President Trump’s tongue-lashing of the national media at a press conference Thursday didn’t sit too well with Fox News anchor Shepard Smith, who pitched a hissy fit on live television in defense of his fellow news reporters.
“[Trump] keeps repeating ridiculous throwaway lines that are not true at all and sort of avoiding this issue of Russia as if we’re some kind of fools for asking the question. Really?” Smith said. “Your opposition was hacked and the Russians were responsible for it and your people were on the phone with Russia on the same day it was happening and we’re fools for asking the questions?” Smith shouted.
Smith chastised the president for spewing “demonstrably, unquestionably, 100 percent, opinion aside, false” statements.
Watch Fox News segment with Shepard Smith:
However, despite Smith’s claim that Trump’s campaign staff was on the phone with Russian intelligence “the same day” the hacks were happening, the leaked information from the FBI investigation shows no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials.
“Russia is fake news. Russia — this is fake news put out by the media,” Trump said when asked by reporters at the press conference about reported conversations between his campaign aides and Russian officials.
“No sir,” Smith continued to yell. “We are not fools for asking this question, and we demand to know the answer to this question. You owe this to the American people. Your supporters will support you either way. If your people were on the phone, what were they saying? We have a right to know, we absolutely do and that you call us fake news and put us down like children for asking these questions on behalf of the American people is inconsequential. The people deserve an answer to this question at very least.”
As Smith predicted during the segment, his rant sent Twitter into a frenzy, with Trump supporters calling for his head.
Smith also defended CNN reporter Jim Acosta, who sparred with Trump during the press event, calling him “an accomplished reporter, a guy I’ve never met, but a good reporter.”
Acosta later thanked Smith with a tweet.
During the press conference Trump said he was upgrading CNN from “fake news” to “very fake news.”
Acosta prefaced one of his questions for Trump, “Just for the record, we don’t hate you. I don’t hate you.”
“Ask [CNN President] Jeff Zucker how he got his job, OK?” the president replied, adding that CNN’s ratings aren’t “good right now.”