Latest sign of warming relationship between Rupert Murdoch, Donald Trump: a tweet

Trump sets a date for a press conference
Trump sets a date for a press conference

On the same morning that Donald Trump blasted Meryl Streep, he singled out Rupert Murdoch for praise, tweeting that the media mogul "likes me."

It is unclear what compelled Trump to tweet about Murdoch. But there is renewed attention to the relationship between the two men, since Murdoch controls some of the most influential media outlets in the United States.

Trump wrote: "Rupert Murdoch is a great guy who likes me much better as a very successful candidate than he ever did as a very successful developer!"

A Murdoch spokeswoman had no comment on Trump's backhanded compliment.

Murdoch's media properties have been covering Trump as a businessman for decades. Media columnist Michael Wolff once called Trump a "Murdoch gossip creation" who benefited from "near-constant coverage in the 1980s and '90s."

Murdoch's companies own The New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, Fox News and the Fox broadcast network, among other brands.

So it was newsworthy when in the summer of 2015 Murdoch, a Republican kingmaker, harshly criticized Trump. "When is Donald Trump going to stop embarrassing his friends, let alone the whole country?" Murdoch asked in a tweet after Trump criticized John McCain early in the GOP primary process.

Murdoch gradually warmed up to Trump, according to multiple reports.

Fox News is a reliable source of pro-Trump opinion, thanks to hosts like Sean Hannity, and the New York Post is also Trump-friendly.

Now Murdoch and Trump are in regular touch, according to Gabriel Sherman, the New York magazine reporter who wrote a biography of ex-Fox News chief Roger Ailes.

Late last week Sherman reported that "Murdoch wants to appease Trump." Citing anonymous sources inside Fox, Sherman wrote, "Murdoch has been intent on forging a tight relationship with Trump since his victory."

Sherman added, "One longtime Murdoch confidante told me the two speak by phone at least three times per week."

On CNN's "Reliable Sources" Sunday, Vanity Fair contributing editor Sarah Ellison noted that Trump "does seem inordinately engaged with the media."

"We're hearing that he is talking with Rupert Murdoch... This is something that he does make time for. He makes time to watch television news. He makes time to interact with the journalists and the executives who are responsible for that news," she said. "And I think he definitely is going to continue to do that."

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