Some of Trump’s former aides testified that the Fox call shocked them but also undermined their confidence in his chances of victory. Jason Miller, a senior aide to the Trump campaign, said in a video testimonial played by the committee that he and others were “disappointed with Fox” for making the call, but at the same time “concerned that our data or our numbers might were not accurate.”
Mr Miller had shared none of those concerns on election night when… he tweeted that Fox was a “complete outlier” whose call should be ignored by other media outlets. At Mr. Trump’s urging, he and other aides immediately contacted Fox executives, producers and on-air talent to seek clarification. Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of Mr. Trump, went straight to the top and called Mr. Murdoch. The scene partly took place on the air as Fox talent commented on the complaints that were pouring down on them from the Trump campaign.
“Arnon, we’re getting a lot of messages here, and we need you to answer a few questions,” said Bret Baier, the network’s chief political anchor. said at one pointreferring to Arnon Mishkin, the person at the decision desk responsible for analyzing the data and recommending when Fox made his calls.
On Monday, Mr Stirewalt did not describe Mr Murdoch or Lachlan Murdoch, the executive chairman of Fox Corporation, as part of the decision-making process. And network managers have said the Murdochs were not involved.
While Fox News’ coverage tends to favor conservative, pro-Trump views, that respect has never been taken over by the decision-making bureau, which is a separate part of the news-gathering operation overseen by Mr Mishkin, a polling expert who is also a registered Democrat. In the days following the election, Mr. Mishkin was unwavering in his defense of the call as Fox anchors pressured him. Once, when host Martha MacCallum peppered Mr. Mishkin with a series of “what if” scenarios that could increase Trump’s chances of winning, Mr. Mishkin replied sarcastically, “What if frogs had wings?” (Mr. Mishkin remains a paid consultant for the network, not an employee, and will head the decision-making bureau for the November midterm elections.)
The decision-making desk was established under former Fox News chairman and founder Roger Ailes, who enjoyed controversy and judgment drawing more than he cared about following the line for the Republican Party. His quick phone calls angered Republicans more than once, including in 2012, when it was the first to predict President Barack Obama would win Ohio and a second term, and in 2018 when it declared Republicans would lose the House of Representatives. , even if votes were still being cast on the West Coast.