Fox & Friends host and daughter of the US ambassador to Russia, Abby Huntsman, was forced to apologize after she touted the Trump-Kim summit as a “meeting between two dictators” on air. The gaffe caused a storm of ridicule online.
Fox & Friends, regularly lauded by Trump for its coverage, including for “exposing the truth,” ran footage showing him landing in Singapore on Sunday while Huntsman discussed the prospects of the summit with former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci. Back in July, Scaramucci, nicknamed the Mooch, broke a record for the shortest stint in the White House after serving just 11 days before he was fired in the wake of his very public foul-mouthed rant against fellow staffers.
What Huntsman said in the broadcast was no less eyebrow-raising.
Asking Scramucci to weigh in on the historic meeting, Huntsman made what her critics believe was a “Freudian slip,” saying that, “regardless of what happens in that meeting between the two dictators, what we are seeing right now, this is history.”
The gaffe did not seem to register with Scaramucci, who proceeded to give his own opinion, praising Trump for “breaking the usual bonds” by sitting down for talks with Kim.
The segment was shared on Fox News’ social media, including on Instagram and Twitter, the president’s favorite communication medium.
While Trump himself is yet to react to the blunder, Huntsman has publicly apologized, claiming she misspoke.
“I do want to point out that earlier, as you know sometimes on live TV sometimes you don’t always say things perfectly. I called both President Trump and Kim Jong-un a dictator. I did not mean that, my mistake, so I apologize for that,” she said on air.
However, the remark had already set off a barrage of mockery on Twitter, which, unlike Scaramucci, was quick to pick on the embarrassing slip. Many users suggested it was self-revealing.
Whoa Fox News just referred to Trump as a dictator! Freudian slip?
— Joanne Cafiero (@JoanneCafiero) June 10, 2018
Nothing to see here, Fox & Friends just casually calling Trump a dictator now.
— Alt Fed Employee (@Alt_FedEmployee) June 10, 2018
Fox News, criticized by the Left for essentially turning into a “mouthpiece” for Trump, finally has “intellectual reporting,” one user wrote.
“Finally something true,” another chimed in.
"Regardless of what happens in that meeting between the two dictators…"
Fox News refers to Trump as a dictator!! Finally something true. pic.twitter.com/BhdXxVe3iA
— Millennial Democrats (@Millennial_Dems) June 10, 2018
Fox News just called Trump a dictator.
Finally, intellectual reporting.
— Matt Deitsch (@MattxRed) June 10, 2018
New wig on top. Fox News the real news called trump a dictator today.
— Susan Cetrano (@CetranoSusan) June 10, 2018
Some commentators went a step further, fanning a conspiracy theory that Fox tries to normalize the concept of “Trump as a dictator,” since the White House seems to be okay with the reporting.
nah i dont buy this as an accident, fox advancing the idea of dictator trump as normal and good seems totally reasonable at this point pic.twitter.com/CWTDd0qH8R
— hellstar.plus (@hellstarplus) June 10, 2018
So, Fox news is getting their viewers used to hearing dictator with regards to Trump. Like it ain't no big thang! #PropagandaWorks
— Patti Ivans (@pattiivans) June 10, 2018
Fox New just referred to 45* as a dictator and did not correct themselves. They are trying to normalize this crap to their viewers. Steve, please call this out.
— Wakanda Be Startin' Somethin' (@smyers6969) June 10, 2018
Faced with a torrent of Twitter scorn, Huntsman fired back, tweeting it’s time to “move on to things that actually matter.”