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Trump threatens to block networks from hosting debates after Dems reject Fox
President Trump on Wednesday responded to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) refusing to let Fox News host a Democratic primary debate by threatening to "do the same thing" with other networks during the general election.
"Democrats just blocked @FoxNews from holding a debate. Good, then I think I'll do the same thing with the Fake News Networks and the Radical Left Democrats in the General Election debates!" Trump tweeted Wednesday.
Trump has maintained a bitter relationship with the press since the campaign trail, often painting mainstream media outlets as "fake news" following critical coverage of himself or his administration.
The president alone would not have the power to prevent outlets from hosting a general election debate.
The DNC and Republican National Committee (RNC) work with media outlets on arrangements for hosting their respective primary debates. The Commission on Presidential Debates sponsors the general election debates.
The DNC announced that it would not allow Fox News to host a primary debate after The New Yorker reported on the network's deep ties to Trump.
"Recent reporting in the New Yorker on the inappropriate relationship between President Trump, his administration and Fox News has led me to conclude that the network is not in a position to host a fair and neutral debate for our candidates. Therefore, Fox News will not serve as a media partner for the 2020 Democratic primary debates," DNC Chairman Tom Perez said in the statement.
Among other things, the article reported allegations that late Fox News founder Roger Ailes passed along questions to Trump prior to a 2016 Republican primary debate and noted that former Fox executive Bill Shine is now the White House communications director. Several other former Fox News employees and contributors work in the Trump administration.
In response, Fox News Senior Vice President and Managing Editor Bill Sammon praised his news staff, including hosts Chris Wallace, Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum, saying they and the network would offer candidates an ability to reach key voters during the 2020 cycle.
"They're the best debate team in the business and they offer candidates an important opportunity to make their case to the largest TV news audience in America, which includes many persuadable voters," Sammon said in an emailed statement.
Updated 7:44 p.m.