Donald Trump is denouncing out Fox News anchor Shepard Smith, one of the few Fox personalities willing to criticize him, as worse than “Fake News CNN.”
Trump tweeted about Smith Wednesday, the day the president was traveling to El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, the sites of mass shootings this past weekend.
OANN is One America News Network, a far-right, pro-Trump source that promotes conspiracy theories, such as that the Democratic National Committee was involved in the death of staffer Seth Rich, who was shot to death in 2016 in Washington, D.C., apparently during an attempted robbery.
It wasn’t clear exactly what prompted the tweet, but Smith, unlike most of the hosts and commentators on Fox News, has frequently called Trump out. He has debunked the story advanced by Trump and others that as secretary of State, Hillary Clinton approved the sale of a uranium mining company to a Russian firm in exchange for donations to the Clinton Foundation. He also has taken issue with Trump’s assertion that reports of Russian meddling in the last presidential election amounted to a hoax. Recently, he denounced the president’s attack on four Democratic congresswomen of color.
The anchor has said his role is different from that of more frankly opinionated Fox personalities such as Sean Hannity. “Hannity is trying to get conservatives elected,” he told The Huffington Post (now HuffPost) in 2016. “And he wants you to listen to him and believe what he believes. I’m disseminating facts. It’s really apples and teaspoons. What we do is so different.”
Smith did acknowledge Trump’s Wednesday tweet, according to media reports. On his show, he said, “Good afternoon, Mr. President. It’s nice to have you with us.” Despite the president’s claim about Smith’s low ratings, the anchor averages “a solid 1.6 million viewers in his 3 p.m. time slot,” the New York Daily News notes.
Trump has also repeatedly attacked gay CNN anchor Don Lemon, calling him "dumb"; the president regularly uses racist language to attack People of Color, often questioning their intellect.