Trump blew it so badly with Putin that even the typically pro-Trump propaganda outlet Fox News can't defend him.
Trump's press conference with Vladimir Putin has already been called "treasonous" by former CIA Director John Brennan, but Trump didn't do all that much better with his usual Fox News defenders.
Fox host Neil Cavuto said Trump's failure to stand up to Putin made his performance "disgusting."
"A U.S. president on foreign soil, talking to our biggest enemy or adversary or competitor — I don't know how we define them these days — is essentially letting the guy get away with this, and not even offering a mild criticism," Cavuto said. "That sets us back a lot.”
Trump's performance also earned a critical tweet from "Fox & Friends" co-host Abby Huntsman, who is also the daughter of Trump's ambassador to Russia, Jon Huntsman.
"No negotiation is worth throwing your own people and country under the bus," Huntsman wrote, an apparent reference to Trump's deference to Putin's "strong and powerful" denial that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, and his direct attack on special counsel Robert Mueller.
Fox News host Brit Hume offered a milder critique, calling Trump's response "lame, to say the least."
Immediately after his press conference with Putin, Trump sat for an interview with Fox's Sean Hannity, which will air Monday night. Hannity is unlikely to criticize Trump's performance, to his face or otherwise. And the rest of Fox is almost certainly going to fall in line soon enough and start trying to spin Trump's humiliating Helsinki performance.
But the initial reactions, even from the usually pro-Trump propaganda outlet, underscore just how big a disaster Trump's public appearances with Putin were — and that's without knowing what happened when the two leaders were alone together for two hours.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.