Trump complains beloved Fox News is now ‘woefully derelict’ in covering him

Donald Trump has shared a “viewership report” which complained that his formerly beloved Fox News is now “woefully derelict” in covering him.

The former president boasted about the number of people who consumed content about his trip to East Palestine, Ohio, where he spoke to local residents and officials following the derailment of a train carrying hazardous materials earlier this month.

Mr Trump handed out bottles of “Trumpw ater” and bought residents food at McDonald’s where he told the staff that he knew the menu “better than you do”.

The former president took to his social media platform Truth Social on Thursday to share what was made out to be a “viewership report” claiming that more than 178 million people had seen coverage of his trip in traditional and on social media.

The “report,” which appeared to have been put together for Mr Trump’s perusal, claimed that more than 144 million social media users saw content about his trip to Ohio and that more than 34 million people consumed coverage on traditional media.

“This report searched for the term ‘East Palestine’ + ‘Trump’ what you will see is while traditional outlets like Fox News are woefully derelict in their reporting with what you did, the word is still getting out there in a big way,” the “report” said, seemingly directed by Mr Trump.

“Specifically, when the announcement was made last week there was a bump of coverage reaching about 2 million on social channels and 10 million on other channels,” it said.

“However, your numbers this Wednesday were off the charts with incredible reach, 144MM on social and 34MM in other channels. The visit meant a lot for the people of East Palestine and the surrounding communities. The trip gave them hope and raised the awareness needed to combat the incompetence of the Biden Administration. As you will see a sharp spike in the positive sentiments as well,” it concluded.

Mr Trump’s visit may provide an opportunity for the Biden administration to blast the former administration for rolling back safety regulations while in power amid fierce blowback against the federal government’s response to the 3 February derailment.

The Trump administration removed rules governing both rail safety and the handling of hazardous chemicals, Politico noted.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has been heavily criticised by Republicans for supposedly being slow to respond to the crisis. Mr Buttgieg and one of his Obama-era predecessors were among those slamming Mr Trump’s visit as a political stunt and his administration for rolling back regulations.

Ray LaHood, a former Republican member of Congress who served as President Barack Obama’s transportation secretary, told Politico regarding Mr Trump’s trip that “it’s clear that it’s a political stunt”.

“If he wants to visit, he’s a citizen. But clearly, his regulations and the elimination of them, and no emphasis on safety, is going to be pointed out,” he added.

Mr Buttigieg was asked about the connection between Mr Trump and his administration’s actions on rail safety.

“There is a chance for everybody who has a public voice on this issue to demonstrate whether they are interested in helping the people of East Palestine or using the people of East Palestine,” the transportation secretary told Politico. “A lot of the folks who seem to find political opportunity there are among those who have sided with the rail industry again and again and again as they have fought safety regulations on railroads and [hazardous materials] tooth and nail.”

The Democratic National Committee sent an email to reporters with the subject line: “REMINDER: Trump Slashed Transportation Safety and Environmental Rules, Funding.”