Trump attacks Fox News over poll showing majority favors impeachment

President Donald Trump answers a question from the media during a joint news conference with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto in the East Room of the White House October 2, 2019 in Washington, DC.

Mark Wilson | Getty Images

President Donald Trump on Thursday blasted the conservative cable network Fox News for a new poll which found that a majority of respondents now favors his impeachment and removal from office.

“Whoever their Pollster is, they suck,” Trump lashed out on Twitter, a day after the Fox News poll showed that a new high of 51 percent of voters want Trump both impeached and removed from office, with 40 percent opposing impeachment.

A poll by Fox News in July found that 42% of votes favored Trump’s impeachment and removal, while 45% opposed impeachment.

Fox News’s latest poll shows a stronger level of support for Trump’s removal than two other recent leading polls, each of which found support for impeachment at below 50% of respondents.

Trump claimed that ever since he announced his candidacy for president “I have NEVER had a good @FoxNews Poll,” and said the network “is also much different than it used to be in the good old days.”

Fox News, Trump said, “doesn’t deliver for US anymore.”

It was unclear whether the president was referring to himself with “US,” or to the United States.

Shortly after those tweets, Trump posted another tweet which praised One America News Network — a competing conservative cable network — for its “fair coverage and brilliant reporting.”

Despite Trump’s ire over the latest Fox News poll, he has happily tweeted results of prior polls sponsored by the network when they have shown results he likes.

CNBC has reached out for comment to Fox News and to Beacon Research and Daron Shaw of Shaw & Company Research, the companies which jointly conducted the most recent Fox News poll.

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The poll was based on interviews of about 1,000 voters over landline and cell phones. It had a margin of error of 3%.

Though Fox News’s programming is often criticized for having a conservative bias, its scientific polling is generally seen as credible. It is overseen jointly by Democratic and Republican pollsters.

The House of Representatives is currently conducting an impeachment inquiry that was sparked by revelations that Trump had withheld congressionally approved military aid to Ukraine while he pressured that country’s president to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, and Biden’s son Hunter.

A Quinnipiac University poll on Tuesday found that 45% of registered voters said Trump should be impeached, with 49% opposing that idea. The split in the same poll, was 47-47 the prior week, but was 37% percent for impeachment, and 57% against in July.

Also Tuesday, an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that 43 percent of Americans believe that Trump should be impeached and removed from office, compared to 49 percent who opposed impeachment.

Trump routinely receives glowing coverage from a number of Fox News shows, including “Fox and Friends,” and from the evening shows hosted by the conservatives Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham.

Trump and his surrogates often appear on Fox shows. On Wednesday night, Hannity had Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani on as a guest, followed by the president’s son, Eric Trump.

But Trump has been displeased at times with coverage of him by the Fox News shows that specialize in news rather than opinion. In particular, he has singled out anchor Shepard Smith for criticism, as well as Andrew Napolitano, a former New Jersey judge who is a legal analyst for the network.

Napolitano reportedly told friends in 2017 that Trump had told him that he was “on the list” of candidates for a seat on the U.S. Court that had become vacant the prior year as a result of the death of Antonin Scalia.

Trump later appointed Neil Gorsuch to that seat. The president tapped Brett Kavanaugh for a seat that became vacant in 2018 due to the resignation of Justice Anthony Kennedy.

Donna Brazile, a former head of the Democratic National Committee, is a Fox News contributor whose prior similar role at CNN came to an ignominious end after it was revealed, in a dump of emails obtained by WikiLeaks, that she had shared questions for 2016 presidential candidates at CNN-sponsored events with Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Additional reporting by Tucker Higgins

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