President Donald Trump is fixated on ratings – approval polls, the economy, and most of all, the TV pull he has when he makes a television appearance.
Calling in to Fox News host Sean Hannity Wednesday night, the former reality TV star basked in his strong ratings for his 2020 presidential race confirmation on Tuesday. (Fox News, the only major cable news network to cover Trump’s rally, drew 5 million viewers.) He also said he has to get his own messages out via Twitter and other means because the mainstream news media has “lost credibility.”
“Outside of you and a few other great people – I call them patriots, actually – but you’re not really patriots as much as you want ratings. You’re getting great ratings, Sean, last night you had tremendous — I heard the speech got you fantastic ratings,” Trump said.
Hannity concurred. “Oh yeah, they were massive.”
“You and Tucker (Fox host Carlson) and everybody else having to do it and you did it. It was a great evening,” Trump said. “When you have the lies and the frauds committed by the other networks, many of the other networks, you look at what’s going on, it’s disgraceful.”
Trump claimed his tweetstorm habit was necessary to balance the mainstream media’s accounts. “I do it because when somebody says an outright lie on MSNBC or CNN, both of whom are really suffering in the ratings, which is really interesting — it’s incredible. They have lost credibility. When they put out lies, I can counteract those lies and have many more followers than they do,” Trump said.
The exchange wasn’t all bitter. Hannity cajoled the President into wishing fellow Fox News host Laura Ingraham a happy birthday.
“Happy Birthday, wow, that’s great. Congratulations on your show, it’s a big success,” Trump said. “Thank you both. You’re great patriots, you love our country, and you know what’s happening. And I really appreciate it, and so does everyone else.”