The Trump Administration's War On The Press
››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF
President Donald Trump and his administration are engaged in an unprecedented war on the press, which began during his presidential campaign and continued into the transition period. Trump and his administration’s continued attacks on the press pose a distinct threat to our First Amendment freedoms, and Media Matters is devoted to tracking them. If you know of an attack by Trump or his administration on a journalist or media outlet that should be added to this list, email email@example.com with a link to the abuse. We will update this list regularly.
New Jersey Reporter Said There Was A “Blackout On Regional Newspapers” At The Inauguration. Poynter quoted Jonathan Salant, a Washington correspondent for NJ Advance Media who has covered inaugurations since 1989, saying, “The presidential inaugural committee imposed a blackout on regional newspapers with Washington correspondents.” Salant added that he had “never seen such disdain for the media.”
Jonathan Salant, Washington correspondent for NJ Advance Media who has covered every presidential inauguration since 1989, informs me of the following:
"The presidential inaugural committee imposed a blackout on regional newspapers with Washington correspondents. They never returned emails, never responded to requests and denied everyone credentials to cover the Trump inaugural events but never told anyone so reporters had to wait on lines to pick up non-existent credentials."
They wouldn't even let reporters pick up their already-approved Secret Service credentials, Salant said.
"The Regional Reporters Association email list was buzzing the last two days as Washington reporters from papers across the country traded stories of not being told anything about their credentials, and being turned away when they showed up to try to find out anything," he said.
Salant has "never seen such disdain for the media," he said. [Poynter, 1/20/17]
President Donald Trump: “I Have A Running War With The Media.” During a visit to CIA headquarters, President Donald Trump said he has “a running war with the media” and called reporters “among the most dishonest human beings on earth.”
The New York Times noted that Trump “unleash[ed] a remarkably bitter attack on the news media, falsely accusing journalists of both inventing a rift between him and intelligence agencies and deliberately understating the size of his inauguration crowd.” Trump accused the media of lying and claimed, “I think they’re going to pay a big price.” From a January 21 New York Times article:
President Trump used his first full day in office on Saturday to unleash a remarkably bitter attack on the news media, falsely accusing journalists of both inventing a rift between him and intelligence agencies and deliberately understating the size of his inauguration crowd.
In a visit to the Central Intelligence Agency intended to showcase his support for the intelligence community, Mr. Trump ignored his own repeated public statements criticizing the intelligence community, a group he compared to Nazis just over a week ago.
He also called journalists “among the most dishonest human beings on earth,” and he said that up to 1.5 million people had attended his inauguration, a claim that photographs disproved.
On Saturday, he said journalists were responsible for any suggestion that he was not fully supportive of intelligence agencies’ work.
“I have a running war with the media,” Mr. Trump said. “They are among the most dishonest human beings on earth, and they sort of made it sound like I had a feud with the intelligence community.”
Mr. Trump also took issue with news reports about the number of people who attended his inauguration, complaining that the news media used photographs of “an empty field” to make it seem as if his inauguration did not draw many people.
“We caught them in a beauty,” Mr. Trump said of the news media, “and I think they’re going to pay a big price.” [The New York Times, 1/21/17]
Trump Personally Attacked Time Reporter For Incorrect Tweet On MLK Jr. Bust, Even Though The Reporter "Quickly Acknowledged And Corrected The Mistake." During his CIA visit, Trump also personally attacked Time reporter Zeke Miller for “mistakenly reporting that a bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. had been removed from the Oval Office,” according to The Hill. Miller "quickly acknowledged and corrected the mistake." Trump said the incident demonstrated “‘how dishonest the media is.’” From the January 21 article:
President Trump on Saturday attacked a Time magazine journalist for mistakenly reporting that a bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. had been removed from the Oval Office.
Trump called out the reporter, Zeke Miller, while speaking to staff at the Central Intelligence Agency, even though Miller quickly acknowledged and corrected the mistake the previous day.
“They said that ‘Donald Trump took down the bust — the statue of Dr. Martin Luther King.’ But it was right there. There was a cameraman that was in front of it,” Trump said, standing in front of the CIA’s Memorial Wall honoring the employees who died in the line of duty.
“So Zeke, Zeke from Time magazine writes this story about ‘I took down’ — I would never do that because I have great respect for Dr. Martin Luther King.
“But this is how dishonest the media is,” Trump continued. “Now big story, the retraction was like, where? Was it a line or do they even bother putting it in?” [The Hill, 1/21/17]
Press Secretary Sean Spicer Falsely Claimed Media “Engaged In Deliberately False Reporting” On Inauguration Crowd Size. In his first official statement from the White House press briefing room on January 21, White House press secretary Sean Spicer claimed that “some members of the media were engaged in deliberately false reporting,” again attacking Miller for his “irresponsible and reckless” tweet about the Martin Luther King Jr. bust. He also falsely claimed that media reported “inaccurate numbers involving crowd size” at the inauguration and falsely claimed, “This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration -- period.” Spicer added, “We're going to hold the press accountable.” From Politico’s transcript:
SEAN SPICER: Yesterday, at a time when our nation and the world was watching the peaceful transition of power and, as the President said, the transition and the balance of power from Washington to the citizens of the United States, some members of the media were engaged in deliberately false reporting. For all the talk about the proper use of Twitter, two instances yesterday stand out.
One was a particular egregious example in which a reporter falsely tweeted out that the bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. had been removed from the Oval Office. After it was pointed out that this was just plain wrong, the reporter casually reported and tweeted out and tried to claim that a Secret Service agent must have just been standing in front of it. This was irresponsible and reckless.
Secondly, photographs of the inaugural proceedings were intentionally framed in a way, in one particular tweet, to minimize the enormous support that had gathered on the National Mall. This was the first time in our nation's history that floor coverings have been used to protect the grass on the Mall. That had the effect of highlighting any areas where people were not standing, while in years past the grass eliminated this visual. This was also the first time that fencing and magnetometers went as far back on the Mall, preventing hundreds of thousands of people from being able to access the Mall as quickly as they had in inaugurations past.
Inaccurate numbers involving crowd size were also tweeted. No one had numbers, because the National Park Service, which controls the National Mall, does not put any out. By the way, this applies to any attempts to try to count the number of protestors today in the same fashion.
We do know a few things, so let's go through the facts. We know that from the platform where the President was sworn in, to 4th Street, it holds about 250,000 people. From 4th Street to the media tent is about another 220,000. And from the media tent to the Washington Monument, another 250,000 people. All of this space was full when the President took the Oath of Office. We know that 420,000 people used the D.C. Metro public transit yesterday, which actually compares to 317,000 that used it for President Obama's last inaugural. This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration -- period -- both in person and around the globe. Even the New York Times printed a photograph showing a misrepresentation of the crowd in the original Tweet in their paper, which showed the full extent of the support, depth in crowd, and intensity that existed.
The President is committed to unifying our country, and that was the focus of his inaugural address. This kind of dishonesty in the media, the challenging -- that bringing about our nation together is making it more difficult.
There's been a lot of talk in the media about the responsibility to hold Donald Trump accountable. And I'm here to tell you that it goes two ways. We're going to hold the press accountable, as well. The American people deserve better. And as long as he serves as the messenger for this incredible movement, he will take his message directly to the American people where his focus will always be. [Politico, 1/21/17; CNNMoney.com, 1/21/17]
Trump Team Refused To Send A Representative To CNN’s Sunday Show The Day After CNN Opted Not To Air The Spicer Presser Live. Trump and his team refused to send a representative to appear on CNN’s Sunday political talk show, State of the Union, while booking appearances on the major political talk shows on ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox Broadcasting Co. At the top of the January 22 edition of CNN’s State of the Union, host Jake Tapper said that his show “asked the Trump White House for a member of the new administration to join us this morning, but they declined.” The refusal came a day after CNN chose not to air the live feed of Spicer’s press conference. [Media Matters, 1/22/17]
White House Chief Of Staff Reince Priebus: “There’s An Obsession By The Media To Delegitimize This President, And We Are Not Going To Sit Around And Let It Happen.” Making an appearing on Fox News Sunday, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus attempted to spin a question about Spicer’s press conference by lashing out at media reporting. When asked why Trump would bring up crowd size, Pribus replied that “it’s not about crowd size. It’s about honesty in the media.” Priebus continued to lash out at the media, claiming that “there's an obsession by the media to delegitimize this president, and we are not going to sit around and let it happen. We’re going to fight back tooth and nail every day, and twice on Sunday.” Like Trump and Spicer, Priebus also brought up Miller’s mistaken tweet to try to cast blame on the media at large:
CHRIS WALLACE (HOST): President Trump said in his inaugural address that every decision he makes will be to benefit American families. How does arguing about crowd size do that?
REINCE PRIEBUS: Because it’s really not about crowd size. What it’s about is honesty in the media.
WALLACE: Wait a minute, he could have given a news conference yesterday, talked about the agenda, talked about the signing, the executive actions he's going to sign, his legislative agenda. He talks about crowd size. Let me ask you about one --
PRIEBUS: Wait a minute, wait a minute. Let's back up. We didn't tweet out that MLK Jr.'s bust was removed from the Oval Office. We didn’t --
WALLACE: Wait a minute, the reporter made a mistake, he apologized. And Spicer sent him a tweet back saying "apology accepted".
PRIEBUS: Right, so these are the mistakes that are made. A reporter shoots first, aims later. I think the magnitude --
WALLACE: Are you saying there's a conspiracy here?
PRIEBUS: I’m saying there's an obsession by the media to delegitimize this president, and we are not going to sit around and let it happen. We’re going to fight back tooth and nail every day, and twice on Sunday. [FoxNews.com, 1/22/17; Fox Broadcasting Co., Fox News Sunday, 1/23/17]
Kellyanne Conway: If The Press Is “Going To Keep Referring To Our Press Secretary In Those Terms, I Think We're Going To Have To Rethink Our Relationship Here.” Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway, speaking to NBC host Chuck Todd, criticized Todd for saying Spicer uttered a “provable falsehood” at his press briefing, saying, “Chuck, if we're going to keep referring to our press secretary in those types of terms, I think we're going to have to rethink our relationship here.” Conway defended Spicer’s press briefing, claiming that he simply gave “alternative facts” about the inauguration crowd size, and she attacked Miller for his tweet about the Martin Luther King Jr. bust. From the January 22 edition of NBC’s Meet the Press:
CHUCK TODD (HOST): You make a very reasonable and rational case for why crowd sizes don't matter, then explain -- you did not answer the question. Why did the president send out his press secretary, who's not just the spokesperson for Donald Trump, he also serves as the spokesperson for all of America at times. He speaks for all of the country at times, why put him out there for the very first time in front of that podium to utter a provable falsehood? It's a small thing, but the first time he confronts the public, it's a falsehood?
KELLYANNE CONWAY: Chuck, if we're going to keep referring to our press secretary in those types of terms, I think we're going to have to rethink our relationship here. I want to have a great, open relationship with our press. But look what happened the day before, talking about falsehoods. We allowed the press to come into the Oval Office and witness President Trump signing executive orders. Of course the Senate just confirmed General Mattis and General Kelly to their two posts, and we allow the press in, and what happens almost immediately? A falsehood is told about removing the bust of Martin Luther King Jr. from the Oval Office. That's just flat out false.
TODD: And it was corrected immediately. But Kellyanne --
CONWAY: But, Chuck, why was it said? Chuck, why was it said in the first place? Because everybody is so presumptively negative --
TODD: I don't know. Climb into the head of that reporter.
CONWAY: Oh no, no, no, that reporter was writing on behalf of the press pool. That falsehood, that spread 3,000 times before it was corrected. And it's still out there.
TODD: Excuse me, it does not excuse, and you did not answer the question --
CONWAY: I did answer your question.
TODD: No you did not. You did not answer the question of why the president asked the White House press secretary to come out in front of the podium for the first time and utter a falsehood. Why did he do that? It undermines the credibility of the entire White House Press Office on day one.
CONWAY: No it doesn't, don't be so overly dramatic about it, Chuck. You're saying it's a falsehood, and Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to that. But the point remains that there's --
TODD: Wait, wait, alternative facts? Alternative facts -- four of the five facts he uttered. The one thing he got right was Zeke Miller. Four of the five facts he uttered were just not true. Look, alternative facts are not facts. They're falsehoods. [NBC, Meet the Press, 1/22/17]
Conway: “No Defense 4 Press Lies About MLK Jr. Bust.” Defending her Meet the Press interview, Conway wrote on Twitter, “Watch entire clip! No defense 4 press lies about MLK Jr. bust; actual facts about women in poverty, w/ no health care, failing schools”:
Conway: “Because Of What The Press Is Doing Now To Me ... We Have Packages Delivered To My House With White Substances.” During a January 23 interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity, Conway claimed that “because of what the press is doing now to me, I have Secret Service protection.” Conway also accused the press of having “presumptive negativity” about the Trump administration. From the January 23 edition of Hannity:
KELLYANNE CONWAY: The print pooler sent out the pool report that the MLK bust had been removed. It is false. I don’t say his name publicly because I don’t want him to get attacked like I do. Because of what the press is doing now to me, I have Secret Service protection. We have packages delivered to my house with white substances. That is a shame and, yes, I hold into account for it. This guy puts it out, it gets tweeted and it gets reported 3,000 times. You still can't take it back. He apologized to his colleagues in the press, he has not apologized to the president, and the damage is done because then people look at Donald Trump as the R-word. The darn bust was right there. I was standing next to it. It was being hidden by a guard. But why don't you ask us? Why don't you say, ‘Where's the bust?’ It's presumptive negativity. [Fox News, Hannity, 1/23/17]
Spicer: “The Default [Media] Narrative Is Always Negative, And That’s Demoralizing” And “Frustrating.” In his first full press briefing as White House press secretary, Spicer admonished the press for, what he perceived was a “constant theme” in the media “to undercut the tremendous support” for Trump. Spicer complained that the “default narrative is always negative,” calling the coverage “demoralizing” and “frustrating”:
White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Monday launched into a lengthy defense of statements made by him and President Trump, and of criticisms of the president.
"The default narrative is always negative," Spicer said Monday during his first briefing in which he took questions. "And that's demoralizing."
Spicer lamented what he called a "constant theme to undercut the tremendous support" that Trump has, adding, "I think its just unbelievably frustrating when you're continually told it's not big enough; it's not good enough; you can't win." [NPR, 1/23/17]
Conway: “Proud” Of Spicer For “Hit[ting] Back” At Media’s “‘Constant Theme To Undercut’ Trump.” On January 23, Conway tweeted a link to a post on a right-wing website headlined “WATCH: Sean Spicer HITS BACK at 'constant theme to undercut' Trump by media,” adding that she was “proud” of Spicer.
Trump Called CNN "FAKE NEWS,", Attacked Them For Inauguration Ratings. In a January 25 tweet, Trump panned CNN for not having the highest inauguration ratings, calling them "FAKE NEWS" and suggesting the "public" was "smart" for not watching the network:
Trump Mocked Reporters For “Groveling” To Get A Story. During a January 25 interview with ABC’s David Muir, Trump falsely claimed that the author of a Pew report on voter registration inaccuracies provided evidence of voter fraud. When Muir fact-checked the president, saying that the Pew author said “they found no evidence of voter fraud,” Trump claimed the Pew author was “groveling again” and added “I always talk about the reporters that grovel when they write something that you want to hear but not necessarily millions of people want to hear, or have to hear.”
DONALD TRUMP: He is groveling again. You know, I always talk about the reporters that grovel when they write something that you want to hear but not necessarily millions of people want to hear, or have to hear. [ABC News, ABC World News Tonight with David Muir, 1/25/16]
Dan Scavino Tweeted “We Have Zero Interest In Sharing Security Measures With The Media” After NY Times Reported That Trump Tweets From An Unsecured Phone. Following a January 25 New York Times story that reported that Trump uses “his old, unsecured Android phone, to the protests of some of his aides,” White House social media director Dan Scavino tweeted, “We have zero interest in sharing security measures with the media- when it comes to various social media accounts.”
Trump: There's "Nothing Fair About The Media. Nothing." In a speech before congressional Republicans at a policy retreat, Trump criticized the press for "never giv[ing]" anti-abortion activists "the credit that they deserve," adding that there's "nothing fair about the media. Nothing." From the January 26 speech:
DONALD TRUMP: We've reinstated the Mexico City policy, a longstanding policy -- isn't that nice? And by the way, on Friday, a lot of people are going to be showing up to Washington, right Mike? A lot of people. You know, the press never gives them the credit that they deserve. They'll have 300, 400, 500, 600,000 people. You won't even read about it. When other people show up, you read big time about it. Right? So it's not fair, but nothing fair about the media. Nothing. [CNN, live remarks from President Donald Trump, 1/26/17]
Trump's Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon Demanded The Media "Keep Its Mouth Shut." The New York Times reported that Stephen Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist, attacked the entire mainstream media as “the opposition party” in an interview. Bannon lambasted the media’s “humiliating defeat” in incorrectly predicting Trump would lose the election and demanded that media should “keep its mouth shut and just listen for awhile”:
Stephen K. Bannon, President Trump’s chief White House strategist, laced into the American press during an interview on Wednesday evening, arguing that news organizations had been “humiliated” by an election outcome few anticipated, and repeatedly describing the media as “the opposition party” of the current administration.
