30 Of Trump’s Attacks On The Media From His Unhinged Press Conference
Research ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF
President Donald Trump gave a spontaneous press conference on February 16. Here are 30 examples of Trump attacking, blaming, mocking, and shutting down the media, reporters, and their reporting in chronological order during what has been described as a "combative, grievance-filled press conference”:
Trump To White House Press Corp: Media “Don’t Write” About Positive Poll Numbers. “A new Rasmussen poll, in fact -- because the people get it, much of the media doesn't get it, they actually get it, but they don't write it, let's put it that way -- a new Rasmussen poll just came out just a very short while ago, and it has our approval rating at 55 percent and going up."
Trump: “Many Of Our Nation’s Reporters … Will Not Tell You The Truth.” “I'm making this presentation directly to the American people with the media present, which is an honor to have you this morning because many of our nation’s reporters and folks will not tell you the truth and will not treat the wonderful people of our country with the respect that they deserve.”
Trump: “Much Of The Media … Speaks Not For The People, But For The Special Interests.” “Unfortunately much of the media in Washington, D.C., along with New York, Los Angeles in particular, speaks not for the people, but for the special interests and for those profiting off a very, very obviously broken system.”
Trump: “The Press, Honestly, Is Out Of Control.” “The press has become so dishonest that if we don't talk about it, we are doing a tremendous disservice to the American people. Tremendous disservice. We have to talk about it to find out what is going on, because the press, honestly, is out of control. The level of dishonesty is out of control.”
Trump: Much Of The Media Is Not “Honest And Fantastic.” “The media is going through what they have to go through to oftentimes distort -- not all the time, and some of the media is fantastic, I have to say, they are honest and fantastic. But much of it is not.”
Trump: Media Are Attacking Trump Administration “Because They Know We Are Following Through On Pledges That We Made.” “The media is trying to attack our administration because they know we are following through on pledges that we made, and they are not happy about it, for whatever reason.”
Trump About Negative Press Coverage: Reality “Is The Exact Opposite” From Stories Of “Chaos” In Media. “I turn on the TV, open the newspapers, and I see stories of chaos. Chaos! Yet it is the exact opposite. This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine.”
Trump About Press Coverage Of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's Resignation, Russia: “It’s All Fake News” And The “Press Should Be Ashamed Of Themselves” For Reporting The Leaks. “What he did in terms of the information -- he saw what was wrong was the way that other people, including yourselves in this room, were given that information. Because that was classified information, it was given illegally. That's the real problem. And, you know, you can talk all you want about Russia, which was all, you know, fake news fabricated deal to try and make up for the loss of the Democrats and the press plays right into it. In fact, I saw a couple of the people that were supposedly involved with all of this, but they know nothing about it. They weren't in Russia. They never made a phone call to Russia. They never received a phone call. It's all fake news. It's all fake news. … And I'm saying, the first thing I thought of when I heard about is, how does the press get this information that's classified? How do they do it? You know why? Because it's an illegal process, and the press should be ashamed of themselves. But more importantly, the people that gave out the information to the press should be ashamed of themselves. Really ashamed.”
Trump On NY Times Reporting On Russia Contacts During Campaign: “It’s A Joke.” “Well, the failing New York Times wrote a big, long front-page story yesterday. And it was very much discredited, as you know. It [was] -- it's a joke. … Russia is fake news. This is fake news put out by the media. The real news is the fact that people -- probably from the Obama administration because they’re there because we have our new people going in place right now. As you know, Mike Pompeo is now taking control of the CIA. James Comey at FBI. Dan Coats is waiting to be approved. He is a senator, and a highly respected one. And he's still waiting to be approved. But our new people are going in.”
