Trump attacks Murdoch for ‘throwing his anchors under the table’

Donald Trump has attacked Rupert Murdoch in a blistering statement, accusing him of betraying his Fox News television hosts by admitting that he doubted their conclusions about the 2020 election.

“Why is Rupert Murdoch throwing his anchors under the table,” the former US president posted to his platform Truth Social.

“There is MASSIVE evidence of voter fraud & irregularities in the 2020 Presidential Election,” Trump wrote, repeating the lie he has promoted since losing the election to Joe Biden.

Rupert Murdoch and then US president Donald Trump embrace at a function in 2017.Credit:The New York Times

Trump claims that Murdoch’s testimony in which the Australia-born executive expressed doubt over some of the TV network’s popular commentators’ statements would “kill” Murdoch’s defence against the lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Machines following the 2020 election.

Murdoch testified that the TV network’s commentators “endorsed” Donald Trump’s conspiracy theory about the 2020 presidential election, even though Murdoch himself said he doubted the claim.

“They endorsed,” Murdoch said under oath in response to direct questions about hosts Sean Hannity, Jeanine Pirro, Lou Dobbs and Maria Bartiromo, a legal filing by Dominion Voting Systems said.

In the $US1.6 billion ($2.4 billion) suit, Dominion claims it has been defamed by Fox News, whose hosts repeated the false claim that its voting machines could be manipulated to aid Biden’s tally.

“I would have liked us to be stronger in denouncing it in hindsight,” Murdoch added, while also disclosing that he was always dubious of Trump’s claims of widespread voter fraud.

In Trump’s statement, he urges the public to view a discredited stolen election “documentary” to see “large-scale ballot stuffing caught on government cameras”.

In a related move, Democratic leaders sent a letter to Fox News executives demanding the network stop spreading misinformation about the 2020 election and for its hosts to admit on air they were wrong to do so.

Donald Trump says Rupert Murdoch is throwing Fox News hosts under a table.Credit:Bloomberg

The fracas over the 2020 election comes as Trump plans to visit Iowa in mid-March, the first foray to the lead-off caucus state since announcing his 2024 White House campaign.

The former president hinted at an Iowa trip “very soon” in a radio interview with Des Moines talk show host Simon Conway on Tuesday.

A Trump aide confirmed on Wednesday that plans were underway for an upcoming appearance, but declined to provide details about the location or date, beyond the middle of this month.

The aide spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss plans that have not been publicly announced.

“We’re planning something very soon,” Trump told Conway on WHO radio. “And then we’ll be coming back at least a couple of times before the election.”

Trump has been notably absent in Iowa, where Republican candidate Nikki Haley, his former UN ambassador, and potential rivals Mike Pence, the former vice president, and Senator Tim Scott, have visited after a slow start to campaigning in the state.

Some Iowa Republican activists, including Gloria Mazza, chairwoman of the Polk County Republicans, representing Iowa’s most populous county, have noted that Trump has stayed away so far. Trump travelled in January to New Hampshire, scheduled to host the first Republican presidential primary next year, and South Carolina, the South’s first primary.

with AP

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