Fox News chief political anchor Bret Baier says that President Trump’s attacks on the media are “a problem.” Asked on “CBS This Morning” on Tuesday whether Mr. Trump’s branding of journalists as “the enemy of the people” is something that he feels endangers the press, Baier said, “I think it’s a problem. I don’t love – that’s a bad phrase. I think it’s – we’re all trying to do our job.”
Fox News, which is typically applauded for its coverage by the president, has recently been a target of his criticism. But Baier said he’s taking it in “stride.”
“I think it’s part of the deal, as you guys know. Listen, we’re trying to call balls and strikes. If we can do that every day, be fair to him, but also cover the news fairly to all sides, that’s what I’m trying to do,” he said.
Baier also addressed Shepard Smith’s abrupt exit from Fox News. Smith, one of the few anchors on Fox News willing to criticize the president, surprised viewers last week when he announced he was stepping down at the end of his show “Shepard Smith Reporting.”
“Well, it was a surprise. Shep was a friend. I worked with him for 23 years. One of my first assignments was alongside Shep … But it was his decision. He was by far the best at breaking news coverage I’d ever seen. It was his call,” Baier said.
During his closing remarks, Smith said, “the truth will always matter,” which many took as a dig at the network’s right-leaning tendencies. Baier did not deny that was Smith’s intention but did say “I’m not going to speak for Shep.”
Pressed on whether Smith’s comments were interpreted inside the network as critical of Fox News, Baier said, “He’s concerned about journalistic coverage. I think he was proud of the news division at Fox. There’s always an opinion side, too. And he made a choice to leave. I’m happy that the show is going to be all news, and we’ll be in the circle.”
Baier also discussed his new book “Three Days at the Brink: FDR’s Daring Gamble to Win World War II,” about the extraordinary cooperation in World War II and how we could apply those lessons to Syria where the U.S. recently withdrew troops and broke with one of its longtime allies, the Kurds.
“FDR had a vision for the world getting together, organizing countries against fascism. The problem was Stalin took control of Eastern Europe,” he said. “And getting together with allies is key. That’s some of the concern you hear from Republicans and Democrats about what happened with the Kurds. The president obviously is making the decisions here.”