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Chris Wallace. Photo: Paul Morigi/Getty Images

Fox News host Chris Wallace delivered a vehement critique of President Trump on Wednesday, accusing him of engaging in the most "direct sustained assault" on the free press in U.S. history, The Guardian reports.

Why it matters: Wallace's comments come amid a schism between Fox News' daytime anchors, who have largely stuck to straight news reporting, and primetime opinion hosts, who tend to fervently defend the president.

What he's saying: "He has done everything he can to undercut the media, to try and delegitimize us, and I think his purpose is clear: to raise doubts when we report critically about him and his administration that we can be trusted," Wallace said in a speech at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

  • "Back in 2017, he tweeted something that said far more about him than it did about us: 'The fake news media is not my enemy. It is the enemy of the American people.'"

Yes, but: Wallace said some members of the media have seen Trump's attacks "as an excuse to cross the line themselves," something he called a "big mistake."

  • "The animus of the reporter and the editor as plain to see as the headline."

Go deeper: Fox News replacing Shep Smith with Bill Hemmer

Go deeper

36 mins ago - World

Maximum pressure campaign escalates with Fakhrizadeh killing

Photo: Fars News Agency via AP

The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s military nuclear program, is a new height in the maximum pressure campaign led by the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government against Iran.

Why it matters: It exceeds the capture of the Iranian nuclear archives by the Mossad, and the sabotage in the advanced centrifuge facility in Natanz.

Scoop: Biden weighs retired General Lloyd Austin for Pentagon chief

Lloyd Austin testifying before Congress in 2015. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden is considering retired four-star General Lloyd Austin as his nominee for defense secretary, adding him to a shortlist that includes Jeh Johnson, Tammy Duckworth and Michele Flournoy, two sources with direct knowledge of the decision-making tell Axios.

Why it matters: A nominee for Pentagon chief was noticeably absent when the president-elect rolled out his national security team Tuesday. Flournoy had been widely seen as the likely pick, but Axios is told other factors — race, experience, Biden's comfort level — have come into play.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. World: Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.
  4. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in December Black Friday shopping across the U.S., in photosAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.