DNC Chair: Issue Is With People At ‘Highest Levels Of Fox News,’ Not Journalists

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March 7, 2019 8:52 a.m.

The Democratic National Committee decided not to partner with Fox News for its primary debates this year because leadership doesn’t trust the people “at the highest levels of Fox News,” not because it has an issue with Fox journalists, Chairman Tom Perez said.

During an interview with MSNBC on Wednesday evening, Perez said that he has “great respect” for journalists and Fox News hosts like Chris Wallace, who typically moderate debates for the network. But after the publication of the New Yorker story detailing Rupert Murdoch’s allegiance to Trump and how that impacted the network’s coverage of the 2016 election, the DNC decided to sever ties.

“I have great respect for Chris Wallace, and my concern is not about Chris Wallace,” Perez told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes. “It’s about people above Chris Wallace. Because what we have seen now — and it’s been most recently now in the New Yorker story — is that at the highest levels of Fox News, they’re not playing it straight. And again, this isn’t about Chris Wallace. I have respect for him. But I do not have the confidence that we need to take such an important part of the nomination process, these debates, and trust them to folks who, at the top levels, are consulting Donald Trump before they do anything. I couldn’t do that.”

After the DNC announced that it wouldn’t work with Fox News during the primaries, Trump predictably jumped to his favorite network’s defense, threatening to “do the same thing” to CNN and MSNBC as the DNC did to Fox.

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