Fox News reporter John Roberts rebuked President Donald Trump in a statement after he refused to take a question from a CNN journalist and called NBC’s reporting “dishonest” at a press conference on Friday.
Trump interrupted CNN’s Jim Acosta as he attempted to ask a question during a press conference with U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May.
“CNN is fake news. I don’t take questions from fake news,” Trump said. “John Roberts from Fox — let’s go to a real network.”
Roberts thanked Trump and posed a question, which caused CNN’s Jake Tapper to chastize Roberts in a tweet for not defending Acosta.
“Lesson for the kids out there: no one should ever try to do the right thing with the expectation it will ever be reciprocated,” Tapper wrote.
In the same press conference, NBC’s Kristen Welker asked Trump about his contentious relationship with NATO allies.
“See, that’s such dishonest reporting — of course, it happens to be NBC, which is possibly worse than CNN,” Trump responded.
In a statement provided to The Washington Post, Roberts said Trump’s attack on the media was “unfair.”
“In today’s press conference, I paused while my colleague from CNN went back and forth with President Trump over a question,” Roberts said. “When it became clear that the president wasn’t going to entertain a question from him, I proceeded with my question, as did my fellow colleagues in the press corps. I know Kristen Welker of NBC. She is honest as the day is long. For the President to call her dishonest is unfair. I also used to work at CNN. There are some fine journalists who work there and risk their lives to report on stories around the world. To issue a blanket condemnation of the network as ‘fake news’ is also unfair.”
Not everyone is convinced that Roberts’ response was genuine, including CNN’s vice president of communications, Matt Dornic.
“Nice try,” Dornic tweeted. Your omission is glaring and your compliment backhanded. Next time try and show some class in the moment. And in your statement.”