Fox News Anchor Says Media Encouraged China to Fight Back in Trump Trade War

Fox News anchor Maria Bartiromo blamed the U.S. news media for emboldening the Chinese government to push back against President Donald Trump's ongoing trade war.

Bartiromo and former Utah Republican congressman Jason Chaffetz spoke Sunday morning about the market's potential reaction to Trump's retaliatory tariffs on Chinese imports. The two honed in on his "hereby" declaration last week that he has the power to stop private U.S. companies from trading with the second-largest world economy. Both Fox News mainstays blamed the media in different ways.

Chaffetz said the U.S. media was simply exaggerating Trump's "hereby" declaration of trading power, while Bartiromo outright blamed "left" U.S. media coverage for undercutting Trump's authority in the U.S.-China trade war.

"One important fact to make is that the media has been basically taking a side and they've taken the side of the left," Bartiromo said on Sunday Morning Futures.

"That's one reason that I believe China saw the media beating up on president Trump over the last two years as everybody was in this 'collusion delusion' for two years. Meanwhile, John Brennan is on MSNBC saying the president was treasonous -- no wonder the Chinese walked away and said 'we're going to renege, I'm not going to put into law that it's unlawful to steal intellectual property, why would I? We're going to be done with this guy in about a year.' That's because of the media's coverage."

Earlier in the segment, Bartiromo asked Chaffetz if Trump has the executive authority to bar U.S. companies from conducting business with China. And like several other Trump administration figures including White House Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow, the former GOP congressman downplayed the tit-for-tat U.S-China tariffs.

Bartiromo acknowledged Trump has "broad authority" but she questioned if the president would shut out China similar to the "security threat" tactic keeping U.S. companies from dealing with Iran.

"I know that the Chinese companies do anything the Chinese government tells them to do -- that is a communist country and I know there is a thing called civil military fusion in China, and how it's all about the military there," Bartiromo told Chaffetz Sunday. "But does the president have the authority to tell companies in America -- move out of China right now?"

"I think it's a mere suggestion at this point. I don't think it has risen to that level," Chaffetz said. "People are getting caught up in this language of 'hereby' but I don't think that anybody really thinks that suddenly tomorrow they can't do business with China."

Speaking with CBS News on Sunday, Kudlow said Trump does have "authority to block private businesses from investing in China," before adding, "He is not intending to right now. That is not his intention."

Chaffetz went on to redirect the conversation to trade talks with another Asian economy: Japan.

"They see a president opening up markets, this Japan deal, I cannot stress how big that will be in the heartland."

Trump stood by threats of potentially escalating the U.S.-China trade war this week, telling reporters before the G7 meeting in France: "I think they respect the trade war, it has to happen. China has been, well I can only speak for the United States, I can't say what they are doing to the U.K. and other places, but from the standpoint of the United States what they've done is outrageous that presidents and administrations allowed them to get away with taking hundreds of billions of dollars out every year and putting it into China."

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Fox News anchor Maria Bartiromo blamed the U.S. news media for emboldening the Chinese government to push back against President Donald Trump's ongoing trade war. Screenshot: Fox News