“The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for awhile,” Mr. Bannon said during a telephone call.
“I want you to quote this,” Mr. Bannon added. “The media here is the opposition party. They don’t understand this country. They still do not understand why Donald Trump is the president of the United States.”
“The elite media got it dead wrong, 100 percent dead wrong,” Mr. Bannon said of the election, calling it “a humiliating defeat that they will never wash away, that will always be there.”
“The mainstream media has not fired or terminated anyone associated with following our campaign,” Mr. Bannon said. “Look at the Twitter feeds of those people: they were outright activists of the Clinton campaign.” (He did not name specific reporters or editors.)
“That’s why you have no power,” Mr. Bannon added. “You were humiliated.”
“You’re the opposition party,” Mr. Bannon said. “Not the Democratic Party. You’re the opposition party. The media’s the opposition party.”
While Mr. Bannon mostly referred to the “elite” or “mainstream” media, he cited The New York Times and The Washington Post by name.
“The paper of record for our beloved republic, The New York Times, should be absolutely ashamed and humiliated,” Mr. Bannon said. “They got it 100 percent wrong.”
He added that he has been a reader of The Times for most of his adult life. [The New York Times, 1/26/17]
Trump: "Much Of The Media ... Is Very, Very Dishonest. Honestly, It Is Fake News." Trump took issue with reporting on his trip to the CIA, complaining that the media demeaned his visit and lashing out at how the crowd's support was portrayed. During a January 26 interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity, the president stated, "What I'm saying, Sean, is this: the media, much of the media, not all of it, is very, very dishonest. Honestly, it is fake news. It's fake, they make things up." From the January 26 interview:
DONALD TRUMP: There were like 300, 350 people in the room, over 1000 wanted to come. And if I took a vote right now, I would've won 350 to nothing, believe me, but even that was demeaned as much as they can demean it. What I'm saying, Sean, is this: the media, much of the media, not all of it, is very, very dishonest. Honestly, it is fake news. It's fake, they make things up. [Fox News, Hannity, 1/26/17]
Conway: It’s “Dangerous To The Democracy” For The Press To Call Out Trump’s Lies. On Fox & Friends, Conway suggested that “it’s dangerous to the democracy and for those around the world watching what we do and how this president is covered in his early days” for the press to call out Trump’s lies. Conway also agreed with co-host’s Steve Doocy’s claim that the press “would never do that to Barack Obama in a million years.” From the January 27 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends:
STEVE DOOCY (CO-HOST): Plus there are some, Kellyanne, there are some reporters who are calling -- Kellyanne, there are some reporters in some newspapers that are just flat out calling the president a liar. They would never do that to Barack Obama in a million years.
KELLYANNE CONWAY: Even when he did. You can keep your doctor if you like, you can keep your insurance plan. We have 57 states in the nation. I mean, there were plenty of occasions to call out former presidents on their falsehoods and that was done very sparingly and not so strategically. I think it's dangerous to the democracy and for those around the world watching what we do and how this president is covered in his early days, very dangerous to just throw in adjectives like that, either without evidence, but also without context. And I think some of the coverage, in addition to -- bias is easy to detect. It's really the incomplete coverage that I’m watching very closely. It's, well, what's missing from the story? What was omitted? What's left on the cutting room floor that actually would inform the public factually about what's happening here? What an amazing week.
DOOCY: No kidding. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 1/27/17]
Spicer Criticized CNN For Calling Demonstrators At The March For Life "Demonstrators." Spicer took to Twitter on January 27 to criticize CNN’s coverage of the anti-choice March for Life, specifically taking issue with their reference to attendees as “demonstrators.” The New York Times’ Sopan Deb responded, “that is literally what they’re doing. Demonstrating.”
Trump: The Media Is "A Disgrace" And "The Opposition Party In Many Ways.” Trump told CBN host David Brody, “I think the media is the opposition party in many ways” during an interview released on January 27. The president added, “I’m not talking about everybody, but a big portion of the media, the dishonesty, total deceit and deception. It makes them certainly partially the opposition party, absolutely.” Trump concluded, “yes, the media is a disgrace, and they’ve called me wrong from the beginning.” From the Christian Broadcasting Network interview:
DAVID BRODY: “Steve Bannon, one of your top advisors just the other day, to the New York Times called the media the ‘opposition party.’ Do you believe that?
DONALD TRUMP: “I think to a large extent they’re much more capable than the other side.”
DAVID BRODY: “Other side, meaning?”
TRUMP: “Yeah, I think the media is the opposition party in many ways. And I think that, and I’m not talking about all of them. I know people, like yourself, but I know people in the media that I have tremendous respect for. Respect them as much as anybody, so I’m not talking about everybody, but a big portion of the media, the dishonesty, total deceit and deception. It makes them certainly partially the opposition party, absolutely. I think they’re much more capable than the opposition party. The opposition party is losing badly. Now the media is on the opposition party’s side. And I actually said to myself, I say they treat me so unfairly it’s hard to believe that I won. But the fortunate thing about me is I have a big voice. I have a voice that people understand. And you see it now. We’re bringing back jobs. Ford is making a massive investment now in Michigan, General Motors is going to be making just magnificent investments, so many other companies are coming back in. But yes, the media is a disgrace, and they’ve called me wrong from the beginning. [Christian Broadcasting Network, The Brody File, 1/27/17]
Trump Called Out "Failing" And “Dishonest” NY Times And Wash. Post For Their “False And Angry” Coverage Of Him. In a series of tweets on January 28, Trump lashed out at The New York Times, calling them "failing" and "FAKE NEWS." Trump also complained that coverage about him in the Times and The Washington Post was "false and angry," claiming their reporting was "DISHONEST." [Twitter, 1/28/17, 1/28/17, 1/28/17]
Conway: Why Haven't Members Of The Media Been Fired For Their Trump Coverage? Conway lamented that journalists have not been "let go" for their Trump coverage, stating: "Not one network person has been let go. Not one silly political analyst and pundit who talked smack all day long about Donald Trump has been let go." Conway added, "we know all their names." This came in response to her being asked about Bannon’s attacks on the press. From the January 29 edition of Fox Broadcasting Co.’s Fox News Sunday:
KELLYANNE CONWAY: Who’s cleaning house? Which one is going to be the first network to get rid of these people who said things that just weren't true.
Not one network person has been let go. Not one silly political analyst and pundit who talked smack all day long about Donald Trump has been let go. They’re on panels every Sunday, they’re on cable news every day. Who’s the first editorial writer, where's the first blogger that will be let go that embarrassed his or her outlets? We know all their names. I'm too polite to call them out by name, but they know who they are, and they’re all wondering, will I be the first to go. The election was three months ago. None of them have been let go. [Fox Broadcasting Co., Fox News Sunday, 1/29/17]
Trump: “Somebody With Aptitude And Conviction Should Buy The FAKE NEWS And Failing @NYTimes And Either Run It Correctly Or Let It Fold With Dignity!"
Spicer Defended Statements That The Media Are “The Opposition Party”: "There Are Stories And Journalists Who Start Off With A Negative Disposition" On Trump. Spicer defended claims from Trump and Bannon that the media are the opposition party, stating, "there are stories and journalists who start off with a negative disposition on how they are going to cover the president and his actions." In the same interview, Spicer said it was “absolutely” the case that a media outlet that accuses Trump of lying is acting like an opposition party. [Fox News, MediaBuzz, 1/29/17]
Trump Accused Media Of “Falsely Reporting” That His Executive Order Is A “Muslim Ban.” Trump on January 29 published a statement on his Facebook page regarding the executive order he signed that bans refugees, visitors, and immigrants from seven Muslim-majority nations, stating, “to be clear, this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting.” But on January 28, Rudy Giuliani, who served during the campaign as a top Trump surrogate and is now an informal adviser to the president, bragged that he crafted a legal version of Trump’s “Muslim ban.” [Facebook, 1/29/17; Fox News, Justice with Judge Jeanine, 1/28/17]
Trump Doubled Down On Claim That The Media Are “The Opposition Party.”
Spicer: Media Always “Lead With The Perceived Negative.” During a January 30 event at George Washington University, Spicer claimed that with media, "The lead is always the perceived negative." Spicer added, "It's never lead with the positive, it's always lead with the perceived negative." [C-SPAN, Media Coverage of the Trump Administration, 1/30/17]
Spicer Accused Media Of Spreading Misinformation About NSC And Faulty Reporting On Muslim Ban, Ridiculed Some Reporters’ Questions. During the January 30 White House daily press briefing, Spicer repeatedly complained about coverage of Trump’s memo on the National Security Council, saying: “Just yesterday, we called several outlets who were severely misreporting this topic to better inform them about what this memo means,” and later said any reporting that the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was being taken off the National Security Council Principals Committee “is a spread of misinformation, plain and simple.” He later criticized American Urban Radio Networks’ White House correspondent April Ryan’s question about how much Trump values input from the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other intelligence or military officials as “unbelievable.” When asked a question about the failure to specifically mention Jewish victims of the Holocaust in Trump’s Holocaust Remembrance Day statement, Spicer dismissed “nitpicking” about this as “pathetic” and “ridiculous,” and accused many reporters of offending Christians in response to a Christmas statement released by the Republican National Committee. And when asked by NBC’s White House correspondent Kristen Welker about comments from former national security officials that the Muslim ban executive order will make America less safe, Spicer criticized people for allegedly not reading the text of the order -- which had not yet been posted on the White House’s website -- and instead getting information about it through “misguided media reports.” [White House Press Briefing, 1/30/17; 1/30/17; 1/30/17; 1/30/17]
Spicer Blamed NBC For “Confusion” Over Trump’s Muslim Ban And Cast Doubt On NY Times Reporting On DHS Secretary’s Knowledge Of It. During the January 31 White House daily press briefing, Spicer told NBC’s Kristen Welker that NBC was to blame for “confusion” surrounding Trump’s executive order, saying, “I think you have been part of the confusion. You have helped cause this.” Spicer also referred to reporting that Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly was not fully briefed on the Muslim ban executive order until it was being signed as “misinformation,” and later said of this reporting, “I don’t believe the New York Times’ reporting is accurate.” [White House Press Briefing, 1/31/17; 1/31/17; 1/31/17]
Trump Campaign Text: “The Media Has Waged A Nasty Fight Every Day” Since Trump Was Sworn In, “Fight Back” And “Donate.” The Trump campaign sent a text message to supporters which said, “President Trump took office only 10 days ago and the media has waged a nasty fight every day. Fight back. Donate by the 11:59p deadline,” according to Politico reporter Gabriel Debenedetti.
Trump Attacked CNN As “Fake News,” Reiterated Claim That Media Are “The Opposition Party.” In a meeting honoring Black History Month that was televised from the White House, Trump said that CNN was a “hostile” place for supporters of his, adding, “I don’t watch CNN. … I don’t like watching fake news.” Trump later repeated his claim the press are “the opposition party”:
DONALD TRUMP: A lot of the media is actually the opposition party. They're so biased. And really it's a disgrace. Some of the media is fantastic and fair. But so much of the media is opposition party and knowingly saying incorrect things. So it's a very sad situation. But we seem to be doing well. You know, it's almost like in the meantime, we won, so maybe they don't have the influence they think. But they really are, they really have to straighten out their act, they're very dishonest people. [CNN, CNN Newsroom, 2/1/17; 2/1/17]
Trump Said “The Press Can Be Very Demeaning,” But Expects Them To Be “Very Dignified” In Coverage Of His SCOTUS Nominee. As he made introductory remarks at a meeting with conservative advocacy groups who support his Supreme Court nominee, Trump said, “We want to have him go through an elegant process as opposed to a demeaning process because they're very demeaning on the other side, and they want to make you look as bad as possible. And, of course, the press can be very demeaning too, so -- but I'm sure the press will be very dignified in this case.” [CNN, Inside Politics, 2/1/17]
Conway Accused The Media Of "Inciting Mob Mentality If Not Mob Violence" With Its Coverage. According to Mediaite, while appearing on Premiere Radio Networks' The Sean Hannity Show, Conway accused the media of "inciting mob mentality, if not mob violence" with its coverage of the Trump administration by “not showing the President and his main spokespeople respect.” Conway added that media coverage “encourage[ed] people to go out there and unpeacefully protest.” As reported by Mediaite:
Explaining that she thought protesters largely had “a very low level of literacy” of the issues they were demonstrating in the name of, Conway explained she felt the tone of the coverage of Trump amplifies that anger of the protesters:
“It never took on the aura of respect that it deserved, and if you are not showing the President and his main spokespeople respect, then you’re not showing the office respect, and you are inciting mob mentality if not mob violence. You are encouraging people to go out there and unpeacefully protest and block airport entrances for people who are going to visit a sick parent and can’t make their flight, or are going for a bereavement call and can’t make their flight.” [Mediaite, 2/2/17]
Conway Complained That Media Failed To Cover A Nonexistent Massacre, Then Criticized NBC Reporter For Noting Her Error. On MSNBC’s Hardball, Conway lamented that there “was very little coverage” of the “Bowling Green Massacre” and that “most people don’t know” about it “because it didn’t get covered.” In fact, the so-called “Bowling Green Massacre” never happened. The next day, on February 3, Conway took to Twitter to call out an NBC reporter for not having “asked what I meant on Hardball before slamming me,” concluding that the reporter's actions were “not cool” and “not journalism.” From the February 2 interview:
KELLYANNE CONWAY: It's the seven countries that were previously identified by President Obama as being high risk, as being states that either harbor, train or export -- and/or export terrorism. These are nations very narrowly proscribed and also temporary.
CHRIS MATTHEWS (HOST): Sure.
CONWAY: I bet there was very little coverage, I bet it's brand-new information to people that President Obama had a six-month ban on the Iraqi refugee program after two Iraqis came here to this country, were radicalized, and they were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre.
MATTHEWS: Let's --
Trump Claimed NY Times Was “Forced To Apologize For Its Bad And Inaccurate Coverage” Of His Campaign, Again Called It “FAKE NEWS.”
Conway Defended Her Attacks On The Media In An Interview With Fox News. In a prerecorded interview on Fox’s MediaBuzz, Conway defended her February 2 claim that the media are “inciting mob mentality if not mob violence” by reporting on how the affected families of Trump’s Muslim ban were negatively impacted by the order. Dismissing many reporters as elitist, Conway told them how to properly report on the Trump administration, saying: “America didn't go to the fancy Ivy League schools like many in the media did. America doesn’t -- there are some people in the media their latte and dry cleaning bill for the year is basically what people earn in some of these districts and counties where Donald Trump won. ... Fast forward, why don't they go and they see who’s actually going to benefit and talk to the people who are [tangentially] going to benefit from Donald Trump keeping the factories here and not in Mexico and China?”
Later in the interview, Conway bashed the media for making errors and then posting corrections, and falsely claimed she “misspoke one word” when bringing up the nonexistent “Bowling Green massacre” on MSNBC which she had previously cited in several other interviews. Conway also used the interview to defend her January 29 suggestion that reporters be fired for their Trump campaign coverage.[Fox News, MediaBuzz, 2/5/17, 2/5/17; Media Matters, 2/7/17]
Trump: “Any Negative Polls Are Fake News, Just Like The CNN, ABC, NBC Polls In The Election.”
Trump: “In Many Cases, The Very, Very Dishonest Press Doesn’t Want To Report” On Terrorist Attacks. In an address to the United States Central Command (CENTCOM) in Tampa, FL, Trump attacked the “very, very dishonest press” for supposedly “not even” reporting on terrorist attacks, adding that the press has “their reasons” for the alleged lack of coverage. From the February 6 address:
DONALD TRUMP: You’ve seen what happened in Paris and Nice. All over Europe, it’s happening. It’s gotten to a point where it's not even being reported, and in many cases, the very, very dishonest press doesn't want to report it. They have their reasons, and you understand that. So today we deliver a message in one very unified voice to these forces of death and destruction: America and its allies will defeat you. We will defeat them. [CNN, President Trump’s Address to U.S. CENTCOM, 2/6/17]
Trump And Spicer Ramped Up Criticism Of The NY Times, Called Its “So-Called Reporting” “Literally The Epitome Of Fake News." In a series of tweets from the president and during a press gaggle with Spicer, the administration continued to criticize The New York Times, taking aim at the newspaper for their Trump coverage. Trump tweeted that the Times “writes total fiction” about him, and claimed they were “making up stories & sources!” In a later tweet, Trump added that the Times' “poor reporting” on him had gotten “worse.” Echoing the president’s attacks on the newspaper during a press gaggle on Air Force One, Spicer lashed out over a New York Times report about Trump’s adjustment to living in the White House, calling the report “literally the epitome of fake news.” Spicer told reporters that the Times’s “so-called reporting” was “so riddled with inaccuracies and lies that they owe the president an apology”:
Mr. Spicer denounced The Time's account, published Sunday night, of the president’s turbulent adjustment to life in the White House. In particular, he zeroed in on one detail among a few paragraphs of the story that he insisted were wrong: that the president has worn a bathrobe while alone in the White House residence.
