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Some soft landings for Trumps, but rumblings at Fox

Some soft landings for Trumps, but rumblings at Fox
Donald Trump Jr - Eric Bolling - Fox Broadcasting Company - Fox News Channel - Hannity - Meghan Mc Cain - Shepard Smith - Soft Landing - The New York Times - United States Cable News
July 12

Some soft landings for Trumps, but rumblings at Fox

NEW YORK (AP) — Like his son the night before, President Donald Trump sought out a friendly face in the media Wednesday with the news still dominated by talk of Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with a woman tied to Russian leaders who offered campaign dirt on Hillary Clinton.

The president was interviewed in the White House by Pat Robertson, the 87-year-old founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network. It was his first non-Fox News Channel interview in several weeks.

Robertson did not ask about the story involving the president's son, a spokesman said. It seemed to be on the president's mind, since he told Robertson that he doubted reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin would rather see him as president than Clinton. In the overture his son had received for the meeting last summer, Trump Jr. was told that Putin supported his father's candidacy.

Wednesday's White House briefing was off camera, led by Sarah Huckabee Sanders. She was asked why the president had not had any public appearances in three days, and said he will appear at a news conference in France on Thursday.

Fox News Channel's Sean Hannity reached just under 2.9 million viewers for his interview with Trump Jr. on Tuesday, the most-watched program in a busy night on cable news, the Nielsen company said. That is 8 percent above his season average.

The show was a soft landing spot for the young Trump; Hannity has repeatedly described himself as an opinion host and not a journalist, and preceded the interview by outlining stories critical to Democrats that he claimed were unjustly ignored by a mainstream media that has "zero credibility."

Hannity missed opportunities. When Trump complained about how the story had slowly unfolded over four days in The New York Times, he didn't ask whether Trump could have sped things up by being more forthcoming.

Hannity walked Trump through a description of how last summer's meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya took place. His interview's enduring value may be in putting Trump on the record on several points, saying the meeting offered little of value, that there were no follow-up emails or meetings, he didn't fill in his father about it, that he felt it didn't represent collusion and that he'd cooperate fully with a special prosecutor looking into the Trump team's dealings with Russia.

Hannity said he'd asked Trump "every question I could think of."

Although Trump supporters in the media had their defenses ready, there were signs that not everyone on Trump-friendly media were buying the talking points that the latest revelations were an overreaction from a hysterical media.

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