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Fox News launches new Donald Trump segment via phone

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Real estate mogul and possible 2012 GOP presidential aspirant Donald Trump began his new regular gig on the Fox News Channel Monday morning by phoning things in – literally.

Fox raised eyebrows last week when it began promoting a weekly spot by the outspoken Trump on “Fox and Friends,” even as the network was taking steps to distance itself from two of its political contributors also thinking about a 2012 bid, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum.

Trump’s interview with Fox’s morning anchors took place via a phone hook-up, rather than in person, and he was not identified as a Fox contributor – the terminology usually used when an interview subject is actually on the payroll of a news organization. Much of the discussion concerned non-political topics, including a discussion about Oprah Winfrey’s desire to renovate The Donald’s famously weird hair.

Noting that Winfrey has been a strong supporter of President Obama, Trump said, “Maybe she wants to give me a makeover so that I don’t have even a minor chance against him.”

“I don’t know how I would look with a crew cut,” he joked.

Fox recently suspended its contracts with Gingrich and Santorum, both of whom have been testing the presidential waters, and the network said it would take the same step with other paid contributors – including Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee -- if they moved toward a 2012 White House run.

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