“That is literally the epitome of fake news,” Mr. Spicer told reporters traveling with Mr. Trump. “Start at the top. I don’t think the president owns a bathrobe. He definitely doesn’t wear one.”
The White House staff stocks the official residence with bathrobes.
Within moments of Mr. Spicer’s comment, reporters on Twitter posted photos of a much younger Mr. Trump lounging in a bathrobe.
Mr. Spicer added that the story was “so riddled with inaccuracies and lies that they owe the president an apology.” He went on, “Literally, blatant factual errors, and it’s unacceptable to see that kind of reporting or so-called reporting.” [The New York Times, 2/6/17]
Trump: “I Understand The Total Dishonesty Of The Media Better Than Anybody.” While taking questions at the White House, Trump repeatedly claimed the media are dishonest, stating “the media is a very, very dishonest arm,” and adding “there’s tremendous dishonesty. Pure outright dishonesty from the media”:
DONALD TRUMP: I happen to know how dishonest the media is. I happen to know that stories about me that should be good, or bad -- I don't mind a bad story if it's true, but I don’t like bad stories, stories that should be a positive story, when they make them totally negative, I understand the total dishonesty of the media better than anybody. And I let people know it. The media is a very, very dishonest arm, and we'll see what happens. Not everybody. And I have to say that. I always preface it by saying not everybody. But there's tremendous dishonesty. Pure outright dishonesty from the media. [CNN, CNN Newsroom, 2/7/17]
Trump Deputy Assistant Sebastian Gorka: Trump Administration Will Call Media “Fake News” Until "The Media Understands How Wrong" It Is "To “Attack” Trump. Sebastian Gorka, deputy assistant to Trump, said in a radio interview that the Trump administration is “‘going to continue to say, 'fake news'” because the media has a “‘monumental desire’” to “‘attack a duly elected President,’” according to CNN’s KFILE. Gorka added that the term would only stop being used when “the media understands how wrong that attitude is.” From the February 7 article:
Sebastian Gorka, deputy assistant to President Donald Trump, said Monday that the administration will continue using the term "fake news" until the media understands that their "monumental desire" to attack the President is wrong.
"There is a monumental desire on behalf of the majority of the media, not just the pollsters, the majority of the media to attack a duly elected President in the second week of his term," Gorka, a former Breitbart editor who also holds a PhD in political science, told syndicated conservative radio host Michael Medved.
"That's how unhealthy the situation is and until the media understands how wrong that attitude is, and how it hurts their credibility, we are going to continue to say, 'fake news.' I'm sorry, Michael. That's the reality," he added. [CNN.com, 2/7/17]
Trump Claimed The Media “Doesn’t Tell It Like It Is” In Their Violent Crime Reporting Because It’s “Not To Their Advantage.” Trump falsely claimed during a February 7 meeting with a group of sheriffs that “the murder rate in our country is the highest it’s been in 47 years,” and alleged that people were unaware of the high murder rate because “the press ... doesn’t tell it like it is,” erroneously suggesting that the media falsifies statistics on violent crime because of ulterior motives. [The Washington Post, 2/7/17]
Trump Again Called Media Reporting “Fake News” And Complained About “The Level Of Dishonesty” In The Media. As part of his pre-Super Bowl interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly that aired on February 7, Trump said that each day, “I read the papers, I see what is going on, I take a look. I see the lies, you know, the lies,” before continuing, “I call it, you know, fake news. Some of the networks and some of the papers -- the level of dishonesty, where they'll take a story that should be good ... and they will purposely totally change it. It is fake news.” [Fox News, The O’Reilly Factor, 2/7/17]
Bannon: Media Are “Too Dumb And Too Lazy To Actually Do Any Work.” During a February 7 conference call with New York magazine’s Olivia Nuzzi, Bannon dismissed reports that he and Priebus have been at odds in the Trump White House, claiming that such suggestions had been made up by the media, which he called "the opposition party," because “‘they’re too dumb and too lazy to actually do any work.’” [New York magazine, 2/9/17]
Trump To Police Chiefs: “Don’t Let The Dishonest Media Try And Convince You” That America’s Youth Doesn’t Respect Law Enforcement. In February 8 remarks to police chiefs in Washington, DC, Trump again called the media “dishonest,” telling those in the room, "don't let the dishonest media try and convince you that" Americans don't have respect for law enforcement:
DONALD TRUMP: You're the role models to young Americans all across this country, many of whom want to go into law enforcement, many of whom want to be a sheriff or a police chief. Many of whom -- they have great respect for you, tremendous respect. You don't even realize it, but I will tell you, they have great respect and admiration for the people in this room and the people that you represent. And don't let anyone ever tell you different. Don't let the dishonest media try and convince you that it's different than that, because it's not. [CNN, CNN Newsroom, 2/8/17]
Omarosa Manigault “Physically Intimidated” A White House Reporter, Called Report On Intimidation “Fake News.” Omarosa Manigault, who serves as the director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison in the Trump administration, “physically intimidated” April Ryan, the White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks. Washington Post reporter Abby Phillip witnessed part of the exchange. Ryan said that Manigault “stood right in my face like she was going to hit me” and that “she felt Manigault’s behavior was so threatening that it was ‘Secret Serviceable,’ meaning that it rose to the level of law enforcement intervention.” According to the Post, “the argument apparently stemmed from emails that Manigault sent to Ryan during the presidential campaign.” When asked about the story, Manigault responded, “My comment: Fake news!” Hours after the Post story was published, Manigault tweeted, “Thank you for not buying the (sic) all the #FakeNews from MSM!!” [The Washington Post, 2/13/17; Twitter, 2/13/17]
Trump Lashed Out At CNN’s Chris Cuomo For His Interview With Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Calling It “FAKE NEWS!”
Trump Called CNN “Fake News” In Telephone Conversation With The Associated Press. The Associated Press (AP) reported on February 9 that during a recent telephone conversation, “Trump briefly put down the phone so he could turn up the volume on a CNN report. When he returned to the call, he was complaining about ‘fake news.’" [The Associated Press, 2/9/17]
Trump Erroneously Criticized The Supposedly "Failing” NY Times Over Its “Major FAKE NEWS China Story.” Trump lashed out at the supposedly "failing" New York Times on Twitter, claiming that the paper ran a story which said that Trump and President Xi Jinping of China had "'not spoken ... since Nov. 14,'" despite the fact that they spoke on February 9. However, the story was updated after the call, reading that the leaders spoke "Thursday evening" about the "One China policy." The story also stated that until that call, the leaders "had not spoke ... since Nov. 14."
Spicer Said The Administration “Continued To Be Disgusted By CNN’s Fake News Reporting.” When CNN reached out to Spicer for comments on its report that multiple U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials had independently corroborated “some” of the details in the 35-page dossier on President Trump’s connections to Russia, Spicer said, “We continue to be disgusted by CNN's fake news reporting." He later called CNN back and added: "This is more fake news. It is about time CNN focused on the success the President has had bringing back jobs, protecting the nation, and strengthening relationships with Japan and other nations. The President won the election because of his vision and message for the nation." [CNN.com, 2/10/17]
Trump Claimed Daughter Ivanka Was “Abused And Treated So Badly By The Media.”
Trump Falsely Accused “FAKE NEWS @CNN” Of Cutting Off Sen. Bernie Sanders. Trump tweeted: “While on FAKE NEWS @CNN, Bernie Sanders was cut off for using the term fake news to describe the network. They said technical difficulties!” CNN’s communications team called Trump’s tweet “false” and responded by showing a full transcript of the interview with Sen. Sanders, which shows Sanders clarifying he was joking and the interview returning after a commercial break:
Stephen Miller Attacked The Media In His Sunday Show Appearances. White House senior adviser Stephen Miller on ABC’s This Week on February 12 accused “you in the media” of “blowing this thing way out of proportion” when asked about Conway’s ethics violation for promoting Ivanka Trump’s fashion products on Fox. When asked on Fox News Sunday about whether we should “blame President Trump” if something happens to Judge James Robart, the federal judge who put a restraining order on Trump’s Muslim ban who is now “getting death threats” based on Trump’s tweet criticizing him, Miller called this line of questioning “reckless and irresponsible” and “one of the most ludicrous things that the media does.” [Media Matters, 2/13/17]
Sarah Huckabee Sanders Said Most Negative Stories Don’t Have “Legitimacy,” Claimed Jake Tapper’s Interview Of Conway “Wasn’t Journalism.” In a February 12 interview on Fox News’ MediaBuzz, White House deputy communications director Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that some negative stories about the Trump administration“may have a little bit of legitimacy, but as a whole, I really don’t think they do,” and that “it tells you … that the more that President Trump’s opponents go negative, he’s probably doing something right.” She later criticized CNN’s Jake Tapper for an interview with Conway, saying it “wasn’t journalism.” [Fox News, MediaBuzz, 2/12/17]
Trump: “FAKE NEWS Media Refuses To Mention” “Big Crowds Of Enthusiastic Supporters Lining The Road” As He Departed Florida.
Trump Told FBI Director He “Should Consider Putting Reporters In Prison For Publishing Classified Information.” On May 16, The New York Times reported that Trump urged then-FBI Director James Comey to “consider putting reporters in prison for publishing classified information” during a February 14 meeting. From the report:
The Feb. 14 meeting took place just a day after Mr. Flynn was forced out of his job after it was revealed he had lied to Vice President Mike Pence about the nature of phone conversations he had had with the Russian ambassador to the United States.
Alone in the Oval Office, Mr. Trump began the discussion by condemning leaks to the news media, saying that Mr. Comey should consider putting reporters in prison for publishing classified information, according to one of Mr. Comey’s associates.
Mr. Trump then turned the discussion to Mr. Flynn. [The New York Times, 5/16/17]
Trump: "Fake News Media Is Going Crazy With Their Conspiracy Theories And Blind Hatred. @MSNBC & @CNN Are Unwatchable."
Trump Attacked “Failing” NY Times And Wash. Post After They Reported On His Advisers' Communications With Russia.
Bannon Lashed Out At Media, Referring To Them As “The Opposition Party.” In an interview with CNN about Spicer’s performance, Bannon claimed that the media’s narrative about Spicer is “‘totally and completely false.’” Bannon also dismissed leaks from the White House, suggesting that “‘the media, the opposition party’ was just making it up.” From the CNN report:
To a press corps frustrated with Spicer's aggressive attacks on reporters and tenuous relationship with the facts, the press secretary's imminent demise is a compelling narrative. But the most senior members of Trump's staff say the rumors are wrong.
"It's totally and completely false," Steve Bannon, the president's chief strategist, told me during a recent interview in the Roosevelt Room. "The President has full and total confidence in Sean."
Reince Priebus, Trump's chief of staff, told me the same: "The President has full confidence in Sean," he said. "What he thinks is that this is a media narrative that's B.S., that's what he thinks."
So where is the narrative coming from? Spicer declined to comment on the record for this article, but Bannon and Priebus dismissed the leaks about his fate as scuttlebutt from lower level staff. Or maybe "the media, the opposition party" was just making it up, Bannon said. [CNN, 2/15/17]
Trump: Michael Flynn Was “Treated Very, Very Unfairly” By “The Fake Media,” And That's "Really A Sad Thing.” During a February 15 joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump claimed ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn had been “treated very, very unfairly” by, “As I call it, the fake media in many cases.” Trump added, "I think it's really a sad thing that he was treated so badly." From the press conference:
DONALD TRUMP: Michael Flynn, General Flynn is a wonderful man. I think he’s been treated very, very unfairly by the media. As I call it, the fake media in many cases. And I think it's really a sad thing that he was treated so badly. I think in addition to that, from intelligence, papers are being leaked, things are being leaked. It's criminal action, criminal act, and it's been going on for a long time before me, but now it's really going on. And people are trying to cover up for a terrible loss that the Democrats had under Hillary Clinton. I think it's very, very unfair what's happened to General Flynn, the way he was treated, and the documents and papers that were illegally -- I stress that -- illegally leaked. Very, very unfair. [CNN, Joint Press Conference with Benjamin Netanyahu, 2/15/17]
Trump Demanded Apology From “Failing @NYTimes (And Others),” Claimed “FAKE NEWS Media … Makes Up Stories And ‘Sources.’”
Huckabee Sanders: Trump’s FL Rally Is A Way To Get Around “The Biased Media.” According to a tweet from CBS News’ Mark Knoller, White House deputy communications director Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that Trump’s campaign rally in Florida would be a way to get around “the biased media.”
Trump Accused The “Fake News Media” Of Undercovering The Current Economy. During a meeting with House Republican supporters, Trump accused the “fake news media” of undercovering the current economy, saying, “The fake news media doesn't like talking about the economy. I never see anything about the stock market sets new records every day, Chris, I never see that.” [CNN, At This Hour with Kate Bolduan, 2/16/17]
Trump Attacked The Media At Least 30 Separate Times In One Press Conference. At a spontaneous press conference on February 16, Trump attacked, blamed, mocked, and shut down the media, reporters, and coverage of his administration in at least 30 separate instances. In what was described as a “combative, grievance-filled press conference,” Trump claimed that reporters “will not tell you the truth” and speak “for the special interests,” attacked individuals like CNN reporter Jim Acosta and CNN CEO Jeff Zucker, and told a reporter that she was going to ask a “bad question” before she asked it. Trump also called various unfavorable stories “fake news,” “a joke,” and “disgraceful.” [Media Matters, 2/16/17]
Gorka Capped Off BBC Interview By Telling Interviewer That He “Just Committed Fake News.” In an interview with Evan Davis, presenter of BBC’s Newsnight, Gorka said it was “pathetic” that BBC would ask whether Trump’s press conference earlier in the day -- in which the president repeatedly attacked the press -- was “unhinged.” Gorka eventually said, “You’ve just committed fake news” when Davis asked for assurance that the administration wouldn’t take action against the press. [The Huffington Post, 2/17/17]
Trump: "The FAKE News Media (Failing @NYTimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) Is Not My Enemy, It Is The Enemy Of The American People!"
Priebus Defended Trump’s Comment That The Media Are “The Enemy Of The American People”: “I Think You Should Take It Seriously.” Priebus, appearing on CBS’ Face the Nation, repeatedly defended Trump’s February 17 tweet that the media are “the enemy of the American people,” telling host John Dickerson that “you should take it seriously.” Priebus defended Trump and his administration's labeling of the media as “the enemy” by complaining about what he called "bogus stories" and demanding news outlets “stop with this unnamed source stuff.” [CBS, Face the Nation, 2/19/17]
Huckabee Sanders: “I Rarely Use The New York Times As A Place To Go For A Credible Source.” Fox host Jenna Lee asked Sanders about a New York Times article that reported that career professionals on the National Security Council have “complained privately about being shut out of their areas of expertise and kept in the dark about important decisions” and that Trump aides have blamed them for leaks. In response, Sanders said, "Look, I rarely use The New York Times as a place to go for a credible source.” [Fox News, Happening Now, 2/21/17]
Spicer Defended Trump’s Statement Calling The Press “The Enemy Of The American People,” Claiming That Trump “Has Been Very Clear That Certain Outlets Have Gone Out Of Their Way To Not Represent His Record Accurately.” In the February 21 White House press briefing, Spicer defended Trump’s tweet that “the FAKE news media … is the enemy of the American People,” saying, “I think the president has been very clear that certain outlets have gone out of their way to not represent his record accurately, and it is a concern to him.” Spicer added that Trump “has a healthy respect for the press, but I think that it’s a two-way street, as I’ve also said before. And I think that the president understands that certain outlets have gone out of their way to not be completely accurate and fair in their coverage of what’s going on.” [White House Press Briefing, 2/21/17, via CNN]
Bannon Referred To Media As “The Opposition Party” During CPAC Appearance, Warning “It’s Going To Get Worse Every Day For The Media.” Bannon referred to the media as “the opposition party” during his joint CPAC appearance with Priebus, then said, “It's going to get worse every day for the media.” Bannon told the audience, “If you think they are giving you your country back without a fight, you are sadly mistaken.” [Media Matters, 2/23/17; The Washington Post, 2/23/17]
Spicer Berated NY Times’ Glenn Thrush At A Press Briefing: “We’re Going To Raise Our Hand Like Big Boys And Girls.” Spicer responded to New York Times reporter Glenn Thrush’s attempts to interrupt him to ask a question during the daily White House press briefing by saying, “Glenn, this isn’t a TV program, we’re gonna … OK, you don’t get to just yell out questions, we’re going to raise our hand like big boys and girls.” [Twitter, 2/23/17]
Spicer Barred Major News Organizations From Press Gaggle In Favor Of Friendly Conservative Outlets. Spicer excluded major news organizations, including CNN, The New York Times, Politico, and BuzzFeed, along with many foreign news organizations, from a press gaggle in his office while allowing right-wing outlets Breitbart.com, The Washington Times, and OANN to attend. The Associated Press and Time magazine boycotted the gaggle in solidarity with the excluded outlets. [Media Matters, 2/24/17]
Trump Repeatedly Excoriated “Fake News” Media At CPAC, Doubled Down On Calling Them “The Enemy Of The People.” During his speech at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Trump referred to reports he didn’t like as “fake news” and again said the media “are the enemy of the people.” He said the press “shouldn’t be allowed to use sources unless they use somebody’s name,” repeatedly said some reporters are “terrible, dishonest people,” and claimed polls from the broadcast networks are “so inaccurate.” Trump concluded his remarks about the media by saying “the fake news doesn’t tell the truth” and “doesn’t represent the people.” [WhiteHouse.gov, 2/24/17]
Trump Tweeted “The Failing @NYTimes Has Become A Joke. Likewise @CNN. Sad!”
