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Trump participates in a debate sponsored by Fox News in 2016. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump publicly turned against Fox News on Wednesday, tweeting that the conservative-leaning cable network "isn't working for us anymore" and that "[w]e have to start looking for a new News Outlet."

Be smart: The words "us" and "we" presumably refer to the most loyal supporters that make up Trump's base, whom the president hopes will help him pressure Fox into elevating pro-Trump coverage leading up to the 2020 election.

Yes, but: It's unlikely that his administration will shy from Fox News as a go-to outlet for interviews and access.

  • It's long been clear that Trump is an avid viewer of Fox, as much of his morning tweets are driven by what he sees on "Fox & Friends."
  • According to progressive think tank Media Matters, 92% of Trump's nationally televised interviews this year have been with Fox News or Fox Business, as of May 2019.
  • That cozy relationship extends to Trump's Republican allies in Congress as well.

The big picture: The president has suggested for the past few months that Fox News has wavered in its loyalty to conservative coverage by elevating left-leaning voices on its network and by publishing news polls that show his support slipping.

  • He's also gone after Fox News daytime anchor like Shep Smith, compared to Fox News' primetime hosts and Trump loyalists Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson. Trump on Wednesday reiterated a familiar attack on Smith, claiming he has "low ratings."

Meanwhile, Trump has planted seeds of support for other conservative networks, like One American News Network (OANN), Newsmax and Sinclair Broadcast Group.

Between the lines: The president often goes after Fox News for giving airtime to Democratic analysts and contributors, specifically ones of color.

  • Among his favorite targets are Fox News analyst and The Hill columnist Juan Williams and Fox News contributor and former Democratic National Committee interim chairperson Donna Brazile. Last week, the President tweeted that Williams was "pathetic" and "always nasty and wrong." On Wednesday, he mentioned both Williams and Brazile in his tweets attacking the network.

The bottom line: Trump has been hinting at a Fox News breakup for a while, but it's hard to see a world in which the president actually wants the biggest and most influential conservative-leaning cable news network to turn against him. The tweets are most likely intended to pressure Fox into giving more favorable coverage ahead of a crucial election campaign.

Go deeper

Texas AG sues Biden administration over deportation freeze

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks to members of the media in 2016. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing the Biden administration in federal district court over its 100-day freeze on deporting unauthorized immigrants, and he's asking for a temporary restraining order.

Between the lines: The freeze went into effect Friday, temporarily halting most immigration enforcement in the U.S. In the lawsuit, Paxton claims the move "violates the U.S. Constitution, federal immigration and administrative law, and a contractual agreement between Texas" and the Department of Homeland Security.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
3 hours ago - Podcasts

Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck

President Biden has said that getting Americans vaccinated for COVID-19 is his administration’s top priority given an initial rollout plagued by organizational, logistical and technical glitches.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the bottlenecks and how to unclog them with Carbon Health chief executive Eren Bali, whose company recently began helping to manage vaccinations in Los Angeles.

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