President Donald Trump called into Fox News Friday morning to praise the network’s hosts for maintaining that the Russia investigation was a “hoax”. Singling out conservative host Sean Hannity first, Trump said he deserves “the equivalent of a Pulitzer”, Media Matters for America reports.
In a traditional, rambling interview Trump showered undo praise on Attorney General Bill Barr for jumping into the situation on behalf of former White House adviser Mike Flynn’s case after he pleaded guilty. The president also blew off the most recent jobs report showing 14.7% unemployment.
“It’s totally expected. There’s no surprise,” he said nonchalantly.
DONALD TRUMP (PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES): Bill Barr is a man of unbelievable credibility and courage, and he's going to go down in the history books.
BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): If Bill Barr was --
TRUMP: Brian. Brian, if this were a Republican, and if this were -- 25 people would be in jail for 50 years, all right? They would be in jail for 50 years and it would have happened two years ago, because everybody knew this was a hoax. I called it the Russian hoax and “Russia, Russia, Russia.”
And some of the people in your network, in all fairness, they got it right. Sean, you look at Sean Hannity, what he's done. I mean, he should get the equivalent of the Pulitzer Prizes, and Laura Ingraham, and in all fairness, Tucker. Tucker would do the “Russia, Russia, Russia” bit and laugh about it every night for two years. And your show. I mean, look, your show has been not exactly a believer in the hoax, but you look over to the other side, CNN, which is a very dishonest group. These people are just purely sick. And MSDNC, and it's -- they're doing everything, and now they are very embarrassed and they don't know what to do because they've been caught.
Understandably, social media was ablaze with criticism, jokes, and memes about Trump’s statements.