KEY POINTS

  • Donald Trump attacked the Drudge Report on Twitter, calling it "fake news" and "not hot"
  • The influential conservative media aggregator was one of Trump's earliest allies, but has been more critical in recent years
  • The shift appears to be due to Trump's failure to build a southern border wall or reduce the size of government

Donald Trump  lashed out at the Drudge Report, a conservative news aggregator and early Trump supporter that has become critical of him. Trump attacked the outlet Sunday, saying Drudge is “fake news,” “not hot” and “bleeding profusely.” 

The Drudge Report, named for creator Matt Drudge, was one of the earliest allies of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. It was previously known for being the first platform to run the Monica Lewinsky scandal in the mid-90s that embroiled President Bill Clinton and for its influence in conservative circles. The website’s stark, minimalist design belies a following that produced more web traffic that that of the New York Times. 

The Drudge Report emerged as an early proponent of Trump, supporting his stances on immigration and big government. Michael Savage, a white nationalist and peddler of conspiracy theories, said he and Drudge were “the two people on Earth” most responsible for Trump’s election when Drudge appeared on his show in 2017.

US President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the Minden-Tahoe airport in Minden, Nevada on September 12, 2020 US President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the Minden-Tahoe airport in Minden, Nevada on September 12, 2020 Photo: AFP / Brendan Smialowski

More recently, however, Drudge has become critical of Trump, citing his failure to build his promised border wall, expansion of government influence and trade wars with America’s economic partners. Negative coverage increased during Trump’s impeachment proceedings, with the Drudge Report noting similarities between Trump and Nixon and linking to polls showing a majority of Americans supporting his removal from office.

This shift didn’t go unnoticed by the rest of the right-wing media. Tucker Carlson branded Drudge “firmly a man of the progressive left.” Drudge himself is a private figure, rarely appearing or speaking in public. He initiated a spat with Trump Sept. 1 when he posted a link to an article alleging Trump suffered from “mini-strokes.” Trump took it as a direct attack.