Fox News anchor Shep Smith excoriated Donald Trump on Thursday, saying the president “misrepresented” the truth about his phone calls with two foreign leaders earlier this year.
Transcripts of the two phone calls from January revealed unusually contentious conversations with President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull of Australia. At one point, Trump called the exchange with Turnbull “unpleasant” and said he preferred his conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The transcripts seemed to confirm coverage of the two phone calls at the time — coverage that Trump derided as “fake news.”
“Thank you to Prime Minister of Australia for telling the truth about our very civil conversation that FAKE NEWS media lied about,” Trump tweeted on Feb. 3. “Very nice!”
On Thursday, Smith didn’t let Trump off the hook.
“The media did not lie. We reported the truth,” Smith said. “Then President Trump misrepresented the truth, and not for the first time. Now the White House is focusing on the leaks that let the world know the truth.”
Although Fox News has been a reliable source of positive coverage of the White House, Smith hasn’t shied away from critique. Last month, he vented on-air after media reports revealed that more people attended a meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Kremlin-linked Russian lawyer than the White House originally admitted to.
“Why is it lie after lie after lie?” Smith said on July 14.
“There are still people who are out there who believe we’re making it up,” Smith said. “And one day they’re gonna realise we’re not and look around and go, Where are we, and why are we getting told all these lies?”
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