Trump On “Disgraceful” WSJ Story: "And just while you're at it, because you mentioned this, The Wall Street Journal did a story today that was almost as disgraceful as the failing New York Times’ story yesterday. And it talked about -- you saw it, front page. So director of national intelligence just put out -- acting -- a statement. ‘Any suggestion that the United States intelligence community’ -- this was just given to us -- ‘is withholding information and not providing the best possible intelligence to the president and his national security team is not true.’ So they took this front-page story out of The Wall Street Journal, top, and they just wrote the story that is not true. And I'll tell you something. I'll be honest because I sort of enjoy this back and forth and I guess I have all my life. But I haven't seen more dishonest media than, frankly, the political media. I thought the financial media was much better, much more honest. But I will say that I never get phone calls from the media. How do they write a story like that in The Wall Street Journal without asking me? Or how do they write a story in The New York Times, put it on front page? That was like the story they wrote about the women and me. Front page. Big massive story. And it was nasty. And then they called, they said, ‘We never said that. We like Mr. Trump.’ They called up my office. ‘We like Mr. Trump. We never said that.’ And it was totally -- they totally misrepresented those very wonderful women. I have to tell you. Totally misrepresented. I said give us a retraction. They never gave us a retraction and, frankly, I then went on to other things.”
Trump On Reporting On Leaked Classified Information: “When I was called out on Mexico, I was honestly, I was really, really surprised. But I said, 'You know, it doesn't make sense, that won't happen,' but that wasn’t that important of a call. It was fine. I could show it to the world and he could show it to the world -- the president who is a very fine man, by the way. Same thing with Australia. I said, 'That’s terrible that it was leaked, but it wasn't that important.' Then I said, 'What happens when I'm dealing with the problem of North Korea? What happens when I am dealing with the problems in the Middle East?' Are you folks going to be reporting all of that very, very confidential information, very important, at the highest level? Are you going to be reporting about that, too?”
Trump On "Fake News" And Leaks: “The leaks are absolutely real. The news is fake because so much of the news is fake.”
Trump On “Fake” Negative Reports About Him: “I can handle a bad story better than anybody, as long as it is true. Over a course of time, I will make mistakes and you will write badly, and I am OK with that. But I am not OK when it is fake.”
Trump On CNN’s “Anger And Hatred”: “I watch CNN. It’s so much anger and hatred and just the hatred. I don't watch it anymore, because it’s very good -- he’s saying no. It’s OK, Jim [Acosta]. It’s OK, Jim, you’ll have your chance. But I watch others too. You’re not the only one, so don’t feel badly. But I think it should be straight. I think it would be, frankly, more interesting. I know how good everybody’s ratings are right now, but I think that’d actually be better.”
Trump On The Media’s Approval Ratings: “You have a lower approval rate than Congress. I think that’s right. I don’t know, Peter, is that one right? Because I think they have -- I heard lower than Congress.”
Trump On CNN CEO Jeff Zucker: “Ask Jeff Zucker how he got his job, OK?”
Trump To CNN’s Jim Acosta: “We do have other people. You do have other people, and your ratings aren’t as good as some of the other people that are waiting.”
Trump About DNC Hacking Coverage: “I picked up the papers the next morning and I said, 'Oh, this is going to be front page.' It wasn’t even in the papers. Again, if I had that happen to me, it would be the biggest story in the history of publishing or the head of newspapers. I would have been the headline in every newspaper. I mean, think of it.”
Trump On Reporting About His Campaign Communicating With Russia: “The reporting is fake.”
Trump On The "Tone" And "Hatred" In Morning News Shows (Except Fox & Friends): “I know when you’re telling the truth or when you're not. I just see many, many untruthful things. And I'll tell you what else I see, I see tone. You know the word tone. The tone is such hatred. I'm really not a bad person, by the way. No, but the tone is such -- I do get good ratings. You have to admit that. The tone is such hatred. I watched this morning a couple of the networks, and I have to say, Fox & Friends in the morning, they’re very honorable people. They’re very -- not because they’re good, because they hit me also when I do something wrong. But they have the most honest morning show. That’s all I can say. It’s the most honest, but the tone, Jim. If you look -- the hatred.
Trump On CNN Tonight: There's "Hatred And Venom" Coming From The Host's Mouth. “You look at your show that goes on at 10 in the evening. You just take a look at that show. That is a constant hit. The panel is almost always exclusive anti-Trump. The good news is he doesn't have good ratings, but the panel is almost exclusive anti-Trump. And the hatred and venom coming from his mouth. The hatred coming from other people on your network. Now, I will say this: I watch it. I see it. I’m amazed by it. And I just think you'd be a lot better off, I honestly do. The public gets it. Look, when I go to rallies they turn around. They start screaming at CNN. They want to throw their placards at CNN. I think you would do much better by being different. But you just take a look. Take a look at some of your shows in the morning and the evening. If a guest comes out and says something positive about me, it's brutal.”
