Fox News chief White House correspondent John Roberts had a meltdown on-air Thursday morning after a tense exchange with Kayleigh McEnany sent Twitter users after him.
The journalist complained about those on Twitter who slammed his persistent questioning of the White House press secretary about President Donald Trump’s supposed failure to condemn white supremacy, Breitbart reported.
“I’m tired of it”
At an intensely combative press briefing Thursday, Roberts and other reporters pressed McEnany to denounce white supremacy after one of Trump’s answers to a debate question stirred controversy.
The Fox anchor asked McEnany repeatedly to issue a “definitive” statement disavowing white supremacy, according to Breitbart, seeming to ignore her responses as she pointed out that Trump had already done so at the debate and at numerous points throughout his presidency.
Even as McEnany moved on to the next reporter, he asked for a third time: “Can you, right now, denounce white supremacy and the groups that espouse it?”
Later, Roberts blamed his critics after his behavior incited a backlash on Twitter. “Stop blaming the media,” he complained.
“For all of you on Twitter who are hammering me for answering that — for asking that question, I don’t care! Because it’s a question that needs to be asked,” he said, as Breitbart reported. “Stop deflecting. Stop blaming the media. I’m tired of it.” Take a look:
On Fox News, @johnrobertsFox is visibly angry that @PressSec won’t offer a clear denunciation of white supremacy: “Stop deflecting. Stop blaming the media. I’m tired of it. ” pic.twitter.com/GcPcOsAHqJ
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) October 1, 2020
Media hounds Trump
The controversy began Tuesday night at Trump’s first presidential debate with Joe Biden, when moderator Chris Wallace called on Trump to denounce white supremacist groups. The president readily agreed to do so, but added that left-wing groups seem to be primarily responsible for rioting in cities over the country.
But Trump invited a firestorm of controversy after he told the Proud Boys, a right-wing group, to “stand back and stand by,” after Joe Biden told him to disavow them. Trump said, “Sure, I’m willing to do that,” when asked to denounce white supremacy, according to a transcript from Rev. The president later admitted that he didn’t know who the Proud Boys were, as Fox News reported.
The president continued to denounce right-wing and white supremacist groups on Wednesday and Thursday. In a tweet addressed to Roberts, McEnany, for her part, pointed out that the Fox star’s wife — also a journalist — said that Trump denounced white supremacy to reporters, Breitbart noted.
As McEnany recalled at the briefing, Trump has disavowed white supremacy several times before, despite claims to the contrary. “In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy,” he said in August 2019.