Trump Complained Media Had Not Reported On Slight Dip In National Debt In First Month Of His Presidency.
Trump Attacked “The Failing @NYTimes” For Creating An Ad “To Help Save Its Failing Reputation.”
Trump Attacked Media For Having “Played Up” Russia “FAKE NEWS.”
Trump: The NY Times’ Intent Is “So Evil And So Bad.” In an interview with Breitbart News, Trump repeated his charge that “the fake media is the opposition party” and “the enemy of the American people.” He also complained that “the intent” behind The New York Times is “so evil and so bad,” because “they write lies.” From the Breitbart interview:
BNN [Breitbart News Network]: “The big thing I kind of wanted to zone in on right off the bat is ‘the opposition party,’ the media—“
POTUS [President Donald Trump]: “Well, it’s not the media. It’s the fake media.”
BNN: “That’s what I was going to—“
POTUS: “There’s a difference. The fake media is the opposition party. The fake media is the enemy of the American people. There’s tremendous fake media out there. Tremendous fake stories. The problem is the people that aren’t involved in the story don’t know that.”
HOPE HICKS: “Just the fact that they didn’t report that accurately proves your point.”
POTUS: “Which accurately?”
HICKS: “They said ‘Oh Donald Trump said the press is the enemy of the American people.’”
POTUS: “Right. They take ‘fake’ media off. They say ‘the media is the enemy of—well, they didn’t say the ‘fake media.’ I didn’t say the media is the enemy—I said the ‘fake media.’ They take the word fake out and all of a sudden it’s like I’m against—there are some great reporters like you. I know some great honorable reporters who do a great job like Steve [Holland] from Reuters, others, many others. I wasn’t talking about that. I was talking about the fake media, where they make up everything there is to make up.”
BNN: “Right and that’s what I wanted to zone in on with you because I know you made that very clear in your CPAC speech. Can you kind of more clearly define what standards and quality we should expect from those who are doing reporting?”
POTUS: “It’s intent. It’s also intent. If you read the New York Times, if you read the New York Times, it’s—the intent is so evil and so bad. The stories are wrong in many cases, but it’s the overall intent. Look at that paper over the last two years. In fact, they had to write a letter of essentially apology to their subscribers because they got the election so wrong. They did a front page article on women talking about me, and the women went absolutely wild because they said that was not what they said. It was a big front-page article, and the Times wouldn’t even apologize and yet they were wrong. You probably saw the women. They went on television shows and everything.”
BNN: “Yes, it was pretty embarrassing for the Times.”
POTUS: “[They said] ‘we really like Donald Trump and he [the Times reporter] totally misrepresented us. He said he was going to say good and it was absolutely bad.’ This was a front page article, almost the entire top half of the New York Times, and it was false. It was false. Did they apologize? No. I call them the failing New York Times and they write lies. They write lies. Nobody would know that. For instance, when people read the story on the women—first of all, the reporter who wrote the story has a website full of hatred of Donald Trump. So, he shouldn’t be allowed to be a reporter because he’s not objective. It’s not all, but it has many negative things about Donald Trump. But he shouldn’t be allowed to write on Donald Trump. And, he writes that story. But that’s one of many. So, when you read the Sunday New York Times, it’s just hit after hit after hit. And honestly, I think people are wise to it because if you look at the approval rating, you see it’s down. You know, it’s gone. There’s very little approval.” [Breitbart.com, 2/27/17]
Trump: “I Do Have To Go Around Some Media” Because It’s “Dishonest.” In an interview with Fox News' Fox & Friends, Trump said, “I do have to go around some media” using “Twitter and Facebook and all of the different things” because “dishonest media” are “putting it down differently from what I mean.” He went on to add that he wouldn’t use Twitter “if I felt the media were honest.” From the February 28 edition of Fox & Friends:
BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): Let's talk about your tweeting, if we could. You've attacked recently [Sen. John] McCain, the FBI, Democrats. Is there a method to the attacks, or is it just venting?
DONALD TRUMP: No method, really. It's not venting either. But I felt badly; when a young man dies and John McCain said that was a failed mission. According to General Mattis, it was a very successful mission. They got a lot of information, a lot of different things that they really wanted to get. And I thought it was inappropriate, and I thought it was inappropriate that he goes to foreign soil and he criticizes our government. I just think that’s just inappropriate, and people have to be careful with that. People really have to be careful with that. But it does allow me to go around dishonest media. I don't have to go around you folks, I don’t have to go around a lot of the media, but I do have to go around some media. And it does allow me to do that because the following is so large. Between Twitter and Facebook and all of the different things, I have so many millions of people. It allows me to give a message without necessarily having to go through people where I’m giving them a message and they’re putting it down differently from what I mean.
AINSLEY EARHARDT (CO-HOST): A lot of people like it. They say you’re tough. They’re glad you’re going after people when they attack you. But you have people on both side of the aisles that are saying you are going after enemies on Twitter, they want you to stop it. Will you?
TRUMP: Well most of the people that want me to stop it are the enemies. I'll be honest with you. The enemies would like me to stop it. If I felt the media were honest, all of it or most of it, I wouldn't do it. But it's a modern-day form of communication, especially when you have tens of millions of people like I have. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 2/28/17]
Pence Dodged When Asked If The Administration Will End Its “War On The Media” And Defended Trump Calling The Press The “Enemy Of The People.” When asked by MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski whether the administration’s “the war on the media” is over and if Trump will continue to claim news outlets and stories are “fake news,” Vice President Mike Pence downplayed the administration’s aggression toward the press, characterizing it as “a willingness to call out the media when they play fast and loose with the facts.” Pence then defended Trump calling the media “the enemy of the people,” saying the media was pushing several “baseless and fabricated stories.” [MSNBC, Morning Joe, 3/1/17]
Spicer Singled Out Politico, CNN, New York Times, And NBC As Outlets He Feels Have Been Unfair To The Administration. In an article detailing a March 1 interview with Sean Spicer, The Daily Caller noted that Spicer did “not hide his distaste for certain journalists he believes are unfair to the administration or inaccurate in their reporting.” Without naming specific journalists, Spicer stated, “‘I think that there are some folks at Politico that have clearly done some stuff," adding "there are some reporters at CNN. There are some reporters at New York Times. I’ve had my issues with NBC. Again, I think it comes down to specific reporters and specific stories.’” He also explained, according to The Daily Caller, that “he tends not to ‘reward reporters’ who have wronged him in the past.” [The Daily Caller, 3/1/17]
White House Accused Media Of A "Double Standard" On The Use Of Anonymous Sources After Trump’s Baseless Wiretapping Allegation. Conway and Sanders both made morning show appearances accusing media outlets of engaging in a “double standard” regarding their use of anonymous sources. Both tried to spin the conversation away from Trump's claim instead faulting the media for questioning Trump’s lack of sources for his allegation that former President Barack Obama had wiretapped Trump Tower. On Fox News’ Fox & Friends, Conway said, “We have this double standard for anonymous sources. The media love to use anonymous sources for anything and everything that could possibly be derogatory or negative for this president and his administration. And yet, they refuse to give any credibility to such sources when it may be something positive or exculpatory.” And on NBC’s Today, Sanders said, “The media loves to create this false narrative against the current president but is so quick to dismiss anything under the past administration. If the president walked across the Potomac, the media would report that he couldn't swim. All we're asking is that the same standard be applied to this president as the past president.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 3/6/17; NBC, Today, 3/6/17]
Trump Referred To News Stories About White House Staff Conflicts As “FAKE NEWS.” Trump tweeted that stories highlighting infighting in his administration are “FAKE NEWS.” This came after a March 5 Politico article, which cited more than a dozen sources, wrote that administration officials were unhappy with Priebus and blamed him for bad management in the White House:
Special Assistant Boris Epshteyn Threatened Fox News With White House Boycott After Being Grilled On Muslim Ban. Politico reported on March 7 that Boris Epshteyn, a White House special assistant, "threatened earlier this year to pull all West Wing officials from appearing on Fox News after a tense appearance on anchor Bill Hemmer’s show." Epshteyn, whose "official job is to oversee White House officials who appear on television to speak on behalf of the administration," yelled at a Fox booker and made the threat after being pressed about Trump's original Muslim ban while on air. According to Politico, the White House did not follow up on Epshteyn’s threat to have the administration boycott the network. [Politico, 3/7/17]
Conway Defended Trump Calling Press “Enemy Of The American People”: Media Have A “Responsibility” To “Not Be Presumptively Negative.” Conway appeared on Fox News’ MediaBuzz and defended Trump's labeling of news organizations whose coverage he dislikes as the “enemy of the American people,” arguing that media outlets have a “responsibility” to not be “presumptively negative” in their coverage of the president. From the March 12 edition of Fox News’ MediaBuzz:
HOWARD KURTZ (HOST): You deal with journalists all the time. And the majority of the coverage of this president, I’ve said this over and over again, has been negative. There is no getting around it, whether it’s justified, we can debate. Doesn't it make your job harder when the president names CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC, and The New York Times, and says, “enemy of the American people?”
KELLYANNE CONWAY: The president has made very clear that he would like to have a good relationship with the press. But it's a two-way street. And we believe in a fair and free press. But with a fair and free press comes responsibility. And the responsibility is also to not be presumptively negative at every turn.
And I think by any quantitative, objective analysis, the coverage of this president has been so presumptively negative and unfair and incomplete. And no, this is not a comment on the biased media. It’s not what we’re saying. We’re just saying, if he’s had 34, 35 executive actions in the first 50 days, why is everybody covering one or two? [Fox News, MediaBuzz, 3/12/17]
Trump: "It Is Amazing How Rude Much Of The Media Is To My Very Hard Working Representatives. Be Nice, You Will Do Much Better!"
White House Blasted MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow And “Dishonest Media” For Reporting On “Illegally Published” 2005 Tax Documents. Following an announcement on Twitter by MSNBC host Rachel Maddow that she was going to be covering a leaked Trump tax return on her show, the White House released a statement attacking her and the “dishonest media” for reporting on the “illegally published return”:
You know you are desperate for ratings when you are willing to violate the law to push a story about two pages of tax returns from over a decade ago.
Before being elected President, Mr. Trump was one of the most successful businessmen in the world with a responsibility to his company, his family and his employees to pay no more tax than legally required. That being said, Mr. Trump paid $38 million dollars even after taking into account large scale depreciation for construction, on an income of more than $150 million dollars, as well as paying tens of millions of dollars in other taxes such as sales and excise taxes and employment taxes and this illegally published return proves just that.
Despite this substantial income figure and tax paid, it is totally illegal to steal and publish tax returns. The dishonest media can continue to make this part of their agenda, while the President will focus on his, which includes tax reform that will benefit all Americans. [Twitter, 3/14/17, 3/14/17]
Trump Accused MSNBC Report On Tax Documents Of Being “FAKE NEWS” After White House Confirmed Them. Trump tagged NBC News in a tweet labeling reporting on his partial 2005 tax return on MSNBC the previous night as “FAKE NEWS,” despite the fact that the White House confirmed the figures before the report:
Secretary Of State Rex Tillerson Broke Decades Of Tradition By Preventing Major Media Outlets From Accompanying Him On Asia Trip. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson flew to Asia for a four-day trip with visits to Japan, South Korea, and China, accompanied only by a single reporter from the conservative media outlet Independent Journal Review. According to The Associated Press, Tillerson’s decision to travel “without a contingent of journalists or a designated pool reporter who would send reports to the broader diplomatic press corps, depart[s] from 50 years of practice and even from Tillerson's earlier official overseas trips to Germany and Mexico.” D.C. bureau chiefs from major news organizations sent a letter on March 7 to the State Department protesting this decision. [Media Matters, 3/15/17; The Associated Press, 3/14/17; Poynter, 3/9/17]
Trump Decried “Fake News” Reports On Border Wall, Called Media “Bad People” At Rally. In a campaign-style speech delivered in Nashville, TN, Trump attacked the press, claiming, “Some of the fake news said, I don’t think Donald Trump wants to build the wall. Can you imagine if I said we’re not going to build a wall? Fake news. Fake, fake news. Fake news, folks. A lot of fake.” Later, in an apparent reference to the reporters covering his rally, Trump said, “they’re bad people, folks. They’re bad people.” [WhiteHouse.gov, 3/15/17]
Trump Blasted “The Fake Press” For “Despicable” Coverage In Fox News Interview. During an interview with Fox’s Tucker Carlson, Trump lambasted NBC News for being “despicable in their coverage” of him, despite having made “a fortune for NBC with The Apprentice.” He went on to call CBS and ABC “the fake press, the fake media.” Trump also suggested he doesn’t respect “the failing New York Times” despite citing it as a source for his baseless claim that the Obama administration wiretapped him during the 2016 presidential election. Trump also explained that he used Twitter because, “I get such a ... dishonest press.” [Fox News, Tucker Carlson Tonight, 3/15/17, 3/15/17]
Trump Called CNN “Fake News” In Fox Interview. In an interviews on Fox News’ Watters’ World recorded on March 15, Trump said “CNN is just fake news.” [Fox News, Watters’ World, 3/18/17]
Trump: “Fake Media” Has “Not Been Speaking Properly About How Great” The GOP Health Care Bill Will Be. Trump claimed that the press “has not been speaking properly about how great” the Republican’s alternative to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is going to be, adding the “fake media” was trying to “say good things about” the ACA because “it's on its last dying feet.” From the March 17 White House event:
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I want everyone to know I'm 100 percent behind this. I want everybody to know that the press has not been speaking properly about how great this is going to be. They have not been giving it a fair press. The press is, well, as you know, in many cases, I call it the fake news. It's fake news. This is going to be great for people. I watch, I say that's not the bill we're passing. And I also want everyone to know that all of these nos or potential nos are all yes's. Every single person sitting in this room is now a yes. And we've made certain changes. And very -- frankly, very little, although the block grant is very important, because I want the states to get the money and to run their program if they want to run it. Because they could do it better than the federal government. They're better equipped than the federal government. I also want people to know that Obamacare is dead. It's a dead health care plan. It's not even a health care plan, frankly. And I watched the architect of the plan yesterday, I watched the old clip where he said the American people are stupid to have voted for it. I watched Bill Clinton saying, "This is the craziest thing I've ever seen." And only because everyone knows it's on its last dying feet, the fake news is trying to say good things about it, OK? Fake media. And there is no good news about Obamacare. Obamacare's dead. [White House Event, 3/17/17, via CNN]
Tillerson Excluded Media Pool From Korea Meeting, But Allowed Fox News In. Poynter reported that “During his trip to the Korean Demilitarized Zone Friday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson excluded the pool reporter representing U.S. networks from a meeting, allowing a team from Fox News to be admitted instead.” Additionally, "During the trip, the State Department also withheld access to meetings and a lunch with troops." Poynter explained that “Poolers, journalists who gather news for the entire press corps, are generally admitted to meetings with U.S. diplomats when they travel abroad.” [Poynter, 3/17/17]
Trump: Outlet That Labeled Him An Isolationist Is “Fake News.” During his joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Trump said in response to a question from a German reporter, “I am not an isolationist by any stretch of the imagination. So I don't know what newspaper you're reading, but I guess that would be another example of, as you say, fake news.” [WhiteHouse.gov, 3/17/17]
Trump: “Despite What You Have Heard From The FAKE NEWS, I Had A GREAT Meeting With German Chancellor Angela Merkel.”