Trump On How Media Will Spin The News Conference: "I'm Just Telling You, You're Dishonest People." "Now they'll take this news conference, I'm actually having a very good time. OK? But they'll take this news conference -- don’t forget, that's the way I won. Remember? I used to give you a news conference every time I made a speech, which was like every day. OK? No. That’s how I won. I won with news conference and probably speeches. I certainly didn't win by people listening to you people. That's for sure. But I'm having a good time. Tomorrow they will say, ‘Donald Trump rants and raves at the press.’ I’m not ranting and raving, I'm just telling you, you're dishonest people. But -- but I'm not ranting and raving. I love this. I'm having a good time doing it. But tomorrow the headlines are going to be, 'Donald Trump rants and raves.' I'm not ranting and raving."
Trump On Calling Things Fake News: “I’m changing it from fake news, though. Very fake news. ... See, I know when I should get good and when I should get bad. Sometimes I’ll say, 'Wow, that's going to be a great story.' And I'll get killed. I know what's good and bad. I'd be a pretty good reporter, not as good as you. But I know what's good. I know what's bad. And when they change it and make it really bad, something that should be positive. Sometimes something that should be very positive, they'll make OK. They'll even make it negative. So I understand it. Because I'm there. I know what was said, who was saying it. I'm there. So it's very important to me. Look. I want to see an honest press,but I started off today by saying that it's so important to the public to get an honest press. The press -- the public doesn't believe you people anymore. Now, maybe I had something to do with that. I don't know. But they don't believe you. If you were straight and really told it like it is, as Howard Cosell used to say, right? Of course, he had some questions also. But if you were straight, I would be your biggest booster. I would be your biggest fan in the world, including bad stories about me. But if you go, as an example, you're CNN, it's story after story after story is bad. I won. I won.
Trump On “Lies By The Press” Claiming His Administration Is Full Of Chaos: “And the other thing, chaos. There's zero chaos. We are running -- this is a fine-tuned machine, and Reince happens to be doing a good job. But half of his job is putting out lies by the press. I said to him yesterday, this whole Russia scam that you guys are building so that you don't talk about the real subject which is illegal leaks, but I watched him yesterday working so hard to try and get that story proper."
Trump To CNN’s Jim Acosta: "I Sort Of Understand There's A Certain Bias" At CNN. “I would be your biggest fan in the world if you treated me right. Now, I sort of understand there's a certain bias, maybe by [CNN President] Jeff [Zucker] or somebody, for whatever reason. But -- and I understand that. But you've got to be at least a little bit fair, and that's why the public sees it. They see it. They see it's not fair. You take a look at some of your shows, and you see the bias and the hatred, and the public is smart. They understand it.”
Trump On “False Reporting” On Russia: “But I want to just tell you, the false reporting by the media, by you people. The false, horrible, fake reporting makes it much harder to make a deal with Russia. And probably Putin said, you know, he's sitting behind his desk and he’s saying, you know, I see what's going on in the United States. I follow it closely. It's going to be impossible for President Trump to ever get along with Russia because of all the pressure he's got with this fake story, OK? And that's a shame.”
Trump To BBC Reporter: “Where are you from?
BBC REPORTER: BBC.
TRUMP: Here’s another beauty.
BBC REPORTER: That’s a good line. Impartial, free, and fair.
TRUMP: Yeah, sure. Just like CNN, right?
BBC REPORTER: On the travel ban -- we can banter back and forth.
Trump About Jake Turx From Ami Magazine: His Question Was "Not A Fair Qustion." "See, He Lied." “He said he was going to ask a very simple, easy question, and it’s not. It’s not. Not a simple question, not a fair question. OK, sit down, I understand the rest of your question.”
Trump: "See, he lied. ... Welcome To The World Of The Media." “Quiet, quiet, quiet. See he lied about -- he was going to get up and ask a very straight, simple question. So, you know. Welcome to the world of the media. ... So you should take that instead of having to get up and ask a very insulting question like that. … See, it just shows you about the press, but that’s the way the press is.”
Trump To April Ryan, American Urban Radio Networks: “This is going to be a bad question, but that’s OK.”