Press: Trump implodes on 'Fox News Sunday'

Most of the time, you know when Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump PACs brought in over M for the first half of 2021 Chicago owes Trump M tax refund, state's attorney mounts legal challenge Biden hits resistance from unions on vaccine requirement 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 DobbsCourt sets Smartmatic dismissal date on Giuliani, Bartiromo, others Fox News says Smartmatic lawsuit should be dismissed Dominion lawyer: We haven't ruled out suing Trump, other media outlets MORE, Sean HannitySean Patrick HannityMeadows says Trump World looking to 'move forward in a real way' Psaki says Biden admin 'needs' Fox News in order to fight vaccine misinformation Ronny Jackson, former White House doctor, predicts Biden will resign MORE, Tucker CarlsonTucker CarlsonDon Lemon defends Tucker Carlson amid confrontation video Fox News blasts 'ambush' of Carlson at Montana fly-fishing store Psaki says Biden admin 'needs' Fox News in order to fight vaccine misinformation MORE or Laura IngrahamLaura Anne IngrahamPsaki says Biden admin 'needs' Fox News in order to fight vaccine misinformation Biden walks fine line with Fox News Biden pokes at Fox hosts: They've had 'altar call' on vaccines 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) WallaceAnything-but-bipartisan 1/6 commission will seal Pelosi's retirement. Here's why Biden walks fine line with Fox News Aides who clashed with Giuliani intentionally gave him wrong time for Trump debate prep: book 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 BidenThe Supreme Court and blind partisanship ended the illusion of independent agencies Missed debt ceiling deadline kicks off high-stakes fight Senate infrastructure talks spill over into rare Sunday session 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.”