A Fox News host called Trump a dictator, and no one corrected her

A Fox News presenter called Donald Trump a dictator, and no one in the room batted an eyelid.

Abby Huntsman, who co-hosts one of the US President's favourite news shows - Fox & Friends - was talking with former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci when she made the headline-grabbing slip of the tongue on Monday morning (NZ time).

"There is the President of the United States Donald Trump about to walk down those stairs, stepping foot in Singapore as we await this historic summit with the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un," she began, over images of Mr Trump leaving his jet. So far, so good.

"Anthony, talk to us about this moment - I mean, this is history," Ms Huntsman continued. "We are living - regardless of what happens in this meeting between two dictators, what we are seeing right now, this is history."

Two dictators. But Mr Scaramucci, who was fired by Mr Trump after only 10 days in the job last July, didn't correct her.

"Yeah, because he's a disruptive risk-taker," the former investment banker said. "He's willing to break what would be the usual bonds  of not going to a meeting like this."

Fox News, the network that broadcasts Fox & Friends, has been widely accused of being a mouthpiece for the White House - at least while it's occupied by a Republican. It has so far avoided being accused of peddling "fake news" by the President, who regularly tweets links to the Fox News website.

Ms Huntsman later apologised for the slip-up.

"I do want to point out that earlier, as you know, on live TV sometimes you don't always say things perfectly. I called both President Trump and Kim Jong-un a dictator. I did not mean to say that. My mistake, so I apologise for that."

It's assumed she was apologising for calling Mr Trump a dictator, not Mr Kim.

Political scientists have expressed concern Mr Trump would like to be a dictator however.

"Trump as a personality type is probably no different from a Mussolini, a Peron, a Chavez," author and historian Max Boot told Politico in December. Harvard professors Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt wrote a book How Democracies Die, in which they say Mr Trump is "not committed to the democratic rules of the game".

Earlier this year Mr Trump praised the Chinese Communist Party for making Xi Jinping President for life.

"I think it's great. Maybe we'll have to give that a shot someday," he told supporters at his Mar-a-Lago retreat.

Tuesday's meeting in Singapore will be the first time leaders of the US and North Korea have ever spoken directly to one another, let alone met.


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