The Democratic National Committee (DNC) announced on Wednesday that it would not allow Fox News to host a Democratic presidential primary debate, citing a media story from earlier this week which alleged strong ties between the conservative network and President Trump’s inner circle.
In a statement, DNC Chairman Tom Perez said he had held conversations with Fox News about potentially allowing the network to host a primary debate, but the recent story published in The New Yorker, caused him to end conversations with the network.
“Recent reporting in The New Yorker on the inappropriate relationship between President Trump, his administration and FOX News has led me to conclude that the network is not in a position to host a fair and neutral debate for our candidates. Therefore, FOX News will not serve as a media partner for the 2020 Democratic primary debates,” Perez said in the statement.
In a statement, Fox News senior vice president and Managing Editor Bill Sammon said the network hoped the DNC would reconsider, citing the network’s journalists Chris Wallace, Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum, “all of whom embody the ultimate journalistic integrity and professionalism.”
“They’re the best debate team in the business and they offer candidates an important opportunity to make their case to the largest TV news audience in America, which includes many persuadable voters,” Sammon said in an emailed statement to The Hill.
The DNC has already announced they will hold as many as 12 debates during the primary contest, including six this year. The first debates are scheduled for June, on NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo, and July, hosted by CNN.
Fox News has not held a Democratic primary debate in several election cycles, The Hill noted.