Tags: Trump Administration | chaffetz | trump | media | bait

Chaffetz: Trump Should Not Take the Media's 'Bait'

(Fox News/"Fox & Friends")

By    |   Friday, 30 June 2017 01:59 PM

President Donald Trump needs to rise above the bait being dangled before him by members of the media and focus on his message, outgoing Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz said Friday.

"I think the president is being baited," Chaffetz, who is moving on to a position as a political analyst for Fox News after leaving office on Friday, told the network's "Fox & Friends" program. 

"I don't want the president to take the bait. I want to put a sticker on his computer to say. 'if 'it feels good, don't do it.'"

Chaffetz made the comments in connection to the back-and-forth controversy between Trump and MSNBC "Morning Joe" hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough.

Thursday morning, Trump attacked the couple, who are engaged to be married, hitting Brzezinski hard with a claim that she'd tried to visit him after having a face-lift. The show hosts, meanwhile, responded with an opinion piece in The Washington Post and with a long segment on their show, during which they accused the president of trying to blackmail them through an article in the National Enquirer. 

Trump's tweets came after the show hosts, who frequently criticize him on their early morning program, made fun of him Thursday because of reports concerning a fake Time magazine cover hanging at one of his golf resorts.

Chaffetz said he knows it "feels better" to respond through Twitter, but as president, Trump "needs to rise above this. Quite frankly, I think that tweet was below the office of the presidency."

But the best way to fight back, said the outgoing lawmaker, is to pass legislation and to use tweets to draw attention to important issues, such as "the fact that Chicago has had 1,700 shootings."

"The president has the ability to move the camera in a certain direction, and rather than using those tweets to just take on a personal attack on an individual, put it on a subject. Talk about Kate's law. Talk about these things. That's what I would like to see him do."

Many of Trump's supporters have cheered the president's tendency to counterpunch, and they like that he fights back, said Chaffetz, but it's important to "take those barbs and win it with facts and not push it into the gutter even further."

Trump had had a good week, including the passage of legislation on sanctuary cities and Kate's Law.

"Think at what they did at the White House," said Chaffetz. "They had a good drum beat going up to it. Those are the kind of things we have got to do week in and week out. Not just once every six months."

In another of Trump's tweets on Friday, the president called on Congress to repeal Obamacare and then go back to replace it, but Chaffetz said he believes some more firm deadlines need set for action to occur.

"I do think these things take a long time to come about," said Chaffetz. "It's really about seven months late.

"I mean, I was led to believe in the House that we were going to accelerate our time in January that the goal was to put the bill on the president's desk when he was sworn in. So it is a bit tardy in terms of putting it on the president's desk."

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President Donald Trump needs to rise above the bait being dangled before him by members of the media and focus on his message, outgoing Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz said Friday.
chaffetz, trump, media, bait
Friday, 30 June 2017 01:59 PM
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