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President Donald Trump’s pugnacious response to Omarosa Manigault Newman’s tell-all book is attracting criticism from an unusual place: Fox News.
Brian Kilmeade, co-host of the morning show Fox & Friends, leveled perhaps the strongest rebuke to Trump’s persistent Twitter strafing of Manigault Newman, who accused him of being a racist and saying the N-word in her new book, Unhinged. Manigault Newman has paralyzed the White House by releasing a series of tapes to buttress the claims she makes in the book, including a recording of Trump calling her and expressing his displeasure with her firing by chief of staff Gen. John Kelly.
“In order to sell a book, she’s come out with a series of tapes, and in many ways, seems to have outsmarted the president, who has taken the bait and gone out and tweeted directly after her,” Kilmeade said Wednesday morning.
Kilmeade compared Trump’s response to Manigault Newman to the way the White House vociferously protested Michael Wolff’s claims in Fire and Fury. Kilmeade said that Trump “gave Michael Wolff millions of dollars by going after his book. He seems to be doing the same with Omarosa’s book.”
In particular, the president’s decision to call Manigault Newman “that dog” on Twitter on Tuesday morning struck some on the network as a mistake. “Fear my friend @realDonaldTrump undermines himself by using intemperate, boorish language to describe his enemies,” Fox News personality and longtime Trump pal Geraldo Rivera wrote on Twitter. “I can’t stand @OMAROSA a bully, back stabber & big mouth. But to call her a ‘dog’ & ‘low life’ is beneath dignity of the office of @POTUS & open to ugly connotation.”
Fox News contributor Ari Fleischer, White House press secretary under George W. Bush, also criticized Trump’s tactics. Manigault Newman “was crashing and burning, and then when the president put out his tweet last night about her being a dog, he brought her back to life,” Fleischer said Wednesday afternoon. “That’s the biggest mistake the White House has made.”
On Tuesday night, Fox News anchor Ed Henry conducted a tough, contentious interview with Trump re-election campaign staffer Katrina Pierson, who defended Trump’s “dog” slur and attacked Manigault Newman.
Trump, of course, has also received support from Fox Newsers, some of whom have echoed White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ contention that the press has overcovered the story and elevated Manigault Newman by interviewing her on television.
“Your mainstream media just can’t get enough of Omarosa,” primetime host Sean Hannity said Tuesday night. “For now the fourth day, across all platforms, your ‘Destroy Trump’ media highlighting what is the salacious claims, untrue accusations, secret recordings, from yes, Omarosa, a person who was fired three times from a reality show.”
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