Spicer Belittled David Cay Johnston For Reporting On Leaked Trump Tax Return, Attacked NBC For Airing Report On It. On Fox’s MediaBuzz, Spicer responded to MSNBC’s reporting on leaked 2005 Trump tax documents by attacking David Cay Johnston, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who received the leak tax return and shared it with other media outlets. Spicer tried to discredit Johnston as “a former reporter who’s now running a blog that I’m sure gets minimal traffic” and who was “let go from The New York Times.” Spicer added, “NBC News cross[ed] the line when it came to publishing this and promoting it,” and that the network “perpetuate[d] a false narrative about where it came from.” [Fox News, MediaBuzz, 3/19/17]
Trump Slammed Polls From “Fake News CNN” And Mocked The Network’s Ratings.
Trump: “The Fake Media” Hasn’t “Told The Truth About Obamacare.” Trump, during a speech in Kentucky, said that “somebody from the fake media the other day asked me a question” about Republicans being unified. Later in the speech, while criticizing the Affordable Care Act, Trump claimed, “you watch the fake media, the fake news, and they try and build it up, it's a disaster fellas,” and insinuated that the media does not tell “the truth about Obamacare.” [Trump speech in Kentucky, 3/20/17, 3/20/17, via Fox News]
Trump: “The Fake Media” Corrects Me When I’m “Off By One Hundredth Of A Percent.” Trump criticized “the fake media” for correcting him, even “if it’s off by one hundredth of a percent,” and complained that he “end[s] up getting Pinocchios.” From Trump’s March 21 speech:
DONALD TRUMP: We have so much potential. I see it now even more than I saw it in this great campaign, which turned out to be a movement. A movement like the world has never seen before, actually. You know, It’s funny, I’ve said that so often they don’t even correct me, the fake media. They never correct me, because it’s true. Believe me, if it’s off by one hundredth of a percent, it’s like, I end up getting Pinocchios, right? They don’t even correct me. One of the great movements of all time. [The Washington Post, 3/21/17]
Trump: The Wall Street Journal "Is A Part Of” The “Fake Media.” In a March 22 interview with Time magazine, Trump attacked The Wall Street Journal for a critical editorial published on March 21, saying that he “thought it was a disgrace that they could write that.” Trump added that “the Wall Street Journal is a part of” the so-called “fake media.” From Time’s March 23 article (emphasis original):
Did you see the Wall Street Journal opinion page today, the editorial page?
I thought it was, I thought it was a disgrace that they could write that.
But let me just, the hypothetical they started with, you have to announce to the country or to the world that some serious national security event has happened, and…
The country believes me. Hey. I went to Kentucky two nights ago, we had 25,000 people in a massive basketball arena. There wasn’t a seat, they had to send away people. I went to Tennessee four nights ago. We had a packed house, they had to send away thousands of people. You saw that, right. Did you see that?
Yes I did.
The country’s not buying it, it is fake media. And the Wall Street Journal is a part of it. [Time, 3/23/17]
Trump: “Just Watched The Totally Biased And Fake News Reports Of The So-Called Russia Story On NBC And ABC. Such Dishonesty!”
Trump Blocked Press Pool From Entering Trump International Hotel In Washington, Which Is Leased By The Federal Government. According to a tweet from Bloomberg’s Steven Dennis, the White House press pool was blocked, “once again,” from entering Trump’s Washington, DC, hotel, “which is leased to [Trump] by the federal government.”
Spicer Called A Politico Reporter “An Idiot.” In a March 25 email to a Breitbart.com reporter, Spicer called Politico reporter Tara Palmeri “an idiot with no real sources” for reporting that Trump was considering removing Priebus as chief of staff. [Breitbart.com, 3/26/17]
Trump Tweeted That “The Failing @NYTimes Would Do Much Better If They Were Honest,” And Linked To Story About Paper’s Alleged “Ongoing Dishonesty.”
Spicer To Veteran Reporter April Ryan: “Stop Shaking Your Head.” During the March 28 press briefing, Spicer criticized reporter April Ryan for questions regarding the FBI investigation into collusion between the Trump team and Russia and for asking, “How does this administration try to revamp its image?” Spicer claimed Ryan had an “agenda,” and was “hell bent on trying to make sure that whatever image you want to tell about this White House stays,” and told her “stop shaking your head.” [White House press briefing, 3/28/17, via CNN]
Spicer Said In Press Briefing Washington Post “Should Be Ashamed” Of “100 Percent False” Reporting. Spicer repeatedly criticized a Washington Post story about former acting Attorney General Sally Yates’ attempt to testify before the House Intelligence Committee, thrice calling it “100 percent false.” Spicer also suggested the newspaper “should be ashamed of how it handled this story,” and that he would "hate to give" the paper "the traffic" while saying evidence for his claim was on the Post's website. [WhiteHouse.gov, 3/28/17]
Trump Urged “Fake News” To Talk About Debunked Story Being Pushed By Fox. Trump tweeted, “Why doesn't Fake News talk about Podesta ties to Russia as covered by @FoxNews or money from Russia to Clinton - sale of Uranium?” The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler responded by tweeting out a link to a Post article debunking the claim Trump pushed.
White House Staff Announced They’d Join Trump In Boycotting Annual White House Correspondents Association Dinner. Spicer said in a statement that White House staff will be “standing in solidarity” with Trump’s decision to not attend the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner. From the New York Daily News:
The White House staff is following President Trump’s lead in boycotting the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.
That presumably means the President’s cabinet and White House press secretary Sean Spicer will be “standing in solidarity” with the President’s defiant decision to not cavort with the biggest names in journalism at the annual gala, citing "unfair" news coverage.
“We hope, including the President, that things improve and we can attend next year,” Spicer said in a statement on Tuesday. [New York Daily News, 3/28/17]
Trump Falsely Claimed “The Failing @NYTimes Apologized” After Election For Its Coverage. Trump claimed in a tweet that “the failing @nytimes apologized to its subscribers, right after the election, because their coverage was so wrong,” then claimed the paper’s coverage is “worse” now. But PolitiFact called Trump’s claim that The New York Times apologized for its coverage of him false in November.
Trump Tweeted His Administration Is Being Covered “Viciously And Inaccurately … By Certain Media.”
Trump: “The Failing @NYTimes Has Disgraced The Media World. Gotten Me Wrong For Two Solid Years. Change Libel Laws?” Trump tweeted, “The failing @nytimes has disgraced the media world. Gotten me wrong for two solid years. Change libel laws?,” and linked to a New York Post article that criticized what it called “The New York Times’ ongoing dishonesty.”
Trump: Flynn Should “Ask For Immunity” Because The Russia Probes Are “A Witch Hunt” By “Media.” In an early morning tweet, Trump called the investigations into ties between his campaign and Russia “a witch hunt” by the “media & Dems” in order to defend his former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn’s decision to ask for immunity before testifying in the ongoing probes.
Trump: “When Will Sleepy Eyes Chuck Todd And @NBCNews Start Talking About The Obama SURVEILLANCE SCANDAL And Stop With The Fake Trump/Russia Story?”
Trump: “It Is The Same Fake News Media That Said There Is ‘No Path To Victory For Trump’ That Is Now Pushing The Phony Russia Story. A Total Scam!”
Conway: “The Mainstream Media Are Making Americans Suffer From Information Underload On All The Great Things The President Is Doing To Create Jobs.” On Fox News’ Justice with Judge Jeanine, Conway complained that “the mainstream media are making Americans suffer from information underload on all the great things the president is doing to create jobs,” adding that Trump is “doing all these things that don’t get covered” by the press. From the April 1 edition of Fox News’ Justice with Judge Jeanine:
KELLYANNE CONWAY: If you look at the Russian obsession, these conclusions in search of evidence, it's as if those machines that develop the chyrons, the lower thirds, on other networks are broken. They say the same thing, show after show, day after day, and what’s happening is, the mainstream media are making Americans suffer from information underload on all the great things the president is doing to create jobs.
He’s creating jobs, he’s doing all these things that don’t get covered. Bilateral meetings and phone calls, and they don’t get covered. [Fox News, Justice with Judge Jeanine, 4/1/17]
Trump: “Anybody (Especially Fake News Media) Who Thinks That Repeal & Replace Of ObamaCare Is Dead Does Not Know The Love And Strength In R Party!”
Trump: “I Don’t Have To Go To The Fake Media” Because Of His Social Media Following. In an interview with the Financial Times published on April 2, Trump claimed, “I don’t have to go to the fake media” because of his followers on “Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.” From the interview (emphasis original):
When I talk to CEOs in this country . . . half of them are saying ‘yes, this is great, we have confidence coming back’, and half of it is ‘God, what happens if he tweets about us and our stock goes down’.
Without the tweets, I wouldn’t be here . . . I have over 100m [followers] between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Over 100m. I don’t have to go to the fake media. [Financial Times, 4/2/17]
Spicer Attempted To Dismiss ProPublica, An Investigative Journalism Nonprofit, As A “Left-Wing Blog.” When asked about a ProPublica report that Trump’s trust had been revised to allow him to withdraw money at any time without disclosing it to the public, highlighting again his continued ties to his businesses, Spicer claimed that he was "not aware of any change in the trust" and that "just because a left-wing blog makes the point of something changing, doesn't mean it actually happened." The report was later confirmed by a Trump Organization attorney. [White House Press Briefing, 4/3/17, ProPublica, 4/3/17]
Trump Criticized NBC’s Andrea Mitchell And NY Times As “Hillary Clinton’s P.R.” During an April 5 interview with The New York Times, Trump called NBC’s Andrea Mitchell “Hillary Clinton’s P.R. person.” Trump then added that the Times and its reporters had “been accused of that also.” [The New York Times, 4/5/17]
Trump: “The Fake News Immediately Went Crazy” Over Failed Health Insurance Bill. In an interview with Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo taped on April 11, Trump said “the fake news immediately went crazy” when he failed to deliver a vote on the Republican-backed American Health Care Act. [Fox Business, Mornings with Maria Bartiromo, 4/12/17]
Trump: “It’s Fake News And Fake Sources” When Major Media Outlets Cite Anonymous Sources Close To Him. New York Post columnist Michael Goodwin wrote that Trump told him that stories by major news outlets that cited anonymous sources were "fake news and fake sources.” Additionally, Trump called The New York Times “a failing, dead paper.” [New York Post, 4/12/17]
Spicer: “Some Folks” In The Media “Clearly Have An Agenda” And Are “Gunning” For Him. At the Newseum event The Press & The Presidency, Spicer was asked if he thinks “the press is fair to you or gunning for you,” and he replied, “I think some folks clearly have an agenda, some folks are open-minded, and some folks probably root for you. But there's sort of a spectrum.” [CSPAN2, Public Affairs Events, 4/12/17]
Tillerson Abandoned His Press Pool During Moscow Trip. CBS foreign affairs correspondent Margaret Brennan tweeted that Tillerson “ditched his press pool” during his visit to the Kremlin in Moscow.
Trump: “The Fake Media” Have “Gotten Even Worse Since The Election. Every Story Is Badly Slanted.”
Trump: “Fake Media” Reporting He Changed His Stance On China. In an interview with Fox & Friends co-host Ainsley Earhardt, Trump complained about the “fake media” saying he changed his stance on China because he wouldn't label the country a currency manipulator, even though he pledged to during the campaign:
AINSLEY EARHARDT (CO-HOST): About China, some in the media are saying you softened your chance on China. Have they helped with the relationship with North Korea?
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Ainsley, I didn't soften my stance. Look, China came to the United States, the president who I really developed a very good relationship with. I think he is a terrific person. I really got to know him very well over a two-day period. We were together hours, and hours, and hours by ourselves. We had a 15 minute scheduled meeting and it lasted for three hours. And the same thing happened the next day. We have a good chemistry together. He understands it's a big problem. He’s working on it. Now, what am I going to do? Start a trade war with China in the middle of him working on a bigger problem, frankly, with North Korea? So, I'm dealing with China with great respect. I have great respect for him. We'll see what he can do. Now, maybe he won't be able to help. That's possible. I think he’s trying. Maybe he won't be able to help. And that's a whole different story. So we’ll see what happens.
EARHARDT: It can't hurt.
TRUMP: No, but somebody said currency manipulation. What am I going to do in the middle of him talking with North Korea, I'm going to hit them with currency manipulation? This is the fake media that just does a number. Think of it. He’s working so nicely that many coal ships have been sent back. Fuel is being sent back. They're not dealing the same way. Nobody’s ever seen it like that. Nobody’s ever seen such a positive response on our behalf from China. And then the fake media goes, “Donald Trump has changed his stance on China.” I haven't changed my stance. China’s trying to help us. I don't know if they're going to be able to or not. But, would I want to start heavy, heavy trade or currency manipulation statements against somebody that’s out there right now trying to stop what could be a very bad situation? You understand that. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 4/18/17; CNN.com, 4/11/17]
Trump: “FAKE Media” Helped Democratic Candidate In Georgia Special Election For House Seat. After Democrat Jon Ossoff came in first place during the primary for the special election for a House seat from Georgia, Trump claimed that Ossoff had “FAKE media support”:
Trump: “Failing @NYTimes, Which Has Been Calling Me Wrong For Two Years, Just Got Caught In A Big Lie.” Trump tweeted that the “failing” New York Times “has been calling me wrong for two years” and “got caught in a big lie” when the newspaper’s sports section posted a tweet implying that fewer members of the New England Patriots attended a visit to the White House under Trump than under former President Barack Obama.
Trump: “I Get Such Dishonest Reporting" From The “Fake Media,” And It “Got More Nasty” After The Election. In an April 21 interview with the AP, Trump claimed that he gets "the worst press” and “dishonest reporting,” adding “I thought the press would become better" after the election, "and it actually, in my opinion, got more nasty." Trump also claimed that “I get treated very unfairly” by “the fake media.” From the interview:
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: And the media, some of them get it, in all fairness. But you know some of them either don't get it, in which case they're very stupid people, or they just don't want to say it. You know because of a couple of them said, "He didn't call them a currency manipulator." Well, for two reasons. Number One, he's not, since my time. You know, very specific formula. You would think it's like generalities, it's not. They have — they've actually — their currency's gone up. So it's a very, very specific formula. And I said, "How badly have they been," ... they said, "Since you got to office they have not manipulated their currency." That's Number One, but much more important, they are working with us on North Korea. Now maybe that'll work out or maybe it won't. Can you imagine? …
TRUMP: You have to love people. And if you love people, such a big responsibility. (unintelligible) You can take any single thing, including even taxes. I mean we're going to be doing major tax reform. Here's part of your story, it's going to be a big (unintelligible). Everybody's saying, "Oh, he's delaying." I'm not delaying anything. I'll tell you the other thing is (unintelligible). I used to get great press. I get the worst press. I get such dishonest reporting with the media. That's another thing that really has — I've never had anything like it before. It happened during the primaries, and I said, you know, when I won, I said, "Well the one thing good is now I'll get good press." And it got worse. (unintelligible) So that was one thing that a little bit of a surprise to me. I thought the press would become better, and it actually, in my opinion, got more nasty.
I have learned one thing, because I get treated very unfairly, that's what I call it, the fake media. And the fake media is not all of the media. You know they tried to say that the fake media was all the, no. The fake media is some of you. I could tell you who it is, 100 percent. Sometimes you're fake, but — but the fake media is some of the media. It bears no relationship to the truth. It's not that Fox treats me well, it's that Fox is the most accurate. [The Associated Press, 4/23/17]
Trump Criticized CBS’ Face The Nation, Calling It "Deface The Nation." In the AP interview, Trump also criticized CBS’s Face the Nation, calling it “Deface the Nation.” [The Associated Press, 4/23/17]
Trump: “New Polls Out Today Are Very Good Considering That Much Of The Media Is FAKE And Almost Always Negative.” Trump tweeted about part of an ABC News/Washington Post poll that found that 53 percent of Americans considered him to be a “strong leader” and reasoned that that was “very good considering that much of the media is FAKE and almost always negative.” [Twitter, 4/23/17; 4/23/17; The Washington Post, 4/23/17]
Trump Slammed ABC And NBC Polling As “Fake News Polls.”
Trump: "Don't Let The Fake Media Tell You That I Have Changed My Position On The [Border] WALL.”
Trump Told Washington Examiner “The Fake Media” Is Pushing “Faux” Russia Ties Story. In an April 28 interview with the Washington Examiner Trump was questioned about reports that Trump’s campaign team’s ties to Russia are still in the news. In response, Trump accused “the fake media” of pushing the “faux story,” and said “they should be ashamed of themselves.” [Washington Examiner, 4/28/17]
Trump Complained To Fox About “All The Faux Press And The Fake Press” Surrounding “‘The Fake Russia Story.’” In an interview with Fox News host Martha MacCallum, Trump praised himself for his approval numbers “in light of all the faux press and the fake press,” of which he said: “Fox has been fair, but every network you you see hits me on every topic, made up stories like Russia.” [Fox News, The First 100 Days, 4/28/17]
Trump Tweeted, “Mainstream (FAKE) Media Refuses To State” His Accomplishments During The First 100 Days Of His Presidency.
