre Dame fire Overnight Energy: Interior watchdog opens investigation into new secretary | Warren unveils 2020 plan to stop drilling on public lands | Justices reject case challenging state nuclear subsidies | Court orders EPA to re-evaluate Obama pollution rule MORE on Tuesday chided Fox News for its town hall event with Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersSanders town hall audience cheers after Fox News host asks if they’d support ‘Medicare for All’ Sanders defends against criticism over income, taxes Sanders on whether he’s too old to be president: ‘Follow me around the campaign trail’ MORE (I-Vt.), a 2020 presidential candidate, as well as its addition of former interim Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Donna Brazile.
“So weird to watch Crazy Bernie on @FoxNews,” Trump tweeted. “Not surprisingly, @BretBaier and the ‘audience’ was so smiley and nice. Very strange, and now we have @donnabrazile?”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 16, 2019
Moderator Bret Baier replied a short time later, thanking the president for watching and inviting him on for an interview.
“Thanks for watching Mr. President – we’d love to have you on a town hall soon — or even an interview on @SpecialReport —it’s been awhile. We cover all sides,” Baier tweeted.
— Bret Baier (@BretBaier) April 16, 2019
Sanders — whom Trump has derisively nicknamed “Crazy Bernie” — agreed to take part in a Tax Day town hall Monday evening in Pennsylvania on the network, moderated by Baier, the anchor of “Special Report,” and “The Story” anchor Martha MacCallum.
The audience at one point erupted in cheers and applause when asked by Baier if they would support Sanders’s “Medicare for All” proposal.
Trump’s fondness for Fox News is well documented. He regularly tweets out quotes from guests on various Fox shows, is known to have a close relationship with host Sean Hannity, and his administration has hired multiple former network employees.
But the president has in recent weeks chastised the network for some of its programming and personnel decisions.
Trump last month tweeted his disapproval with the network’s decision to take host Jeanine Pirro off the air for two weeks after she questioned whether Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarHillicon Valley: Mueller report coming Thursday | YouTube adds 9/11 info to Notre Dame fire video | New details on case against Assange | Thousands sign petition to ban Trump on social media | Conservatives side with big tech in GOP fight Dems rally behind Omar as Trump escalates attacks It’s time for a ‘Congressional Jewish Caucus’ MORE (D-Minn.) was loyal to Sharia because she wears a hijab.
He lashed out the same day at a trio of Fox News anchors, suggesting they should work at competitor CNN instead after segments aired that included criticisms of the administration’s policies.
Trump also clashed with Fox News during his own presidential campaign. He boycotted a network debate in January 2016 amid a feud with then-Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly. He later skipped a Fox News debate in March 2016, questioning the need for so many events during the primary cycle.
In recent weeks, the network has featured multiple Democrats seeking the party’s nomination to challenge Trump in 2020.
Fox told The Morning Call in Allentown, Pa., that it reached out to various political and local groups to put together the audience for the Sanders event.
In March, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom PerezThomas Edward PerezClinton’s top five vice presidential picks Government social programs: Triumph of hope over evidence Labor’s ‘wasteful spending and mismanagement” at Workers’ Comp MORE announced that the network would be barred from hosting any of the party’s primary debates. Democratic candidates are not precluded from appearing on Fox News for interviews or town halls, however, and several presidential hopefuls have gone on the network in an effort to appeal to a broader range of voters.
Other presidential candidates, including Sens. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandO’Rourke releases 10 years of tax returns Swalwell stakes campaign on gun violence Bernie Sanders releases 10 years of tax returns MORE (D-N.Y.) and Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharDems, Trump harden 2020 battle lines on Tax Day O’Rourke releases 10 years of tax returns Bernie Sanders releases 10 years of tax returns MORE (D-Minn.) and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegMaddow and Buttigieg discuss their coming out stories Buttigieg says he hopes he and his husband have children Sanders on whether he’s too old to be president: ‘Follow me around the campaign trail’ MORE, have done interviews on Fox programs like “Special Report” and “Fox News Sunday.”
Fox News announced last month that it had signed Brazile, a former CNN political analyst, as a contributor.
CNN severed ties with Brazile in October 2016 after she shared town hall debate questions with then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMaddow and Buttigieg discuss their coming out stories The Hill’s 12: 30 Report: Washington braces for Mueller report Hillary Clinton jabs Mnuchin, IRS chief on Tax Day over Trump returns MORE‘s campaign.