Neil Cavuto defends Chris Wallace from Trump criticism

November 19, 2019

Fox News personality Chris Wallace was the target of an irate tweet from President Donald Trump on Sunday. Stunned, Wallace’s fellow hosts are rallying around him — his career won’t be defined by opposition to Trump. 

The drama stemmed from an interview with House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, during which Scalise dismissed those who have testified against the president as “Schiff’s witnesses,” a reference to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff.

“No sir”: Wallace fights back

Wallace pushed back on that description, saying, “No, sir. They are career foreign service officers, and these are people who worked in the Trump administration.” Watch:

In response, Trump tweeted that Scalise bested Wallace, whom he characterized as “nasty and obnoxious.” He went on to call the interview “dumb and unfair” while complaining that Wallace “will never be his father, Mike!”

Chris Wallace is the son of veteran journalist Mike Wallace, and Trump has a history of making unflattering comparisons between the two.

“He often likes to say about me, ‘You know, I was covered by Mike Wallace, I liked him much more,’” the younger Wallace said in October. “To which my reaction is always: ‘One of us has a daddy problem, and it’s not me.'”

“All we are free to do is report”

Following Trump’s tweet, fellow Fox host Neil Cavuto weighed in. Despite being known as a conservative, Cavuto stood up for Wallace. Watch:

“What makes something fake news?” Cavuto asked. “I would assume if the news being reported is fake or wrong and the person presenting that news knows it’s fake or wrong, that is bad. But what if the news being reported is accurate, the facts are good, they just sound bad? My colleague Chris Wallace has discovered again the president doesn’t distinguish, apparently furious over Chris’ interview this past weekend with House Minority Whip Steve Scalise.”

“We can debate whether the crime was committed here or any crime was committed here,” he went on, “but Chris challenged Scalise concluding the witnesses who testified last week didn’t see a crime committed here. That was his view of what they said, but that’s not what they said.”

“It’s a pity the president didn’t stick around to catch Chris just as aggressively going after Democratic congressmen and Intelligence Committee member Jim Himes and the lack of any first-hand evidence implicating the president in anything,” Cavuto continued.

“While it’s understandable not to like what you hear, Mr. President, it’s not understandable to tune out what you should otherwise like very much to hear, including plenty of coverage of markets that are soaring and an economy that is humming.”

“Journalists, no matter their weight, aren’t entitled to praise you. We are obligated to question you and always be fair to you. We will. Even if it risks inviting your wrath. Like I said, you are free to rage. All we are free to do is report,” Cavuto insisted.

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Adam Peters

Adam Peters is a Conservative Institute staff writer.