Fox News personality Chris Wallace is known for his history of conflict with President Donald Trump — and that was again made evident when the pair sat down for what became a bombshell interview at the White House on Sunday. According to The Hill, the Fox host took the president to task for prior criticism of his network.
“Some people were surprised when you agreed to this interview, to sit down with me,” Wallace noted at one point during their conversation, The Hill reported.
“Especially because of some of the mean tweets that you’ve said about me,” Wallace continued. “Mike Wallace wannabe. Nasty and obnoxious.”
The TV anchored added laughingly, “I will tell you after that one my son, Peter, who you’ve met, called and he said nasty, no, obnoxious, maybe.”
Wallace grills Trump
According to a transcript provided by Fox News, Wallace went on to press Trump about his previous critiques, saying: “But here’s the question, one of your beefs seems to be that I put Democrats on the show and I ask them questions. And I guess the question I have is, don’t you understand it’s my job to put Democrats on as well as Republicans? And to ask them probing questions just like I ask Republicans?
The president responded by saying that he is “not a big fan of Fox,” complaining that the new network “has changed a lot since Roger Ailes.”
Wallace then claimed that he had also asked tough questions during a recent interview with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), specifically recalling having grilled Pelosi on her own response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“A very talented person”
Trump replied by calling Wallace “a very talented person” after comparing him favorably to his late father, veteran 60 Minutes host Mike Wallace.
However, when the president accused him of leaning “toward the Democrat side,” Wallace denied that was the case and cited an interview he conducted with former FBI Director James Comey.
“You couldn’t do as tough an interview with Comey,” Wallace insisted, according to the transcript. “I’d like to think I treat everybody the same.”
The comments that Trump and Wallace made face-to-face were far more cordial than the remarks that they have made about each other elsewhere, with Wallace accusing the president of having “daddy issues,” and Trump complaining that Wallace is “even worse than Sleepy Eyes Chuck Todd.”
It remains to be seen whether this newfound detente can be sustained as election season draws near.