Trump doubles down on Neil Cavuto attacks: 'Will he get the same treatment as' Shep Smith?

President TrumpDonald John TrumpDeWine tests negative for coronavirus a second time Several GOP lawmakers express concern over Trump executive orders Beirut aftermath poses test for US aid to frustrating ally MORE on Friday renewed his attacks on Fox News and Fox Business Network anchor Neil Cavuto, charging he "has very bad ratings" while speculating whether Cavuto "will get the same treatment" as former network anchor Shepard Smith, who abruptly left the network in October. 

"So @TeamCavuto has very bad ratings on @foxnews with his Fake guests like A.B.Stoddard and others that still haven’t figured it all out,” Trump tweeted.

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A.B. Stoddard, an editor and columnist at RealClearPolitics and formerly of The Hill, appears to have set the president off earlier this week by comparing former New York City Mayor Michael BloombergMichael BloombergEverytown on the NRA lawsuit: 'Come November, we're going to make sure they're out of power, too' Hillicon Valley: Trump raises idea of delaying election, faces swift bipartisan pushback | Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google release earnings reports | Senators ask Justice Department to investigate TikTok, Zoom Meme group joins with Lincoln Project in new campaign against Trump MORE’s universally panned performance in Wednesday’s Democratic presidential primary debate to some of Trump’s own in 2016.

“I think that Donald Trump had disastrous debate performances,” Stoddard told Cavuto following the Nevada debate. “Many answers were so cringeworthy, you just couldn’t even believe he was still standing on the stage.”

Trump tweeted in response that he “won every one” of the debates, and also went after Cavuto at a Thursday evening campaign rally.

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The Twitter salvo comes as Fox News anchors Ed Henry and Trish Regan, along with network contributor Richard Fowler, were among those who publicly defended Cavuto. 

Henry called Cavuto "an outstanding man" and "an outstanding journalist" while standing up for him on the air, and Regan said she was disappointed in Trump for the remarks, adding that Cavuto deserves better treatment.

Trump has done more than 60 interviews on Fox News and Fox Business since taking office in 2017 while regularly declining interviews on a number of other networks.

The former real estate mogul has not done any interviews with CNN or MSNBC since August and May of 2016, respectively.

Cavuto's ratings have considerably increased in 2020, with "Your World with Neil Cavuto” averaging 1.7 million total viewers in January in the 4 p.m. slot, a 15 percent rise from the previous year for the same month while topping his CNN and MSNBC rivals. The program also averaged 282,000 viewers in the 25- to 54-year-old demographic that advertisers seek to reach, marking a 13 percent increase from January 2019.  

In February 2020 thus far, Cavuto's "Your World" is the eighth highest-rated cable news program in total viewers, delivering an average 2.25 million total viewers, a 45 percent increase from the same time last year. In the younger demographic, Cavuto's numbers are up 41 percent from Feb. 2019.

Updated: Feb. 22, 2020, 8:46 a.m.