Furious Trump tells followers to turn off Fox News after poll shows him losing in six swing states

Trump insists that he is “leading in the REAL polls” as he accuses the network of pushing “phony suppression polls”

By Igor Derysh

Managing Editor

Published July 6, 2020 10:56AM (EDT)

Donald Trump | Fox News logo (Getty Images/FOX NEWS/Salon)
Donald Trump | Fox News logo (Getty Images/FOX NEWS/Salon)

President Donald Trump urged his supporters to switch from Fox News to a different conservative news channel after the network covered a poll showing him losing to presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden in six key swing states.

Trump lashed out at Fox, despite filling his Twitter feed with Fox News clips parroting his talking points, after the network aired a segment on a recent CNBC poll showing Biden leading in battleground states. The poll showed Biden leading by five or more points in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Michigan, Florida and Arizona.

"Fox News gladly puts up the phony suppression polls as soon as they come out," Trump tweeted Sunday. "We are leading in the REAL polls because people are sick & tired of watching the Democrat run cities, in all cases, falling apart. Also, now 96 percent Approval Rating in the Republican Party. Another 2016!"

Though Trump has repeatedly claimed that he has 96% support among Republicans, a recent Gallup poll showed the actual number fall from 92% to 85% amid his failure to respond to rising coronavirus infections and his military threats against the protests over police violence, which are widely supported by the American public.

Trump urged his followers to switch to One America News Network, which has repeatedly spread conservative misinformation, or Newsmax, a network run by longtime Trump friend and adviser Chris Ruddy. Sean Spicer, who served as Trump's press secretary in 2017, hosts a political talk show on Newsmax called "Spicer & Co."

"Fox News weekend afternoons is the worst!" he tweeted. "Getting into @CNN and MSDNC territory. Watch @OANN & @newsmax instead. Much better!"

Journalist Yashar Ali noted that "Fox News weekend afternoons is as straight news *as it gets* at Fox News."

Trump similarly lashed out at Fox after its own poll showed Biden leading nationwide by 14 points last month. The poll was released after Trump issued a legal threat and demanded an apology over a CNN poll showing him losing by the same margin earlier in the month.

"Many will disagree, but Fox News is doing nothing to help Republicans, and me, get re-elected on November 3rd," Trump grumbled in May.

But Trump's internal campaign polls have not been much better. Last year, his campaign cut ties with several pollsters after their data showed him trailing in key swing states. Earlier this year, the president threatened to "sue" his own campaign manager after the data continued to show him losing.

Trump, while grousing over Fox News' polling, has continued to hype the network, as well. He touted that Fox News beat CNN in the ratings thanks to "President Trump" just last week. His divisive speech at Mount Rushmore last week was largely cribbed from host Tucker Carlson's monologues.

And despite Trump's complaints about the network, Fox has continued to prop up his presidency. Host Sean Hannity, who has appeared at the president's rallies, came under fire for a softball interview with Trump last month. One of the network's news shows cropped Trump out of a photo with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein over the weekend, even though they left Melania Trump in the photo.

By Igor Derysh

Igor Derysh is Salon's managing editor. His work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Herald and Baltimore Sun.

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