Former President Donald Trump took a Newsmax reporter to task during an interview that aired Thursday on the right-wing network over his boss’s refusal, like Fox News, to continue platforming lies about the 2020 election.
The ex-president was being interviewed by Rob Finnerty when he posited that news networks including Newsmax itself was “afraid of getting sued” if it platformed the long-debunked conspiracies about voter fraud, foreign interference and other falsehoods spread by the Trump campaign after the 2020 election.
“Fox doesn’t put it on and, by the way, you people don’t put it on either. You’re afraid of being sued or something. I don’t know. Some day you’ll have to explain that,” he told Mr Finnerty.
He then challenged the reporter: “You’ll probably cut what I’m saying out right now.”
“Of course not!” an incredulous Mr Finnerty responded.
Mr Trump then urged him to publish the interview “before Chris sees it,” referring to his apparently former ally, Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy.
The exchange comes as Mr Trump made some of his first remarks amid the recent revelations of the public January 6 committee hearings. On Tuesday the committee treated the public to a shocking look behind the scenes, courtesy of ex-Mark Meadows aide Cassidy Hutchinson, of the final days of the Trump administration and heard how the president and others knew that violence was likely to occur as a result of their attempts to overturn the election on Jan 6 itself.
Mr Trump has roundly denounced Ms Hutchinson as a “leaker” and claimed that much of her testimony was untrue. Mr Meadows, however, continues to evade the committee’s subpoena for his testimony and refuses to give his side of the story under oath. So have other Trump allies.
In its hearings, the committee has largely leaned on Ms Hutchinson and other former members of the Trump adminsitration and inner circle as they seek to elevate the voices of ex-Trump allies; this strategy has effectively countered persistent complaints from Republicans that the hearings are one-sided.
The ex-president continues to refuse to drop his numerous bogus claims about the 2020 election though they have all been uniformly refuted by state-led hand recounts as well as statements from top officials in the Trump Justice Department and other agencies directly rejecting claims that widespread fraud occurred.