Fox News wants you to believe that a bombshell New York Times report about Trump losing more than $1 billion in the decade between 1985 and 1994 is actually no big deal. In fact, it actually reflects how impressive Trump is.
“If anything, you read this and you’re like ‘wow, it’s pretty impressive, all the things that he’s done in his life,’” said Fox & Friends host Ainsley Earhardt during Wednesday’s show. “It’s beyond what most of us could ever achieve.”
Host Brian Kilmeade chimed in to say he thinks the Times’s reporting shows how “bold” Trump’s business skills are.
“I can’t imagine having that much money, spending that much money, and being in debt. For him, it makes sense.” he said during the course of a discussion that would likely make Kim Jong Un blush if it appeared on North Korean state TV.
Ainsley Earhardt on the NY Times story about Trump's $1 billion+ in business losses: "If anything, you read this and you're like 'wow, it's pretty impressive, all the things that he's done in his life.' It's beyond what most of us could ever achieve." pic.twitter.com/H4QQOWJewm— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) May 8, 2019
In a sense, Earhardt’s not wrong. The fact that Trump “appears to have lost more money than nearly any other individual American taxpayer” between 1985 and 1994, as the Times puts it, is an impressive accomplishment.
But it’s worth remembering previous New York Times reporting from last October about how Trump received nearly half a billion dollars from his dad, then maintained his fortune with the help of “dubious tax schemes,” including “instances of outright fraud.” Viewed in that light, losing so much money is nothing to be proud of, and in combination, the stories cut against the image Trump has cultivated as a successful self-made businessman.
It’s also worth remembering that Fox News spun the Times report from last October in the most pro-Trump manner possible. Host Neil Cavuto dismissed tax fraud as “creative accounting,” saying, “I don’t know if there’s a there there outside of the fact the president benefited from having a rich father and a good marketing skill,” while Earhardt said the revelations amounted to “bashing his dad who has been dead for a very long time” — despite the fact that the New York Times story did not “bash” Trump’s father Fred, who died in 1999.
Fox & Friends' takeaway from to bombshell NYT story about Trump benefiting from fraudulent tax schemes is that it proves there was "no financial benefit for Donald Trump running for president." #StateMediaWatch pic.twitter.com/IsEnTT0kcD— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) October 3, 2018
On Wednesday afternoon, Trump tweeted out an entire Fox & Friends segment from Wednesday in which the hosts and staunch Trump ally Newt Gingrich team up to downplay the Times’s reporting about Trump’s financial losses. He even went as far as to directly thank the show for its coverage.
Trump’s tweet marked the fifth one he posted on Wednesday alone in which he quoted Fox News’ coverage while tagging network personalities.