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Trump dings CNN, 'Morning Joe' ratings as Tucker Carlson sets record

President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump announces new tranche of endorsements DeSantis, Pence tied in 2024 Republican poll Lawmakers demand changes after National Guard troops at Capitol sickened from tainted food MORE early Wednesday slammed CNN and MSNBC's "Morning Joe" for their ratings during the second quarter, which was dominated by Fox News, even though both cable news networks enjoyed strong viewership in April, May and June with coverage of the coronavirus pandemic and mass protests and unrest following George Floyd's death.

"Can’t believe how badly @CNN has done in the newly released TV ratings. They are so far below @FoxNews (thank you President Trump!) that you can barely find them. Fredo should be given a big pay cut! MSDNC also did poorly," Trump wrote to his 82.6 million followers. "As I have long said, Fake News does not pay!!!"

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Fredo is a reference to a fictional character in "The Godfather" that the president has used before to refer to CNN anchor Chris CuomoChris CuomoAs Trump steps back in the spotlight, will Cuomo exit stage left? The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - FBI director testifies on Jan. 6 Capitol attack Chris Cuomo criticized for hypocrisy after he says he won't cover brother's controversy MORE, who finished the quarter as the network's most-watched personality with an average of 2.21 million viewers. Cuomo still finished third in total viewers in his time slot behind MSNBC's Rachel MaddowRachel Anne MaddowJuan Williams: Hypocrisy runs riot in GOP Tim Ryan: Prosecutors reviewing video of Capitol tours given by lawmakers before riot League of Conservation Voters adds racial justice issues to 2020 congressional scorecard MORE, who averaged 3.2 million viewers, and Fox News Channel's Sean HannitySean Patrick HannityPence to narrate Limbaugh documentary series for Fox Nation Pompeo not ruling out 2024 White House bid Grenell hints at potential California gubernatorial bid MORE, who delivered 4.31 million viewers for his highest numbers on record, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Overall, Fox News averaged 3.6 million total viewers in prime time ahead of MSNBC, which was second with nearly 2 million. CNN, Home and Garden TV and TLC rounded out the top five cable networks.

"Tucker CarlsonTucker CarlsonThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Lawmakers face Capitol threat as senators line up votes for relief bill Tucker Carlson bashes CNN, claims it's 'more destructive' than QAnon Former Trump officials eye bids for political office MORE Tonight" finished the quarter as the highest-rated program in cable news history, tallying an average of 4.33 million viewers. "Hannity" was a close second, with 4.31 million, followed by three other Fox programs: "The Five," with 3.9 million; "Special Report with Bret Baier," with 3.66 million; and "The Ingraham Angle" with Laura IngrahamLaura Anne IngrahamHaley isolated after Trump fallout Tucker Carlson to produce video podcasts for Fox Nation Rush Limbaugh dead at 70 MORE, with 3.62 million.

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The president early Wednesday also congratulated "Fox & Friends" for its win over MSNBC's "Morning Joe" and CNN's "New Day."

"Congratulations to @foxandfriends on completely dominating the just released morning TV Ratings. Morning Joke, staring Psycho Joe ScarboroughCharles (Joe) Joseph ScarboroughScarborough says comparisons of Capitol riot to summer protests irrelevant Scarborough: 'Pence is in fear for his life because of Donald J. Trump' Can the media regain credibility under Biden? MORE on MSDNC, a Concast Company, was a disaster. Even worse was the barely registering @CNN mess!"

The president often lauds "Fox & Friends" and regularly tweets commentary and reaction to segments or discussions featured on the program. Overall, the show averaged 1.6 million total viewers in topping "Morning Joe" and "New Day." The Fox program has won its time slot for 74 consecutive quarters.

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CNN still had its biggest audience in the network's 40-year history in the second quarter, averaging 1.824 million viewers in prime time and 1.124 million in Total Day, which runs from 6 a.m. to 6 a.m.

MSNBC also shattered its own ratings record for the quarter while experiencing considerable growth, with an increase in total viewers of 34 percent when compared to the same quarter of last year.

NBC's "Meet the Press with Chuck ToddCharles (Chuck) David ToddBrown vows Democrats will 'find a way' to raise minimum wage Fauci lays out timeline for vaccinating teens, children Trudeau: Canadian, US border to remain closed 'for now' MORE" posted its 10th consecutive quarter as the most-watched Sunday morning political affairs program, averaging 3.814 million total viewers. The quarter marks the show's highest viewership since the first quarter of 2017, when Trump was sworn into office. In terms of growth, "Meet the Press" was up 24 percent among total viewers when compared to the same quarter in 2019.