In an interview with British broadcaster and former politician Nigel Farage, former President Donald Trump criticized Fox News for reaching a settlement with Dominion Voting Systems. He lambasted the network for the “insult” of settling and complained that Rupert Murdoch was “wrong” to believe that the conspiratorial claims made by the Trump campaign in 2020 (which Trump continues to push) could not be successfully defended in court. He insisted that the election was rigged and that Murdoch should have talked about it. In response, Farage said that Murdoch doesn’t believe he can win a court case on that. Trump shot back, “But Rupert Murdoch is wrong.”
FoxCorp chairman Rupert Murdoch admitted during the months-long discovery phase of Dominion’s $787m lawsuit against Fox News that key personalities at the network had “endorsed” election conspiracies beyond merely platforming them. Murdoch admitted that his network could have done more to make it clear that the conspiracies being pushed by the Trump campaign and its allies in 2020 were simply not true. However, during that same phase, the groundwork was laid for the defeat of any attempt by Fox lawyers to argue that there had been some truth to the charges of widespread election fraud or voter fraud that Trump-aligned Republicans claimed was responsible for the former president’s defeat to Joe Biden. To the contrary, Fox primetime opinion personalities were found in text messages and other formats to have been privately denigrating the very claims made by Trump lawyer Sidney Powell and others on their shows.
Despite all this, Trump continues to insist at every opportunity that the 2020 election was “rigged” or “stolen” and uses the issue to determine whether other members of his party are sufficiently loyal. This insistence on support for his election conspiracies is now thought to have played a role in the GOP’s poor performance in the 2022 midterm elections, where the party failed to take the Senate and squeezed by with only a paper-thin majority in the House. Polls have indicated that candidates who supported Trump’s false claims about the 2020 election underperformed other Republicans in their respective general election contests by several percentage points.