Trump slams Woodward, tells Hannity he didn't want to 'scare people' about virus

Good morning and welcome to Fox News First. Here's what you need to know as you start your day ...

Trump slams Woodward, says he didn't want to 'scare people' about virus
President Trump defended comments he made earlier this year in interviews with journalist Bob Woodward about the coronavirus pandemic, claiming on Fox News' "Hannity" on Wednesday night he wanted to "show a calmness."

"I'm the leader of the country, I can't be jumping up and down and scaring people," Trump told host Sean Hannity. "I don't want to scare people. I want people not to panic, and that's exactly what I did."

Excerpts from some of the interviews, which form the basis of Woodward's forthcoming book, "Rage," were published by The Washington Post earlier Wednesday. In early February, Trump told Woodward the coronavirus was "deadly stuff" while publicly comparing it to the seasonal flu. More than a month later, on March 19, Trump admitted to Woodward he "wanted to always play it [the virus] down.

"I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic," Trump added at the time.

On Wednesday night, the president condemned Woodward as an author of "hit jobs."

"He does hit jobs with everybody, he even did it on Obama ... constant hit jobs. On [George W.] Bush, I guess, they did three books, they were all terrible," Trump said. "So I figured, you know, 'Let's give it a little shot, I'll speak to him.' It wasn't a big deal, I speak to him and let's see … ” CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON OUR TOP STORY.

In other developments:
- Woodward dismisses claims he could have saved lives by publishing Trump's coronavirus remarks sooner
- Meadows admits 'I would not have recommended' Woodward be given access to Trump for interviews
- Sean Hannity shows how Biden, Democrats downplayed coronavirus while Trump took action
- 'The Five' react to Trump comments about coronavirus to Bob Woodward

Salon that Pelosi visited is shuttering, owner describes receiving 'nothing but negativity'
Erica Kious, owner of the coronavirus-closed San Francisco hair salon visited illegally by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi last week, said on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Wednesday night she was closing shop for good because of the controversy.

“I am actually done in San Francisco and closing my doors, unfortunately,” she announced.

Fox News obtained surveillance video last week of Pelosi visiting the salon for a hair wash and blowout, despite San Francisco salons being closed at the time because of the coronavirus pandemic. The video also showed Pelosi walking inside the salon without wearing a face mask.

Kious claimed she was subjected to attacks for exposing Pelosi.

“I started to just get a ton of phone calls, text messages, emails, all my Yelp reviews … saying that they hope I go under and that I fail,” she said. “So just a lot of negativity towards my business.” CLICK HERE FOR MORE.

In other developments:
- San Francisco hair salon owner thanks supporters after more than $300G raised
- Tucker Carlson blasts Pelosi over visit to shuttered San Francisco hair salon
- Gutfeld on Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the hair salon
- Ben Shapiro: The real reason Pelosi's hair salon fiasco should concern Americans

Biden flubs military coronavirus death count, campaign says he accidentally cited Michigan number
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden mischaracterized the number of U.S. military deaths from the novel coronavirus during a campaign stop in Michigan on Wednesday, incorrectly saying more than 6,000 service members had died.

Shortly after the event in Warren, near Detroit, Biden’s campaign quickly clarified Biden had mixed up the numbers for Michigan with those for the military. As of Wednesday, only seven members of the military had died from COVID-19.

"Vice President Biden has the utmost respect for the men and women of the armed services and believes it's the sacred duty of our country to properly equip them, look after their families when they're deployed, and care for them when they return,” Biden’s Deputy Rapid Response Director Michael Gwin said in a statement to Fox News.

Biden has taken criticism before for confusing statistics when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic. In June, Biden incorrectly said 120 million people had died from the contagion in the U.S. CLICK HERE FOR MORE.

In other developments:
- Sean Hannity shows how Biden, Democrats downplayed coronavirus while Trump took action
- Biden charges Trump ‘lied to the American people’ on coronavirus threat
- Charlie Kirk: Trump can attack Biden on coronavirus and win votes — here’s how


- Trump’s Supreme Court list: President reveals names of 20 more people he’d consider nominating
- Topless voter shocks New Hampshire poll workers in dispute over political clothing rule
- NYC protesters, leading lives of wealth and privilege, busted for rioting
- Susan Sarandon receives backlash after voicing support against Joe Biden vote
- Arkansas cop killer gets 2 life sentences -- plus 835 years

- TikTok, US discuss ways to avoid sale
- Facebook, Google, Twitter urged by EU to do more against fake news
- Deutsche Bank U.S. unit pays $583,000 to settle Ukraine sanctions lapses

#TheFlashback: CLICK HERE to find out what happened on "This Day in History."


Sean Hannity shared video with viewers on “Hannity” on Wednesday night, showing Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden downplaying the coronavirus one month after President Trump’s China travel ban and also more than a month after the first confirmed case of the virus struck the U.S.

Not signed up yet for Fox News First? Click here to find out what you're missing.

Fox News’ Go Watch page is now available, providing visitors with Pay TV provider options in their area carrying Fox News Channel & Fox Business Network.

Fox News First is compiled by Fox News' Jack Durschlag. Thank you for making us your first choice in the morning. We’ll see you in your inbox first thing Friday.