The standard Fox News morning present “Fox & Friends” was a TV residence for Donald J. Trump lengthy earlier than he grew to become president. In 2011, Mr. Trump had a daily Monday slot on the program, the place he bonded with the hosts by hurling invective at President Barack Obama and selling the false principle that Mr. Obama was not born in the United States.
During Mr. Trump’s presidency, “Fox & Friends” has reliably provided him a discussion board when he has discovered himself beneath scrutiny. In November, as an illustration, whereas dealing with an impeachment inquiry, the president made false, exaggerated and deceptive statements in his personal protection throughout a 53-minute look on the present.
On Monday, the day after The New York Times revealed a prolonged investigative article chronicling years of Mr. Trump’s tax avoidance and monetary difficulties, “Fox & Friends” welcomed two visitors from his camp, the White House press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, and the president’s eldest baby, Donald Trump Jr. Both tried to forged doubt on the article, which examined greater than twenty years of beforehand unavailable tax knowledge displaying that Mr. Trump had paid $750 in federal revenue taxes the 12 months he was elected president, and no federal revenue tax in 10 of the earlier 15 years.
In a phase that touched on the Times article, the Fox News correspondent Griff Jenkins famous that it was “probably going to come up” in the debate between the president and Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Tuesday evening, a matchup to be moderated by the Fox News anchor Chris Wallace. Mr. Jenkins then handed the baton to the “Fox & Friends” co-host Ainsley Earhardt and her visitor, Ms. McEnany.
Ms. Earhardt shortly homed in on the timing of the article’s publication, somewhat than its substance: “What do you make of the timing, the tax thing coming out a day before the debate?” she requested.
Ms. McEnany likened the article to previous Times experiences about President Trump, certainly one of which she described as a “hit piece.” “This is the same playbook they tried in 2016 and the same playbook that the American people rejected and will do so again,” the press secretary mentioned, earlier than shifting to a dialogue of Mr. Trump’s debate preparations.
The president’s son, throughout his look on “Fox & Friends,” referred to as the article “ridiculous” and mentioned his father had “paid tens of millions of taxes,” including that “people don’t understand what goes into a business.” He additionally criticized The Times for focusing on the president’s funds, saying, “If only they spent as much time looking for, maybe, I don’t know, Hunter Biden’s tax returns and the Biden crime family issues.”
The reference to a Biden “crime family,” a staple phrase amongst many right-wing supporters of the president, is an unproven smear. Last week, an investigation by Senate Republicans into corruption allegations against the Democratic presidential nominee and his son Hunter found no evidence of improper influence or wrongdoing by the former vice president. The investigation concluded that Hunter Biden’s work for a scandal-plagued Ukrainian energy company, while “problematic,” did not affect his father’s handling of American foreign policy.
The younger Mr. Trump has been an aggressive proxy for his father on the campaign trail. Last week, Facebook and Twitter flagged a Trump campaign video ad featuring him because it violated recently introduced standards on both platforms meant to guard against the spread of misinformation. In the ad, he claimed without evidence that the “radical left” was trying to “steal this election from my father” with “millions of fraudulent ballots.”