UPDATE, Oct. 24, 1:46 p.m. PT: White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said that the White House will instruct federal agencies not to renew their subscriptions to The Washington Post and The New York Times.
She told The Wall Street Journal that “not renewing subscriptions across all federal agencies will be a significant cost saving – hundreds of thousands in taxpayer dollars will be saved.”
President Donald Trump has long bashed both papers for their reporting, but signaled earlier this week that he planned to “terminate” their subscriptions in the White House.
Spokespersons for the Times and the Post had no comment.
PREVIOUSLY, Oct. 21, 8:10 p.m. PT: President Donald Trump appeared on Fox News’ Hannity for an hour-long interview Monday night, and as you would expect, there was some bashing of the “fake news” media.
One comment particularly stuck out, when host Sean Hannity suggested the media wasn’t making a bigger story about Joe Biden and what his son, Hunter, did on the board of a gas company in Ukraine.
Trump responded by calling the media “corrupt,” before announcing the White House would “terminate” The New York Times and The Washington Post. In context, it appeared Trump was referring to the physical subscriptions, not pulling the press access of the two papers.
“We don’t even want it in the White House anymore,” Trump told Hannity. “We’re going to probably terminate that and The Washington Post. They’re fake.”
Still, Trump’s comment did draw the attention of Ted Boutrous, the attorney who represented CNN’s Jim Acosta and Playboy’s Brian Karem after their press passes were pulled.
“More compelling evidence, indeed another confession, that @realdonaldtrump and his team engage in content- and viewpoint- discrimination regarding certain (indeed many) members of the White House press corps, in plain violation of the First Amendment.”
Hannity’s interview with Trump, conducted outside with the Rose Garden as a backdrop, took up his full hour.
It was, to say the least, quite a contrast to the interview that Fox News’ Chris Wallace conducted on Sunday of Mick Mulvaney, in which Wallace challenged Trump’s acting chief of staff repeatedly on his comments that seemed to confirm there was indeed a quid pro quo when it came to aid to Ukraine. Mulvaney tried to walk those comments back.
On Hannity, though, there was no mention of Mulvaney at all.
Instead, Trump went unchallenged in his assertions — ones that he, Rudy Giuliani and Hannity have repeated frequently since House Democrats began their impeachment inquiry. Roughly speaking, they are that the real collusion was with the Clintons and Ukraine, the real corruption was with the Bidens, and the real disgrace was the way that the Trump team was investigated by Robert Mueller and the deep state.
“We are looking at the 2016 election and it is a disaster,” said Trump, referring to the Russia probe — not his own victory.
Hannity is Trump’s highest rated on-air booster. He spoke at a Trump rally last year. And much of the hour sounded like adviser agreeing with the boss, whether that be the unfairness of the impeachment process or the soundness of the Syria policy.
He did interrupt Trump — albeit it wasn’t to challenge him. When the president started to refer to Elizabeth Warren as “Elizabeth Warren,” Hannity reminded him of the nickname he gave her.
“Pocahontas,” Hannity said.
“Pocahontas,” Trump said, before explaining that he’s reluctant to talk about who he thinks he’ll face in 2020.
Trump said, “She rose from the ashes, and I give her credit for that, but I don’t like talking about it.”
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