Pence Derided Journalists As “Willing Allies” Of “Left-Wing Activists.” Before Trump took the stage at a Pennsylvania rally, Pence said, “left-wing activists and their willing allies in the media, while they’ve been ignoring the facts and spreading that fake news, the American people know the truth." The Hill reported that these remarks “signaled ongoing tensions between the Trump administration and members of the press.” [The Hill, 4/29/17]
Trump Attacked The Press At Rally He Held During Boycott Of White House Correspondents Association Dinner. The BBC reported that Trump “launched a scathing attack on the media during a rally marking 100 days in office”:
He told supporters in Pennsylvania that he was keeping "one promise after another", dismissing criticism as "fake news" by "out of touch" journalists.
Mr Trump decided to skip the White House Correspondents' Dinner - the first US leader to miss the event since an injured Ronald Reagan in 1981.
Mr Trump's approval ratings hover at around the 40% mark - believed to be lower than any other president at the 100-day marker.
At the rally in Harrisburg, the president said the media should be given "a big, fat, failing grade" over their coverage of his achievements during his first 100 days and told the cheering crowd he was "thrilled to be more than 100 miles from Washington".
He quipped that at the same time "a large group of Hollywood actors and Washington media are consoling themselves" at the correspondents' dinner "that will be very boring". [BBC, 4/30/17]
Priebus Admitted The Trump Administration Has Looked At Changing The Press’ Constitutional Protections. In an interview on ABC’s This Week, when asked if Trump is going to pursue a constitutional amendment to “change the libel laws” in America, Priebus said, “I think it’s something that we’ve looked at,” then repeatedly attacked news reports on the Trump campaign team’s ties to Russia. [ABC, This Week, 4/30/17]
Trump Called CBS Sunday Morning Show Face The Nation “Deface The Nation” During Interview With Show Host. In an interview on CBS’ Face the Nation, Trump told host John Dickerson that “sometimes” his show is “fake media,” saying, “I call it Deface the Nation.” He later suggested that the biggest thing he learned about being president is “how dishonest the media is,” prompting Dickerson to say, “surely, you’ve learned something else other than that the media is dishonest.” [CBS, Face the Nation, 4/30/17]
Spicer Repeatedly Defended Various Trump Attacks On News Organizations. In an interview on Fox’s MediaBuzz Spicer defended Trump calling polls by major news organizations “fake,” justified Trump’s claim that he won’t watch CNN or MSNBC because they’re “unfair” to him, and accused some reporters of having an anti-Trump agenda. [Fox News, MediaBuzz, 4/30/17]
Trump: “I’m Against The Fake Media.” During an interview with Fox host Eric Bolling, Trump said he was “against the fake media,” and suggested that CNN’s coverage of him has been “negative” and that the media doesn’t “tell it like it is.” From the May 1 edition of Fox News’ The Fox News Specialists:
ERIC BOLLING: I assume when you say “fake news,” you feel they don't cover you fairly. That’s what you mean by “fake news.”
DONALD TRUMP: Yeah and I’m not talking -- not all of the media. I’ll tell you, just that is unfair the way they cover me because they say, “The media, I’m against the media.” I'm not against the media. I'm against the fake media. If you look at CNN, the way they cover me, no matter what you do, it’s negative. Hits, hits. So I love the media. I think the media’s great and if I do something bad, treat me badly. But they don't tell it like it is.[Fox News, The Fox News Specialists, 5/1/17]
Trump Campaign Tried To Air Ad Labeling Media “Fake News.” The Trump campaign created a campaign ad on CNN labeling media figures including Andrea Mitchell, Wolf Blitzer, and Rachel Maddow “fake news.” CNN refused to air the ad, saying in a statement, “‘The mainstream media is not fake news, and therefore the ad is false and per policy will be accepted only if that graphic is deleted.’’ The campaign in response called CNN’s blocking of the ad “absolutely shameful.” From a May 2 Politico article:
CNN declined to air an ad by President Donald Trump's campaign because it included a graphic that called the mainstream media "fake news," the network said Tuesday.
Trump's campaign committee had blasted CNN, saying the network refused to run an ad about the first 100 days of the Trump administration.
“It is absolutely shameful to see the media blocking the positive message that President Trump is trying to share with the country. It's clear that CNN is trying to silence our voice and censor our free speech because it doesn't fit their narrative," Michael Glassner, executive director of the campaign committee, Donald J. Trump for President, said in a statement.
The statement also said CNN "takes issue with the ad’s message calling out the mainstream media for peddling fake news and not reporting on the fact that President Trump is making America great again."
"CNN requested that the advertiser remove the false graphic that the mainstream media is 'fake news.' The mainstream media is not fake news, and therefore the ad is false and per policy will be accepted only if that graphic is deleted," CNN said in a statement. [Politico, 5/2/17]
The Day After World Press Freedom Day Trump Tweeted “The Fake News Media Is Officially Out Of Control. They Will Do Or Say Anything In Order To Get Attention - Never Been A Time Like This!”
Trump Criticized “Fake Media” For Noting He Hasn’t Labeled China Currency Manipulator. In a May 4 interview with The Economist, Trump criticized the “fake media” for noting that he failed to keep his campaign promise to label China a currency manipulator, saying that he was working with China to “help us with North Korea.” [The Economist, 5/11/17]
Sarah Huckabee Sanders: “Never … Use Politico As A Source For Your Story.” During the May 5 White House press briefing, Sarah Huckabee Sanders responded to a question about a Politico story regarding the the Trump administration possibly stripping funding from the Office of National Drug Control Policy by saying, “My first piece of advice would never be to use Politico for a source of -- for your story.” A Politico reporter in response noted on Twitter that “many White House aides use POLITICO as a source to figure out what's going on in the White House themselves.” From the May 5 briefing:
MARGARET TALEV: Really interesting and, I thought, surprising story in Politico saying that there's a plan by the Trump administration to gut the national -- the Office of National Drug Control Policy. And I'm just wondering if you could tell us is that report correct, and why? Is the thinking to -- I mean obviously he cares about the opioid addiction problem. We've talked about that. You’ve brought Chris Christie into the mix. What would be the reason for gutting that office? And is it to move it somewhere else? I've got a French election question also. I'll wait though.
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS: Look, my first piece of advice would never be to use Politico for a source of -- for your story, but in terms, when it comes to the opioid epidemic, I think the president's been extremely clear. This is a top priority for him. I certainly wouldn't get ahead of conversations about the budget. We haven't had a final document. And I think it would be ridiculous to comment on a draft version of something at this point. [White House Press Briefing, 5/5/17; Politico, 5/5/17; Twitter, 5/5/17]
Trump: “Wow, The Fake News Media Did Everything In Its Power To Make The Republican Healthcare Victory Look As Bad As Possible. Far Better Than [Obamacare]!”
Trump: “Why Is It That The Fake News Rarely Reports [Obamacare] Is On Its Last Legs And The Insurance Companies Are Fleeing For Their Lives? It’s Dead!"
Trump: “When Will The Fake Media Ask About The [Democrats’] Dealings With Russia & Why The DNC Wouldn’t Allow The FBI To Check Their Server Or Investigate?”
Trump: “General Flynn Was Given The Highest Security Clearance By The Obama Administration - But The Fake News Seldom Likes Talking About That.”
Trump: Former Director Of National Intelligence James “Clapper Reiterated What Everybody, Including The Fake Media Already Knows- There Is ‘No Evidence’ Of Collusion W/ Russia And Trump.”
Trump: Former US Deputy Attorney General “Sally Yates Made The Fake Media Extremely Unhappy Today --- She Said Nothing But Old News!”
Trump: “Biggest Story Today Between Clapper & Yates Is On Surveillance. Why Doesn't The Media Report On This? #FakeNews!”
White House Press Corps Barred From Trump Meeting With Russian Foreign Minister While Russian State-Run Media Outlet Photographer Allowed In. Trump’s meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak “was closed to all press -- except, apparently, official government photographers,” according to Talking Points Memo. Wire images from the meeting were taken by a photographer permanently assigned to Lavrov from Russian media outlet TASS, “which is commonly described as state-run or state-owned.” NBC News chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell noted that “the Russians had [the images] all out globally, while the White House Press Corps was kept out,” calling the move “unprecedented.” From a May 10 Talking Points Memo report:
President Donald Trump’s meeting Wednesday morning with two top Russian officials was closed to all press — except, apparently, official government photographers.
Trump met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, along with Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergey Kislyak.
“The Lavrov meeting was closed to the press and the only visual account we have of it thus far is via handout photos from the Russian government,” The Hill’s Jordan Fabian wrote in a pool report Wednesday morning. “Those images show Trump also met with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.”
Gizmodo’s Matt Novak noted on Twitter that Getty wire images of the meeting were credited to TASS, which is commonly described as state-run or state-owned. [Talking Points Memo, 5/10/17; MSNBC, MSNBC Live, 5/10/17]
HHS Secretary Tom Price Defended Police Who Arrested Reporter Asking Him A Question. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price defended police arresting Public News Service reporter Dan Heyman after he repeatedly asked Price about the Republican health care bill in a hallway at the West Virginia state Capitol. Price praised the move, saying police “did what they felt was appropriate.” From a May 11 CNN article:
"They did what they felt was appropriate," Secretary Tom Price said when he was asked about it at a press conference on Wednesday.
"That gentleman was not in a press conference," he added. "We were walking down a hall, and Capitol Police acted as they thought necessary."
Dan Heyman, a reporter for Public News Service, was arrested Tuesday at the state Capitol. He said he was trying to get Price to comment about the effort by Republicans in Congress to repeal Obamacare.
Heyman said he asked a question about pre-existing conditions several times as he and Price walked through a hallway, but Price never responded. Then, according to Heyman, a member of Price's Secret Service detail signaled to Capitol police to remove him.
The reporter was arrested and charged with willful disruption of governmental processes, a misdemeanor. He was released on a $5,000 bond after being held for nearly eight hours. If found guilty, he could be forced to pay a fine of at least $100 and face jail time of up six months.
Heyman, 54, said that until he was arrested, it was a typical reporter scrum. [CNN.com, 5/11/17]
Trump Called CNN’s Cuomo A “Chained Lunatic” And CNN’s Lemon “Perhaps The Dumbest Person In Broadcasting” While Speaking To Reporters From Time. According to Time magazine, Trump said “he thinks CNN's Chris Cuomo looks like a ‘chained lunatic’ on television. CNN's Don Lemon is ‘perhaps the dumbest person is broadcasting’ and CBS Late Show host Stephen Colbert is a ‘no-talent guy’ who talks ‘filthy.’” He continued berating the press:
President Donald Trump says he thinks CNN's Chris Cuomo looks like a "chained lunatic" on television. CNN's Don Lemon is "perhaps the dumbest person in broadcasting" and CBS Late Show host Stephen Colbert is a "no-talent guy" who talks "filthy."
"Washington Post, New York Times, they’re really, really dishonest," he said, before directly addressing the TIME reporters he had invited for dinner. "You people are quite dishonest in all fairness." He said he used to watch MSNBC's Joe Scarborough but no longer does. He also claimed to have helped CNN president Jeff Zucker, an old friend and business colleague, get his job at the network.
The one network he praised was Fox News, saying he watches their shows and is responsible for its ratings bump. [Time, 5/11/17]
Trump Lashed Out At “The Fake Media” And Threatened To Cancel “All Future ‘Press Briefings,’” In A Series Of Tweets.
Trump Repeated Threat To End Daily Press Briefings Because Of “Hostility” From Media. In an interview on Fox News’ Justice with Judge Jeanine, Trump doubled down on his threat to cancel White House press briefings, suggesting that they could replace them with “a piece of paper with a perfectly accurate, beautiful answer” given to reporters. [Fox News, Justice with Judge Jeanine, 5/13/17]
At Coast Guard Commencement Speech, Trump Complained That “No Politician In History … Has Been Treated Worse Or More Unfairly” By The Media. Trump, while speaking before the Coast Guard Academy as their commencement speaker, said that “no politician in history, and I say this with great surety, has been treated worse or more unfairly” by the media. He added that he “didn't get elected to serve the Washington media.” From the May 17 speech:
DONALD TRUMP: Now I want to take this opportunity to give you some advice. Over the course of your life, you will find that things are not always fair. You will find that things happen to you that you do not deserve and that are not always warranted, but you have to put your head down and fight, fight, fight. Never, ever, ever give up. Things will work out just fine.
Look at the way I've been treated lately. Especially by the media. No politician in history, and I say this with great surety, has been treated worse or more unfairly. You can't let them get you down. You can't let the critics and the naysayers get in the way of your dreams. I guess that's why I won. Thank you. I guess that's why we won. Adversity makes you stronger. Don't give in, don't back down, and never stop doing what you know is right. Nothing worth doing ever, ever, ever came easy, and the more righteous your fight, the more opposition that you will face. [Media Matters, 5/17/17]
Scavino Called CNN Host Don Lemon A “Dummy” On Twitter.
Tillerson Held Joint Press Conference In Saudi Arabia Without Inviting American Reporters. During Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia, Tillerson held a press conference with the Saudi foreign minister, but failed to notify American reporters about it:
Tillerson held the press conference with the Saudi foreign minister, Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir, but it appeared that only foreign reporters were present. Journalists from the United States were left scrambling to figure out what happened.
The State Department later apologized, adding that it couldn't notify the press in time.
State Department spokesman R.C. Hammond said there was "not enough time to alert or make arrangements for U.S. media to participate."
"Steps were immediately taken to ensure a transcript could be produced and distributed to reporters. Ideally, members of the U.S. press corps should have had the option to attend the press conference and ask questions," he said.
Reporters later found a feed of the event that they used to transcribe Tillerson's remarks. The secretary spoke about President Trump's speech to the Muslim world on Sunday. [CNN.com, 5/22/17]
Trump: “Fake News” Is “The Enemy,” And It “Fabricated Lies” About White House Leaks And Ignored Congressional Race.
Trump: “The Fake News Media Works Hard At Disparaging & Demeaning My Use Of Social Media Because They Don’t Want America To Hear The Real Story!”
Scavino Called The Wall Street Journal “#FakeNewsMedia” After Reporting That Trump’s Tweets Could Be Vetted By Attorneys. After The Wall Street Journal reported that Trump “is actively discussing major changes in the White House, including having lawyers vet his tweets” to “decide if any needed to be adjusted or curtailed,” Scavino tweeted that the Journal is part of the “#FakeNewsMedia” and has “terrible ‘sources.’”
Trump: “Fake News” Outlets Have Been “Taken Over” By Reporting On Possible Collusion With Russia.
White House Staffers Berated Morning Show Hosts For Covering Trump’s Tweets Pushing The Muslim Ban. Conway and Gorka objected to questions about Trump’s tweets pushing the Muslim ban during morning show interviews. On NBC's Today, Conway lamented the "obsession with covering everything he says on Twitter and very little of what he does as president," while Gorka said on CNN’s New Day that co-host Chris Cuomo was being “irresponsible” for covering Trump’s tweets, repeatedly calling him obsessed. Gorka later tweeted that the interview showed that CNN was “truly #FAKENEWS.” [Media Matters, 6/5/17; Twitter, 6/5/17]
Huckabee Sanders Castigated Media For An “Obsession Over Every Detail Of The President’s Tweets,” Which Are To Get Around “Media Bias.” NBC’s Hallie Jackson asked Huckabee Sanders at the daily White House press briefing about “another top adviser” claiming the media are “obsessed” over Trump’s tweets, and whether she would characterize media coverage of them the same way. Huckabee Sanders said Trump’s tweets are a way to communicate “that isn’t filtered through media bias” before agreeing that the media “obsesses over” every detail of the president’s public communications. From the June 5 press briefing:
HALLIE JACKSON: You mentioned the president's tweets are -- essentially a way to get around the filter of the biassed media when it comes to his tweets, and he sees them as an important way to get his message out. Just this morning, another top adviser in this White House said that the media was obsessed with the president’s tweets, implying it didn’t matter. So I guess just philosophically, which is it? Do the president's tweets matter, or are they just something the media gets obsessed about?
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS: I think that they matter in the sense that it gives him a communications tool, again, that isn't filtered through media bias. But at the same time, I do think that the media obsesses over every period, dot, as John was a perfect example earlier. He made a mistake. His colleague politely corrected him. If somebody from our administration had done the same, all hell would have broken loose and it would be the -- it’s just total, like, chaos and conundrum here at the White House. So I think it's just the obsession over every detail of the president's tweets. [White House Press Briefing, 6/5/17]
Trump: “The FAKE [Mainstream Media] Is Working So Hard Trying To Get Me Not To Use Social Media. They Hate That I Can Get The Honest And Unfiltered Message Out.”
Trump: “Sorry Folks, But If I Would Have Relied On The Fake News Of CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, [Washington Post] or [New York Times], I Would Have Had ZERO Chance Winning WH.”
