Press: Trump implodes on 'Fox News Sunday'

Most of the time, you know when Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpUSPS warns Pennsylvania mail-in ballots may not be delivered in time to be counted Michael Cohen book accuses Trump of corruption, fraud Trump requests mail-in ballot for Florida congressional primary MORE’s going to appear on Fox News. Because he tells you ahead of time.

Trump’s the only politician today who’s his own publicist, alerting his 55 million Twitter followers whenever he’s going to show up on “Fox & Friends,” or with prime-time hosts Lou DobbsLouis (Lou) Carl DobbsPress: Trump implodes on 'Fox News Sunday' What you need to know about FBI official Dana Boente's retirement Two additional Fox Media employees test positive for COVID-19 MORE, Sean HannitySean Patrick HannityPence on debating Harris: 'I can't wait' QAnon supporter in Georgia heads into tight GOP runoff Sunday shows preview: White House, congressional Democrats unable to breach stalemate over coronavirus relief MORE, Tucker CarlsonTucker CarlsonDefamation lawsuit filed against QAnon GOP primary winner, stepmother of officer involved in Rayshard Brooks killing Tucker Carlson responds to guest correcting pronunciation of Kamala Harris's name: 'So what?' Tucker Carlson calls Fauci a 'fraud' after tense hearing MORE or Laura IngrahamLaura Anne IngrahamFox's Ari Fleischer: Harris 'not that historically exciting to African Americans' On The Trail: Pence's knives come out Wisconsin Republicans raise questions about death of Black Trump supporter MORE. For him, even though he’s been president for 3 1/2 years, it’s still all about ratings, ratings, ratings.

Trump notifies us when he’s going to be on Fox News most of the time. But not the last time. He didn’t tweet a peep about his appearance with Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceOvernight Defense: Appeals court rules male-only draft is constitutional | Pentagon dismisses 'unserious' post-election debate Chris Wallace: Trump struggling with attacks on 'shape-shifter' Harris Pentagon dismisses 'unserious' debate over potential military involvement in any post-election dispute MORE on “Fox News Sunday,” July 19. Why not? Because it was a total, unmitigated disaster.

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For the first time, Trump was not allowed to ramble, change the subject, exaggerate or repeat his oft-repeated lies. He tried, but Wallace challenged him, corrected him, fact-checked him and badgered him into answering the question — leaving Trump flustered, confused, angry, baffled and unable to substantiate any one of his standard big lies.

On the coronavirus, for example, Trump again insisted the United States has done more testing and has a lower mortality rate than any other country — which Wallace showed is demonstrably not true. Trump also showed a stunning lack of knowledge about how bad things are and lack of concern for victims of the disease.

He baffled public health officials by claiming that many cases amount to nothing more than a bad case of the “sniffles,” that will “heal in a day.” He again insisted that the “Chinese virus” would someday “disappear.” “I’ll be right, eventually,” he bragged, as if he were talking about the Astros winning another World Series “eventually” — showing no empathy for those who might die in the meantime. In fact, pressed by Wallace for his reaction to over 140,000 deaths from COVID-19 so far, the best Trump could offer was, “It is what it is.”

On the Black Lives Matter movement, Trump doubled down in opposition. He again claimed, wrongly, that whites were as likely to be victims of police abuse as Blacks. He defended the Confederate flag, insisting it has nothing to do with racism. He vowed to block any attempt by the Pentagon to remove the names of Confederate generals from military bases in the South. “I don’t care what the military says,” Trump told Wallace. He also twice charged that former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHarris to host virtual Hollywood campaign event co-chaired by Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling Trump plans to accept Republican nomination from White House lawn US seizes four vessels loaded with Iranian fuel MORE had publicly called for defunding the police, which Wallace again showed was not true.

On 2020, Trump also revealed how out of touch he is with reality. He dismissed two recent polls showing him losing to Biden by double digits as “fake polls.” He claimed Biden was “not competent to be president,” insisting that “Joe doesn’t even know he’s alive.” And, like the wannabe dictator he is, Trump refused to say whether, were he to lose, he’d abide by the results of the election. “I have to see. Look, I have to see,” Trump told Wallace.

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Wallace’s interview with Trump is the most disastrous given by any president, but it makes life easier for Joe Biden. He doesn’t have to campaign. All he has to do is replay that interview over and over.

It’s true that Donald Trump wouldn’t be in the White House today were it not for Fox News. But if you live by Fox, you can also die by Fox. Fox News may have put Trump in the White House, but on Sunday, July 19, it killed his chances for reelection.

Press is host of “The Bill Press Pod.” He is author of “From the Left: A Life in the Crossfire.”