WASHINGTON – The last time millions of people saw radio talk-show host Hugh Hewitt was during the Republican presidential debate just over a year ago, when the conservative Salem Radio personality served as one of the moderators and grilled Donald Trump about his unreleased tax returns.
Trump turned the tables on Hewitt, knocking him for his show’s low ratings.
“First of all, very few people listen to your radio show, that’s the good news, which happens to be true – check out the ratings,” Trump said. “I want to release my tax returns, but I can’t release it while I’m under an audit,” Trump said, adding that he’ll release them “as soon as the audit is done.”
Trump also blasted Hewitt for only directing debate questions to him.
“Are you going to ask anybody else a question?” he asked Hewitt. “Every single question comes to me?”
What a difference a year makes.
In Orlando Tuesday night, Hewitt spoke at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention and showed no signs of having hard feelings about the Trump smack down on the big national stage.
After conducting 15 interviews with President Trump on his talk show, Hewitt told the audience, “No matter what anyone tells you, he is not a racist; he is not a bigot; he is not an anti-Semite; he is not an Islamophobe.”
Rather, said Hewitt, Trump “is at war with the media because he does represent the deconstruction of the administrative state.”
In other words, he did not take the slight personally.
In addition, in a Washington Post op-ed Wednesday, Hewitt went further, harshly criticizing Trump’s adversaries on the left and in the media for attacks on his address to a joint session of Congress.
“Only the willfully blind saw anything except a well-constructed, powerfully delivered address by President Donald Trump to Congress on Tuesday night,” he wrote. “Trump delivered Tuesday night.”
See the exchange: (Starting at 1:11:50)