President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner did call Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch to complain about the Arizona call, the network’s Howard Kurtz confirmed Sunday.
A Nov. 4 report from The New York Times alleged that Trump “erupted” after hearing that Fox News called Arizona for President-elect Joe Biden with just 73% of votes counted. The network’s Decision Desk kept with their announcement, even after the Trump campaign publicly criticized its director.
Kurtz, the host of Fox News’ “Media Buzz,” confirmed one particular detail from the NYT alleging that Kushner “was also in touch with Rupert Murdoch … as the night wore on.”
“There was strong pushback from the Trump campaign about that call. Some Fox commentators challenged it on the air,” Kurtz said Sunday. “I can confirm that Jared Kushner called Rupert Murdoch to complain about the Arizona call, which seemed crucial at the time.”
Kurtz further clarified reports from Vanity Fair that Trump himself called Murdoch, noting this was false. He also played a clip from Fox News’ decision desk director Arnon Mishkin, who previously said “the president is not gonna be able to take over and win enough votes to eliminate that seven point lead that there former vice president has.”
In regards to the allegations that Trump was angry with the network, Murdoch told The Washington Post that “if the president had called, I would not have interfered or changed our call,” according to Kurtz.
“I think that shows the independence of the news division,” Kurtz added. (RELATED: ‘Way Too Soon’ — Trump Campaign Rages Over Fox’s Arizona Call, Urges Other Outlets Not To Call The State For Biden)
As of Monday morning, Biden’s lead has substantially narrowed in the controversial Arizona race. The president-elect is leading by a margin of 0.5%, and 98% of votes have been counted. Trump supporters in Arizona and across the country have protested some of the close calls the media made regarding the race.