Last week, President Donald Trump sat down for a two-part interview with Fox Business Network host Maria Bartiromo. And in doing so, the no-nonsense former CNBC host gave us the no-nonsense journalism we've come to expect from Fox News' sit-downs with Trump. Here are the six times that Bartiromo gave the hard critical "gotcha journalism" questions to Trump.
1. The time she asked Trump if Republican "bickering" is getting "in the way of your agenda"
After praising Trump for the state of the economy, and implying a general air of "this anticipation and hope that your policies will get implemented," Bartiromo jumped right into getting her hands dirty with this bare bones, objective policy question:
Yes, I’m interested about that because even your supporters say, you know, he’s got fantastic policies. We want to see this through. But the bickering and the feuding actually gets in the way. So obviously the feuding with Senator Corker – I think there’s a personal thing going on between you and Senator McCain. Do you worry that this bickering and feuding gets in the way of your agenda?
2. The time she let Trump avoid a question by talking about Vladimir Putin
When she asked Trump about how lefties perceive his agenda to be protective of the millionaire class, she got into the Russia controversy and didn't let up. She even mentioned connections with Putin directly.
Trump: Representing – being representative of rich people. Very interesting to me Bob Kraft was down. He was very nice. He owns the Patriots. He gave me a Super Bowl ring a month ago. And he . . .
Bartiromo: Well, Putin took his . . .
Trump: Which was very nice. That’s right. But he left this beautiful ring and I immediately give it to the White House and they put it some place and that’s the way it is.
Bartiromo: That’s great.
3. The time she asked if Republicans are being "bullied by the left"
You may have thought Bartiromo would be exhausted with sweat gathering on her brow from the intense exchange about Bob Kraft's Super Bowl rings, but nevertheless, she persisted with harder questions about tax cuts for the rich while deftly maintaining an air that wouldn't insult the strong willed and self-assured president.
Bartiromo: Let me ask about your courting of the Democrats recently. I mean, the reason that I brought up this other bracket is because I feel like the Republicans get bullied by the left, by this whole talking point of it’s always tax cuts for the rich.
She went further, really ripping into him.
Bartiromo: Are you getting bullied again, are you getting bullied again?
Trump denied this assertion, citing evidence that his budget seems to be moving forward.
4. That time she asked if Trump is sorta, possibly, maybe a bit too rough on Twitter sometimes
Then she hit him with a one-two punch on the divisive relationship he has to the American public via his Twitter feed. Unfortunately, the drama was too much for television and cut from Sunday's broadcast.
Bartiromo: Do you ever feel like sometimes, some of your unscripted Tweets, unscripted comments get in the way of the larger message? I have spoken with a lot of supporters of yours, and while they love the policies, they say we, you know, we feel like we are always defending something he said, that he really didn’t mean, to say that way. Do you think that is getting in the way of your agenda and the overall message? You need bully pulpit to tell the American people why tax reform is important?
Trump: It is such an interesting question, because I have friends that say, oh, don’t use social media. See I don’t call it tweets. Tweeting is like a typewriter – when I put it out, you put it immediately on your show. I mean the other day, I put something out, two seconds later I am watching your show, it’s up –
5. The time she asked him about his "incredible connection to voters"
Bartiromo went deep on the subject of Trump and his connection to "the American people," and forgot that Trump lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by a few million.
Bartiromo: You definitely have an incredible connection to voters and to supporters –
Trump: They want me to
Bartiromo: The American people. Period.
6. That time she asked about his ongoing feud with a Gold Star family in the worst way possible
Bartiromo would be remiss for not mentioning the latest controversy Trump is mired in, involving the now infamous phone call to a Gold Star family who lost a family member in Niger, and the subsequent fallout. But she never asked him directly about what the truth was in his war of words. She wanted to know if he was surprised a subordinate spoke up for him.
Bartiromo: I have to ask you about that emotional press conference yesterday with General Kelly, your chief of staff. The way he came out and talked about his son and defended you getting criticism from the Gold Star family – well, the media, really. Were you expecting that?
There were a lot of things that Bartiromo could have asked about: the ongoing Russian investigation, or even the recent vocal criticisms by Republican colleagues. But Bartiromo seemed more interested in guiding Trump into territories that would give more affirmation to his policies and plans, blowing more wind into his sails, making her the perfect choice to interview Trump.
The second part of this breakthrough interview airs Monday night.