Trump Criticized “Killer Networks That Treat Me So Badly As Fake News” In Joint Presser With Romanian President. During a June 9 press conference with Romania’s president, Trump criticized the “killer networks that treat me so badly as fake news.” From the joint press conference:
TRUMP: Who would like to ask -- should I take one of the killer networks that treat me so badly as fake news? Should I do that? Go ahead, Jon. Be fair, Jon.
JON KARL: Oh, absolutely.
TRUMP: Remember how nice you used to be before I ran? Such a nice man. [Press conference with Romanian president, 6/9/17]
Trump: “The #FakeNews [Mainstream Media] Doesn't Report The Great Economic News Since Election Day.”
Trump: “The Fake News Media Has Never Been So Wrong Or So Dirty. Purposely Incorrect Stories And Phony Sources To Meet Their Agenda Of Hate. Sad!”
Trump: “Fake News Is At An All Time High. Where Is Their Apology To Me For All Of The Incorrect Stories???”
Trump: “The Fake News Media Hates When I Use” Social Media Because “I Can Go Around Them.”
White House Banned Audio Broadcasting Of Off-Camera Press “Gaggle.” CNN reported how the Trump administration had been undermining the daily White House press briefings for a week, explaining that on June 19 they banned journalists from broadcasting the audio of an off-camera “gaggle.” From the CNN article:
The White House press briefing has seen better days. Lately, in fact, the briefing is often not seen at all.
For four days last week, representatives for President Trump skipped the usual on-camera briefing to take questions off-camera. This wasn't the first time the White House had taken this step, but this month has brought an added twist.
In response to networks like CNN that decided to broadcast audio of the briefing, even without a visual to accompany, the White House barred attendees from doing that, too. Monday's briefing -- the White House termed it a "gaggle," a more informal set-up, though it took place in a format much like a briefing -- was likewise off-camera, with audio broadcasting forbidden. [CNN.com, 6/19/17]
Trump: “Well, The Special Elections Are Over And Those That Want To MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN Are 5 And O! All The Fake News, All The Money Spent = 0.”
Spicer Blamed Reduced On-Camera White House Press Briefings On Reporters Wanting To Be “YouTube Stars.” Spicer criticized White House correspondents for wanting to be “YouTube stars” when explaining the Trump administration’s decision to scale back daily press briefings in an interview with right-wing talk radio host Laura Ingraham. From a June 21 LifeZette report on his interview:
"There's a lot of them that want to become YouTube stars and ask some snarky question that's been asked eight times. And that's right, that's their right to do that. But it's our job to make sure that we're providing updates and readouts of what the president is doing and the advances he is making on his agenda," Spicer continued. "And so there is a bit of snarkiness now with the press because, again, a lot of them are more focused about getting their clip on air than they are of actually taking the time to understand an issue." [LifeZette, 6/21/17]
Trump Attacked NBC And “Fake News” At Iowa Rally. During his June 21 rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Trump called NBC News “this phony NBC television network” for its coverage of the Georgia congressional special election. He also attacked “the fake news.” [Media Matters, 6/21/17; The New York Times, 6/21/17]
Conway: Media “Have This Russian Concussion” And Are Unable To Report On What Americans Want. Conway claimed that media “have this Russian concussion” and don’t focus on what “is important to” Americans. From the June 21 edition of Fox News’ Hannity:
KELLYANNE CONWAY: During the campaign I used to say that there’s this total disconnect between what Americans are telling us is important to them, and and what they’re being told is important to them. And I see it again now that he's president. The media and the Democrats have this Russian concussion and they’ve lost, like, muscle memory to be able to function in any other way to talk about anything he's doing. [Fox News, Hannity, 6/21/17]
Huckabee Sanders Questioned Media’s Use Of Anonymous Sources In Response To Press Briefing Criticism.
Spicer: “I Think Some Of These Reporters Are More Interested In Their YouTube Clips Than They Are In Getting Factual News.” Spicer dismissed criticism by CNN’s Jim Acosta over his ban on media outlets from airing White House press briefings by claiming some reporters just want “YouTube clips” instead of answers to their questions. He also questioned whether reporting based on anonymous sources is genuine. From the June 25 edition of Fox News’ MediaBuzz:
HOWARD KURTZ (HOST): And speaking of CNN, correspondent Jim Acosta -- who you’ve tangled with a few times -- said that -- he’s gone on a kind of campaign against you. He said the briefings are now kind of useless, the White House is stonewalling, why should reporters bother attending?
SEAN SPICER: Well it's sad that if he believes that if it doesn't occur on TV -- I think some of these reporters are more interested in their YouTube clips than they are in getting factual news. You look at the number of questions that get asked over and over again just so a reporter can get a clip of themselves saying something or yelling at someone. That’s not --
KURTZ: So the camera makes it repetitive.
SPICER: I think it not only makes it repetitive, but again, there’s a mix. I think the cameras are fine and there’s an opportunity to have that. But I think you can equally -- on days when the president’s speaking, have an off-camera briefing where you have a substantive engagement on policy issues. But to suggest if somehow it's not on television -- it's somewhat nonsensical. Many of these reporters use anonymous sources and write up things, and yet I can make an equal argument that that doesn’t sound like news to me. We engage with the press corps very robustly from early in the morning to late at night. The briefing is one small part of what this extensive staff does to engage with the media. [Fox News, MediaBuzz, 6/25/17]
Trump Wrote Several Tweets Bashing CNN For Retracted Russia Investigation Story And Attacked Broadcast Networks And Major Newspapers As “Fake News.” After CNN published and then retracted a story about a Trump official's links to a Russian investment fund -- where three employees responsible for the story later resigned -- Trump wrote or retweeted several tweets lambasting CNN over the incident, also writing that the broadcast news networks, The New York Times, and The Washington Post are “all Fake News”:
Huckabee Sanders Attacked CNN For Retracted Report And Encouraged Reporters To View Conservative Activist’s Smear Video Of CNN. Huckabee Sanders attacked CNN for its retracted report and complained about “the constant barrage of fake news” directed at Trump, claiming that CNN has been “repeatedly wrong” on other stories, and urging reporters to view a smear video by disgraced conservative activist James O’Keefe that targeted CNN. From the June 27 press briefing:
CHARLIE SPIERING: Recently, Breitbart News challenged the accuracy of a CNN story, and afterwards it was retracted, deleted, and the editors responsible were fired, as well as the network apologized for the story. The target of this -- one of the targets of the story accepted the apology. The President went on Twitter this morning and repeated that CNN was fake news. Why isn’t their response good enough for the President?
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS: I don’t know that it’s that the response isn’t good enough for the President. I think it’s the constant barrage of fake news directed at this President probably that has garnered a lot of his frustration. You point to that report; there are multiple other instances where that outlet that you referenced has been repeatedly wrong and had to point that out or be corrected.
There’s a video circulating now, whether it’s accurate or not I don’t know, but I would encourage everybody in this room, and, frankly, everybody across the country to take a look at it. I think if it is accurate, I think it’s a disgrace to all of media, to all of journalism. I think that we have gone to a place where if the media can’t be trusted to report the news, then that’s a dangerous place for America. And I think if that is the place that certain outlets are going, particularly for the purpose of spiking ratings, and if that’s coming directly from the top, I think that’s even more scary and certainly more disgraceful. And I hope that that’s not the direction we’re headed. I hope that outlets that have continued to use either unnamed sources, sometimes stories with no sources at all. We’ve been going on this Russia-Trump hoax for the better part of a year now with no evidence of anything.
Things like the success at the VA barely get covered. They may get covered for an hour at a time, but this story gets covered day in, day out. And I think America is, frankly, looking for something better. They’re looking for something more. And I think they deserve something better from our news media. [White House press briefing, 6/27/17; Media Matters, 6/27/17]
Huckabee Sanders Continued Bashing Press After Getting Called Out For “Inflaming Everybody” With The Administration’s Constant Attacks On The Media. Brian Karem, executive editor of The Sentinel Newspapers, called out Huckabee Sanders for being “inflammatory to people all over the country” by attacked the press. She retorted that “it’s the dishonesty that often takes place by the news media” that’s being “inflamed.” From the June 27 press briefing:
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS: And all we’re saying is I think that we should take a really good look at what we are focused on, what we are covering and making sure that it’s actually accurate and it’s honest. If we make the slightest mistake, the slightest word is off, it is just an absolute tirade from a lot of people in this room. But news outlets get to go on day after day and cite unnamed sources, use stories without sources, have -- you mentioned the [Anthony] Scaramucci [CNN] story where they had to have reporters resign.
BRIAN KAREM: Sarah, that’s -- come on. You’re inflaming everybody right here and right now with those words. This administration has done that as well. Why in the name of heavens -- any one of us, right, are replaceable, and any one of us, if we don’t get it right, the audience has the opportunity to turn the channel or not read us. You have been elected to serve for four years at least. There’s no option other than that. We’re here to ask you questions, you’re here to provide the answers, and what you just did is inflammatory to people all over the country who look at it and say, “See, once again, the President is right and everybody else out here is fake media.” And everybody in this room is only trying to do their job.
HUCKABEE SANDERS: Well, I just -- I disagree completely. First of all, I think if anything has been inflamed, it’s the dishonesty that often takes place by the news media. And I think it is outrageous for you to accuse me of inflaming a story when I was simply trying to respond to his question. [White House press briefing, 6/27/17]
Trump Made Sexist Remark About Irish Reporter While On The Phone With Ireland’s Prime Minister. As Trump was being videotaped on a phone call with Ireland’s new prime minister, he called RTÉ News reporter Caitriona Perry to his side and commented into the phone, “she has a nice smile on her face so I bet she treats you well.” [BBC News, 6/28/17]
Trump Accused “The Failing” New York Times Of Writing A “False Story” About His Involvement In Republicans’ Health Care Effort. After The New York Times published an article with the headline “On Senate Health Bill, Trump Falters in the Closer’s Role,” Trump lashed out at the “failing” newspaper on Twitter, accusing it of writing a “false story” about him. One of the article’s writers, White House correspondent Glenn Thrush, replied to Trump on Twitter, writing that the newspaper “spoke to many, many, many members of your staff” and “ran everything by your team.”
Trump: “The #AmazonWashingtonPost, Sometimes Referred To As The Guardian Of Amazon Not Paying Internet Taxes (Which They Should) Is FAKE NEWS!”
White House Barred Reporters From Trump Fundraiser After Originally Telling Them They Would Be Allowed To Cover It. CNN reported that the White House announced that Trump’s June 29 fundraiser at his Washington, D.C., hotel would be covered by the White House press pool, but then barred them two hours later, citing “logistical challenges bringing in the press.” The CNN story noted that preventing reporters from covering the event was “a break from past precedent.” [CNN.com, 6/29/17]
Trump Reportedly Was “Ripping Into CNN” During Closed Fundraiser Remarks. Trump reportedly was “ripping into CNN” in remarks he delivered at his re-election fundraiser, which media were banned from covering, according to Politico. From the June 28 article:
Speaking for about 30 minutes at the closed-door event, according to two people present, the president continued to bash a favorite target — the media, and, in particular, CNN. Trump derided the network for errors and presented himself as a victim of its reporting, which he described as deeply unfair. At one point, the president turned his fire on one of the network’s liberal commentators, Van Jones. [Politico, 6/28/17]
Scavino: “#DumbAsARockMika [Brzezinski] and lover #JealousJoe [Scarborough] Are Lost, Confused & Saddened Since” Trump “Stopped Returning Their Calls! Unhinged.”
Trump: “I.Q. Crazy Mika” Brzezinski And “Psycho Joe” Scarborough “Insisted On Joining Me” At Mar-A-Lago While Brzezinski “Was Bleeding Badly From A Face-Lift.” A little more than 30 minutes after Scavino attacked the MSNBC hosts on Twitter, Trump tweeted that he turned “I.Q. Crazy” Brzezinski and "Psycho Joe" Scarborough away from a New Year’s Eve Mar-a-Lago party, and claimed that Brzezinski "was bleeding badly from a face-lift.” According to a CNN report, Trump’s claim was false.
Huckabee Sanders Justified Trump’s Attack On Brzezinski’s Appearance And Blamed Media For Press Briefing Restrictions. Huckabee Sanders justified Trump’s attack on Brzezinski’s appearance stating "I don't think the president's ever been someone who gets attacked and doesn't push back," adding he was someone who “fights fire with fire.” Huckabee Sanders also defended the Trump administration’s restrictions on the daily White House press briefings, claiming “the behavior of the press corps” is better when cameras are off. From the June 29 edition of Fox News’ America’s Newsroom:
BILL HEMMER (CO-HOST): What is the White House saying about why that went out?
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS: Look, I don't think that the president's ever been someone who gets attacked and doesn't push back. There have been an outrageous number of personal attacks, not just to him but to frankly everyone around him. Please on that show have personally attack me many times. This is a president who fights fire with fire and certainly will not be allowed to be bullied by liberal media and the liberal elites within the media or Hollywood or anywhere else.
HEMMER: I get it but is -- is that necessary?
HUCKABEE SANDERS: Look, I think what's necessary is to push back against unnecessary attacks on the president both personally. I’ve seen far worse things come out of that show. Again, directed not just at the president but everyone around him, personal attacks, mean, hateful attacks. And again, this president isn’t going to sit back and not push back and he’s going to fight fire with fire and I think that's exactly what he just said.
HEMMER: I’ve heard that from you and I’ve heard that from him. But it seems like it is entirely more personal than it needs to be. And I'm wondering if you want to address that.
HUCKABEE SANDERS: I think I have addressed that as much as I can in terms of the president. Again, isn't going to be somebody who’s bullied and allows people, himself, and those around him to be personally attacked.
HEMMER: And he would argue that he’s always going to punch back and he’s not going to fire the first shot and perhaps he feels the criticism toward him is unwarranted. But going to this --
HUCKABEE SANDERS: I mean the outrageous attacks that take place on that show, day in, day out, not just at the president, and not against his policies, not against things that he’s pushing, but they’re personal and they’re not just directed at him, but again, everyone around them. I’ve been called a lot of names on that show that don't have anything to do with my beliefs or ideology or policy, but they’re personal attacks.
HEMMER: We’re about to do a segment in a moment with the argument that some former press secretaries, Republican and Democrat alike, are arguing now that the press briefings have become a public slow. First of all, do you think that's the case?
HUCKABEE SANDERS: I think oftentimes given that I’ve seen the difference between the behavior of the press corps, whether it's on camera and off camera, the temperature, the tone definitely comes way down. I think off camera briefings tend to have a lot more substance than on camera. Because it does become more about theatrics and the show and the yelling and the gotcha questions. And so I do think that there is a great point and a great part of being able to have a mix of doing both on and off camera. [Fox News, America’s Newsroom, 6/29/17]
Trump Called CNN “Fake News” During Speech At Department Of Energy. During a speech on his energy proposals, Trump called CNN “fake news” for suggesting that the U.S. “could only solve this energy crisis by imposing draconian restrictions on energy production”:
DONALD TRUMP: Americans were told that our nation could only solve this energy crisis by imposing draconian restrictions on energy production. But we now know that was all a big, beautiful myth. It was fake. Don’t we love that term, "fake"? What we’ve learned about fake over the last little while -- fake news, CNN. Fake. [CNN, CNN Newsroom, 6/29/17]
Huckabee Sanders Continued Justifying Trump’s Attack On Brzezinski During Daily Press Briefing. Huckabee Sanders repeatedly defended Trump’s tweets attacking Mika Brzezinski’s appearance during the daily White House press briefing, stating that Trump has “been very clear that when he gets attacked he’s going to hit back,” and claiming that Trump “was simply pushing back and defending himself” from the hosts' criticism. [WhiteHouse.gov, 6/29/17]
Morning Joe Hosts Alleged Trump Attempted To Blackmail Them With A National Enquirer Story. MSNBC hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski alleged that “this year, top White House staff members warned that the National Enquirer was planning to publish a negative article about us unless we begged the president to have the story spiked.” [Media Matters, 6/30/17]
In Response To Morning Joe Hosts Claim, Trump Called The Show "Low Rated" And “FAKE NEWS.”
Conway: Media Coverage Discussing Trump’s Fitness For Office Is “Neither Productive Nor Patriotic.” In an interview on ABC’s Good Morning America, Conway defended Trump’s sexist attack against MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski on Twitter by claiming “there are personal attacks about his physicalities, about his fitness for office” by media figures, and adding, “It doesn’t help the American people to have a president covered in this light … it’s neither productive nor patriotic” for Trump to be covered that way. [Politico, 6/30/17]
Trump Alleged Greta Van Susteren Was “Let Go” From MSNBC “Because She Refused To Go Along W/ ‘Trump Hate’” From Her “Out Of Control Bosses."
Trump: “Crazy Joe Scarborough And Dumb As A Rock Mika Are Not Bad People, But Their Low Rated Show Is Dominated By Their NBC Bosses.”
Trump Claimed The “FAKE & FRAUDULENT NEWS MEDIA” Are Trying To Convince Republicans He Shouldn’t Use” Social Media.
