Unless an extraordinary political event occurs, it is highly likely that Donald Trump will secure the Republican presidential nomination. The Fox News town hall on Wednesday night featuring Trump did not weaken that notion in any way.
The former president exuded a kind of ease and self-assurance that made him look extremely electable.
However, the noteworthy aspect of the situation was that although broadcasters Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum did question the former president on a few matters, the overall atmosphere of the event was surprisingly friendly for a town hall including two journalists and the most talked about political figure of our day.
It resembled the formal appointment of a forthcoming leader and, even more astonishingly, a capitulation by Fox News to, according to the most recent polls, the man who may very well be president again. Indeed, it was a surrender by Fox to Trump.
This was a significant occasion for the industry.
Fox News is the leading cable news network, attracting a larger audience than the combined viewership of CNN and MSNBC.
The programming is highly influential and consistently supports the Trump administration.
Prior to this, it seemed that a deliberate endeavor had been undertaken to shift focus away from Trump and endorse other Republican candidates, such as Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley.
It was like whoever is in control of Fox, were doing their best to kill Trump’s chances at winning a second term.
Both individuals were unable to undermine Trump’s control over the Republican Party. Fox News provided a warm and welcoming reception for the 45th president on Wednesday night.
Mainstream media took note of what happened during the town hall. The Associated Press reported:
“As Donald Trump’s two main Republican rivals slugged it out Wednesday on an Iowa debate stage, the former president appeared across town on a Fox News Channel town hall in a counterprogramming move where few discouraging words were heard.”
Trump walked onstage to cheers and chants of “USA,” stayed at the end to sign autographs and heard one audience member blurt out “love you” after he took her question.
The AP article went on, “When asked about his previous statements that a second term as president would be about retribution for his enemies, Trump said he wouldn’t have time for it.”
“The ultimate retribution,” he said, “is success.”
It was Trump’s first live appearance on Fox News since 2022, and how the network handled it was closely watched. It came less than a year after Fox agreed to pay Dominion Voting Systems $787 million to settle a lawsuit related to lies told in the aftermath of the 2020 election.
Fox instituted a soft ban against Trump in the opening days of the Biden administration, and the former president has complained about some of its personalities being insufficiently loyal to him.
Baier and MacCallum respectfully questioned Trump on various topics, including political violence and the suspected violation of emoluments by accepting substantial sums of money from foreign governments during their presidency. They didn’t hit him hard.
The town hall occurred shortly after Trump expressed his desire, during an interview with Lou Dobbs, for the economy to experience a significant downturn within the next 12 months, as he wished to avoid a situation similar to that of President Herbert Hoover.
Baier raised this issue, but didn’t push it: “You’re not saying you’re hoping for a crash? Just to be clear,” he asked Trump.
Conducting an interview with Trump that he doesn’t subsequently express dissatisfaction with is challenging. “The Town Hall last night received wonderful reviews. Thank you to Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum for doing a really professional job,” Trump posted on his social media platform, Truth Social.
Leadership at Fox News apparently knows when they’ve been beat. They utterly failed in their drive to have a different Republican nominee for president. So they surrendered. Probably because they don’t want to lose their shirts as they would by continuing to go against the man who very well may be president again.
Trump shared with his followers who are expressing their strong support for ex-First Lady Melania Trump, who recently experienced the loss of her mother during the late hours of Tuesday.
Trump uploaded a photograph on Facebook, with himself standing next to Amalija Knavs, who recently passed away at the age of 78 following a prolonged and unknown health struggle.
“This is a very sad night for the entire Trump family!!!” Trump mournfully posted. “Melania’s great and beautiful mother, Amalija, has just gone to a beautiful place in the sky. She was an incredible woman, and will be missed far beyond words!”
On X, Melania Trump characterized her mother as a resolute woman who shown unwavering dedication to her family.
It is with deep sadness that I announce the passing of my beloved mother, Amalija.
Amalija Knavs was a strong woman who always carried herself with grace, warmth, and dignity. She was entirely devoted to her husband, daughters, grandson, and son-in-law. We will miss her beyond…
— MELANIA TRUMP (@MELANIATRUMP) January 10, 2024
“It is with deep sadness that I announce the passing of my beloved mother, Amalija. Amalija Knavs was a strong woman who always carried herself with grace, warmth, and dignity. She was entirely devoted to her husband, daughters, grandson, and son-in-law. We will miss her beyond measure and continue to honor and love her legacy,” Melania Trump’s whole statement conveyed.