Fox Business anchor Maria Bartiromo is a veteran financial reporter who was the first to broadcast live from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, and spent years interviewing CEOs on CNBC.
Traders who worked the exchange floor in the late 1990s used to make a sport of trying to “accidentally” get into her shot to mess up her live broadcasts and nicknamed her the “Money Honey,” a nod to both her heavy-lidded good looks, and the boys-club atmosphere rampant on the floor. (She later trademarked the nickname herself, to sell products designed to teach kids about finances.)
But her latest interview with US president Donald Trump is being held up as an example of how a journalist should not interview a powerful figure, and particularly one as prone to lying and making misleading statements as Trump.
In just one 2:30 minute segment, Trump mistakenly says he recently authorized the bombing of Iraq, not Syria, recounts eating the “most beautiful piece of chocolate cake you’ve ever seen” with Chinese president Xi Jinping while telling him about the air strike, and compliments Bartiromo for “treating him so good.” In fact, Trump has given most of his television interviews to Fox since becoming president.
Along the way Bartiromo smiles gleefully at the cake detail, corrects him sagely over the Iraq gaffe, and asks whether the missiles were “unmanned?”—then calls that fact “brilliant.” (Pretty much all missiles used as weapons are unmanned). In other parts of the interview, she fails to question Trump when he boasts of creating jobs that were announced before he came to office, and seems to agree that his Supreme Court pick was “outstanding.”
The entire Fox Business interview is here, and the Washington Post has the entire annotated transcript here.
Here’s quite possibly the most head-scratching part of it, Trump on bombing “Iraq.”
It’s so incredible. It’s brilliant. It’s genius. Our technology, our equipment, is better than anybody by a factor of five. I mean look, we have, in terms of technology, nobody can even come close to competing.
Now we’re going to start getting it, because, you know, the military has been cut back and depleted so badly by the past administration and by the war in Iraq, which was another disaster.
So what happens is I said we’ve just launched 59 missiles heading to Iraq and I wanted you to know this. And [Xi] was eating his cake. And he was silent.