When Fox Business anchor Maria Bartiromo asked President Donald Trump about his repeated attacks on John McCain this week, the president bristled.
When she pressed, Trump grew agitated. He attempted to dismiss the question, but Bartiromo persisted, noting the president himself reignited the feud with a dead man, and that his attacks on the senator do nothing to bring the country together. Trump eventually snapped at her.
“You shouldn’t have brought it up,” Trump said, visibly irritated. “Actually, I thought you weren’t supposed to bring it up, but that’s okay, you know. Fake news every once in a while.”
“It’s not fake news,” she shot back.
A source at the network told Mediaite that the White House tried to squash any questions about McCain prior to the interview.
Senior administration officials asked Fox Business producers that Bartiromo refrain from asking the president about McCain, the source said. Fox Business did not agree to any preconditions for the interview, a message that apparently didn’t make its way to Trump.
“For the record, there were no preconditions or stipulations agreed to ahead of that interview,” Bartiromo said as she went to a commercial break.
Trump’s feud with McCain, the Republican Senator from Arizona who died six months ago, stems back decades. The bitterness was revived this week, thanks to a report that revealed McCain handed over the Steele dossier to the FBI during the 2016 election.
That was enough to draw Trump’s ire: The president ripped McCain in a tweet last weekend, followed by several others airing his personal grievances against the late senator.
At a rally on Wednesday, completely unprompted, Trump brought up McCain again, complaining that he hadn’t been thanked for his role authorizing his funeral.
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org