‘People in the Murdoch family don’t speak to each other, partly over the issue … of Fox News and Donald Trump,’ author tells CNN
Michael Wolff, the man behind three books about the Trump administration, told CNN that Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch “hates Donald Trump” but “loves” the money the former president brings his cable news channel.
CNN’s Brian Stelter asked Wolff on Sunday why Fox News is “still so attached to” Mr Trump if Mr Murduch “despises him”.
“I think that there are two worlds going on here,” Wolff said. “There’s Rupert Murdoch’s world, which is all-powerful, but … it’s actually not quite all-powerful.”
The author added that the Fox News network “has moved its business model to an old Trump model”.
“That’s where the money comes from … Would Rupert Murdoch have an alternative to that, that would supply that much money? Rupert hates Donald Trump, hates him, but Rupert loves money. Those are two warring things.”
“This has created an enormous tension in the Murdoch family,” Wolff told CNN. “People in the Murdoch family don’t speak to each other, partly over the issue … of Fox News and Donald Trump. One of the reasons that Murdoch sold most of the assets on his company is that his children could not come to any kind of agreement about who would ultimately run the company, partly because of this tension over Fox News.”
“F*** him,” Mr Murdoch reportedly said according to Wolff. Fox News has denied these allegations.
Former Fox News politics editor Chris Stirewalt, who left the network after the election, said on Saturday that he faced “murderous rage” from Trump supporters for defending Fox News calling Arizona for Mr Biden. He also pushed back on Wolff’s reporting.
“If you want to know how false the Michael Wolff claim is, you can find the clip on air. When our on-air colleagues reported our call they were genuinely surprised,” Stirewalt said on his podcast Ink Stained Wretches.
“The thing about Wolff … if all you do is say, ‘Come and tell me anything you want to tell,’ and I read the one White House book, and it’s very transparent at certain points where you can tell who’s dishing on who. But you grant anonymity to people unnecessarily and then let them lie to you,” he added.
Wolff said former Trump spokesman Jason Miller confirmed his reporting.
“At any rate, the Rupert Murdoch thing is, I reported that at that point the decision desk got in touch with Lachlan Murdoch, Lachlan Murdoch called his father, his father said to go with this report, obviously including quite a fetching obscenity directed at Trump,” Wolff told CNN.
“How do I know this? I’ll give you the background here. The fact is that I am Rupert Murdoch’s biographer… who was given enormous access to him. I am well-sourced throughout the company and throughout his family, so, therefore, I know that this happened. My sources are extremely good and without a doubt on this point.”