Trump: “I Am Thinking About Changing The Name #FakeNews CNN To #FraudNewsCNN!”
Trump: “The Fake Media Tried To Stop Us From Going To The White House, But I’m President And They’re Not.” Trump lashed out at the press during a rally at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., telling the crowd “the press has destroyed themselves because they went too far.” He added, “Instead of being subtle and smart, they use the hatchet.” From the July 1 speech:
DONALD TRUMP: The fake media is trying to silence us, but we will not let them, because the people know the truth. The fake media tried to stop us from going to the White House, but I'm president and they're not.
We won and they lost. The fact is the press has destroyed themselves because they went too far. Instead of being subtle and smart, they use the hatchet and the people saw it right from the beginning. The dishonest media will never keep us from accomplishing our objectives. On behalf of our great American people, will never happen. Their agenda is not your agenda. You've been saying that. [YouTube, 7/1/17]
Trump Tweeted Video Of Him Knocking Over Person With CNN Logo Imposed On Face.
Trump: “The Dishonest Media Will NEVER Keep Us From Accomplishing Our Objectives On Behalf Of Our GREAT AMERICAN PEOPLE!” Trump posted a video clip of his July 1 speech where he attacked the media. The tweet had a caption reading “The FAKE MEDIA is trying to silence us”:
Trump: “At Some Point The Fake News Will Be Forced To Discuss Our Great Jobs Numbers, Strong Economy, Success With ISIS, The Border & So Much Else!”
Trump Complained Media Aren’t Covering Stock Market Numbers. Trumped asked in a tweet whether “Fake News Media” would report on the “Dow hit[ting] a new intraday all-time high,” then retweeted a supporter who claimed that the media reported stock market highs under Obama, but don’t under Trump:
NY Times Reported “White House Advisers Have Discussed” Using Merger Between Time Warner And AT&T As "Leverage" Against CNN. A July 5 New York Times article on Trump’s attacks on CNN reported that “White House advisers have discussed a potential point of leverage over their adversary, a senior administration official said: a pending merger between CNN’s parent company, Time Warner, and AT&T. Mr. Trump’s Justice Department will decide whether to approve the merger, and while analysts say there is little to stop the deal from moving forward, the president’s animus toward CNN remains a wild card.” [The New York Times, 7/5/17]
Trump Complained About CNN And NBC Coverage During Visit To Poland. At a press conference in Warsaw, Poland, Trump replied to a question about his attacks against CNN by saying CNN has been “fake news for a long time” and that “NBC is equally as bad”:
DONALD TRUMP: I think what CNN did was unfortunate for them, as you know now they have some pretty serious problems. They have been fake news for a long time. They have been covering me in a very, very dishonest way. Do you have that also, by the way, Mr. President? With CNN and others, I mean, and others. NBC is equally as bad despite the fact that I made them a fortune with The Apprentice, but they forgot that. But, I will say that CNN has really taken it too seriously and I think they've hurt themselves very badly, very, very badly. And, what we want to see in the United States is honest, beautiful, free, but honest press. We want to see fair press. I think it's a very important thing. We don't want fake news. And, by the way, not everybody is fake news. But we don't want fake news. Bad thing. Very bad for our country. [Media Matters, 7/6/17]
Trump: “Fake News Media Will Never Cover Me Accurately.”
Trump Tweeted In Support Of Anti-Press Polish President: “We Will Fight The #FakeNews With You!” After Polish President Andrzej Duda tweeted “Let’s FIGHT FAKE NEWS” with a clarification of a handshake between his wife and Trump, Trump quoted Duda’s tweet and added, “We will fight the #FakeNews with you!” The Washington Post has reported that Duda has "been accused of trying to suppress his country's media outlets," and that press freedom organization Freedom House has said the current Polish government is trying to “stifle the media and limit dissent and debate within the country.”
Trump Derided Media As “Fake News” In Series Of Tweets About His Meeting With Putin At G20.
Trump Tweeted “Fake News” Media Would Be Supportive If Chelsea Clinton Sat In On Meetings For Hillary Clinton. Following criticism of Ivanka Trump sitting in for her father during a G20 meeting, Trump declared “Fake News” media “would say CHELSEA FOR PRES” if she had sat in on a meeting for her mother.
Conway Mocked CNN’s Credibility During Contentious Interview. In an interview on CNN’s New Day, described by The Daily Beast as a “neverending trainwreck,” Conway questioned CNN’s credibility and “tried to act as assignment editor for CNN,” saying the “network should spend more time covering Trump‘s positive deeds.” From The Daily Beast’s recap of the interview:
Monday morning’s CNN New Day interview with White House counselor Kellyanne Conway was anything but a typical interview.
What was originally supposed to be an 18-minute interview—about the revelation that Donald Trump Jr. was offered damaging information about Hillary Clinton in advance of meeting a Kremlin-tied lawyer during the 2016 campaign—became a 36-minute amalgam of deflections, half-truths, and a courtroom-like spinning of the topic at hand.
When the subject immediately turned to Trump Jr.’s supposedly unfruitful meeting with a Russian operative, Conway refused to discuss it. At times, her diversions consisted of snarking at CNN host Chris Cuomo (“I admire your moxie, sitting there with the CNN chyron right near you talking about credibility issues”), acting out her own version of A Few Good Men (“If we were in court, your side would not even survive a motion to dismiss because you’ve got nothing”), or attempting to change the subject (“Let’s focus on what did not happen in that meeting”).
Conway later tried to act as assignment editor for CNN, telling Cuomo his network should spend more time covering Trump‘s positive deeds—from the ceasefire, to his plan to have a plan on infrastructure, to his extension of a bill allowing veterans the choice to seek private medical care.
“We had the VA secretary [on CNN],” Cuomo noted, before declaring, “My conscience is clean. My mission is clear. What I do, I cover what I think matters to people. I test power and I take the consequences every damn day. And that's not going to change.”
Another effort to bring the chat back to the president’s son resulted in a frustrating five-minute exchange that involved Conway’s thoughts on Hillary Clinton, her belief that the Trump Jr.-Russia meeting “doesn’t matter,” and—once again—that CNN’s Trump coverage ignores his health care and infrastructure plans.
“Where is infrastructure?” she asked Cuomo.
“You tell me,” he answered. “Where is it? Where is your infrastructure plan, your tax policy plan? As soon as they come out, we’ll discuss them.” [The Daily Beast, 7/10/17]
Trump Reportedly Complained That “Failing New York Times” Was “So Unfair” To Him During Campaign. New York Times Magazine correspondent Mark Leibovich recounted a meeting he had with Trump in early June, where the president “pointed out that ‘you treated me very badly’ during the campaign, and that the ‘failing New York Times’ had been ‘so unfair’ to him.” [The New York Times Magazine, 7/11/17]
Gorka Repeatedly Denigrated CNN During Interview On New Day. After being asked on CNN’s New Day about The New York Times reporting that Donald Trump Jr. and other Trump campaign officials met with a Kremlin-linked lawyer to try to obtain damaging information on Hillary Clinton in June 2016, Gorka cited the previous day’s segment with Conway and repeatedly denigrated CNN as “fake news,” mocked its ratings, and said to co-host Alisyn Camerota, “we’d like you to actually do your job. You aren't in the news business anymore. You used to be. You are in the attacking President Trump business. And it's sad. It's really sad.” [CNN New Day, 7/11/17]
In MSNBC Interview, Gorka Dismissed CNN, MSNBC, NY Times, And Wash. Post As “The Fake News Media.” According to Mediaite, Gora dismissed news organizations as “the fake news media” in an interview with MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle. From the July 11 article:
Gorka then moved on to illegal leaks from the administration and intelligence agencies, bashing Ruhle and her “colleagues in the fake news media, CNN and MSNBC, The New York Times and Washington Post” for failing to find “one piece of felonious evidence.” [Mediaite, 7/11/17]
Trump: “Remember, When You Hear The Words ‘Sources Say’ From The Fake Media, Often Times Those Sources Are Made Up And Do Not Exist.”
Trump Told CBN’s Pat Robertson He’s Giving Him An Interview “Because I’m Treated Very Unfairly By The Press.” Near the end of an interview on CBN’s The 700 Club recorded on July 12 at the White House, Trump complained about media not covering positive economic news, saying, “That's why I do interviews with you. You have a tremendous audience. You have people that I love. The evangelicals -- and sometimes you say the evangelical Christians, but I do a lot of interviews with people because I can get the word out, because I'm treated very unfairly by the press.” [Christian Broadcasting Network, The 700 Club, 7/12/17]
Huckabee Sanders: Continued Reporting On Trump Scandals Is “Undermining The Credibility Of The Media.” During the July 12 press briefing, Huckabee Sanders declared that media reporting on Russia-related scandals in the Trump administration is “undermining the credibility of the media.” From the briefing:
Q Sarah, I want to ask you, the drip, drip, drip is undermining the credibility of this administration. Do you perceive that?
MS. SANDERS: I think it’s actually undermining the credibility of the media because they drip, drip, drip a lot of things that don't seem to have much to -- much ado about nothing. [WhiteHouse.gov, 7/12/17]
Gorka Repeatedly Insulted CNN In Anderson Cooper Interview And Cited “Fake News Industrial Complex” For Continuing Russia Collusion Stories. Appearing on CNN, Gorka immediately began dismissing CNN’s reporting as “fake news,” and claimed “the fake news industrial complex” is the only thing keeping the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with Russia alive as a story. From the July 12 edition of CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360:
ANDERSON COOPER (HOST): I do want to start off with what Dana and others are reporting. The president has had four days now without an event on his public schedule. You’ve heard the reporting that there’s a bunker mode in parts of the White House since the news of Donald Trump Jr. broke. I want you to be able to comment on that.
SEBASTIAN GORKA: Oh absolutely. It's laughable. Your chyron talked about a crisis. Your reporter talked about a bunker mentality. I actually work in the West Wing, I work in the White House. It is absolutely nothing of the kind. We are pushing the make America great again agenda. The president is a steam locomotive that will not be stopped. It's just fake news. I'm sad to see CNN fall to this. I know you want salacious, sensational coverage for your ratings, so your corporate sponsors and owners will have more money. But that's not media, that’s not reportage. It's just fake news.
COOPER: OK. I'm just going to ignore the insults, because I don't think it really gets us anywhere.
GORKA: It's not about you, it’s about actually having journalism back on TV. Where are the Walter Cronkites of yesteryear? This is just about ratings and money. It's actually quite sad.
GORKA: The story only has legs because the fake news industrial complex is obsessed. Nine months of accusations with zero, zero evidence of anything illegal. [CNN, Anderson Cooper 360, 7/12/17]
Conway Trashed Media’s Approval Ratings. In an appearance on Fox News’ Hannity on July 12, Conway, during a discussion of media coverage of the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with Russia, asked, “Have you seen the approval ratings of the media lately?” She hastened to congratulate Hannity on his ratings, since he has carried the Trump administration’s water throughout all the Russia coverage, and said “thank you for talking about America so often” after complaining that other media outlets cover Russia-Trump stories so much. [Fox News, Hannity, 7/12/17]
Trump Broke Press Norm By Calling On Foreign Journalist Instead Of An American At Paris Joint Presser. CNN reported that Trump violated a long-standing norm of joint press conferences with foreign leaders by denying a question to an American journalist during a press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris. From the July 13 article:
President Trump called on a non-American journalist during Thursday's joint press conference with the President of France, breaking with protocol and denying American journalists a rare opportunity to ask a question of their president.
After French President Emmanuel Macron called for a final question from an "American journalist," President Trump instead called on a man who identified himself as a journalist from "Phoenix TV of China."
Joint press conferences that U.S. presidents hold with foreign leaders traditionally include two questions from journalists of the host nation (in this case, France) and two questions from journalists of the visiting nation (in this case, the United States).
"Seems like a clear violation of protocol for this question not to go to an American journalist," Jonathan Lemire, a White House reporter for the Associated Press, tweeted.
Asked for comment about the President choosing to call on a non-American reporter, Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told CNNMoney, "Like the members of the White House Press Corps, The President wants a free press and he can call on any reporter he chooses." [CNN.com, 7/13/17]
Gorka Declared Himself “The President’s Pit Bull” Against The “Fake News Industrial Complex.” After Sean Hannity praised Gorka for his repeated criticisms of news organizations in previous days, Gorka said CNN and MSNBC “have a credibility crisis” and said he’s willing to be “the president’s pit bull” against what he called “fake news industrial complex.” From the July 14 edition of Fox News’ Hannity:
SEAN HANNITY (HOST): All right, a Gorka beat-down. Joining us now, the man himself, the deputy assistant to the president, Dr. Sebastian Gorka. I just want to point out, factually, 50-year reruns of Yogi Bear, 25-plus year reruns of Full House are what's on at "Nick at Night" that is beating CNN. So you are factually correct. And you took it to them. And I'm glad you did. Why did you decide to do it?
SEBASTIAN GORKA: Because sooner or later somebody has to push back. We’ve got beautiful, intelligent women like Kellyanne. We've got brave professionals like Sean Spicer. Somebody has to be the president's pit bull. And I'm ready. I'm going to take it to them.
They had a reputation -- Sean, they had a reputation. CNN in the warzones, MSNBC. It's gone like a puff of smoke. They have a credibility crisis. Think about what they're doing. They've been in this collusion delusion for nine months, not one piece of illegal evidence of any illegal activity, and they spin and they spin. They're tanking. Somebody has to make them wake up, and I'm glad to help them.
HANNITY: Listen, it's something we do on this program almost every night. And we're giving news and information that I argue you really can't get anywhere else. And I even watched about eight minutes last night of a CNN program. It was so shallow, so bitterly partisan, so absolutely factually inaccurate that I couldn't take it anymore. And I tweeted it out, and people wrote, “Why did you waste eight minutes of your life? We know it's fake news.”
GORKA: Sean, they've made a decision. My White House colleague, Andy Surabian, he coined the phrase last week, the fake news industrial complex. There's two ways to be successful in your business, Sean. One way is to go after the ratings with sensationalism, with lies, lies about Tony Scaramucci, lies about what Mueller is going to testify. Just spin, spin, spin so you make more money. [Fox News, Hannity, 7/14/17]
Trump: “HillaryClinton Can Illegally Get The Questions To The Debate & Delete 33,000 Emails But My Son Don Is Being Scorned By The Fake News Media?”
Trump: “With All Of Its Phony Unnamed Sources & Highly Slanted & Even Fraudulent Reporting, #Fake News Is DISTORTING DEMOCRACY In Our Country!”
Trump Administration Reportedly Tried To Get Politico Reporter Removed From White House Correspondents Association And Asked Its Head To Condemn Her Reporting. Mediaite reported that on CNN’s Reliable Sources, White House Correspondents Association head Jeff Mason identified Politico reporter Tara Palmeri as the reporter that the Trump administration asked him to criticize over a report it was upset with. Palmeri later said, “Well, I’m not surprised because I had heard from my editor that they had threatened to try to remove me from the White House Correspondents Association, which they don’t have power to do.” [Mediaite, 7/16/17]
Gorka Likened CNN To Soviet Union State-Run Press, But Even Worse. Gorka criticized the news organizations CNN and MSNBC, comparing CNN to old Soviet Union press organizations like Pravda but saying that CNN was even worse. From the July 17 edition of Premiere Radio Network’s The Sean Hannity Show:
SEBASTIAN GORKA: It’s truly become an obsession, it really, really has. And as we discussed earlier, there’s two ways to do what you do, to be in the news business. One is to be committed to the truth. You are proud of your conservative views and you’re open about them, but you actually are focused on the truth. Whether it’s about ISIS, Fast & Furious, the IRS scandal, Benghazi. And the other one, sadly, is the one that MSNBC, CNN have fallen into, which is, “We’re just going to go after the ratings. The ratings make our sponsors and our corporate owners happy, and if it means lying, if it means spinning, if it means make literally making things up,” such as the Scaramucci story, “then we will do it.” And at the same time, and this is the real kicker Sean, we’re going to say that we’re bipartisan and independent.
GORKA: Think about what we’ve sunken to, or what certain elements of the mainstream media have sunken to. If you just look at the figure, again -- this is just fact, this is Harvard University -- more than 90 percent of the coverage of organs like CNN is about attacking the president. More than 90 percent. Not even the Soviet Union’s media was that bad. If you look at the minutes, if you look at how much in the 42-minute hour section CNN devotes to Russia, they talk more about Russia than America, Sean. That’s wrong. That’s what Pravda did. That’s what Izvestia did when they were the Soviet Union’s press organ. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Sean Hannity Show, 7/17/17]
Trump Fundraising Email: “The Fake News Media Is The Real Opposition.” CNN senior media correspondent Brian Stelter reported that the Trump campaign was fundraising off the “fake news media” in a fundraising email.
Trump: “Fake News” Reporting His Meeting With Putin At G-20 Dinner Is “Sick,” “The Fake News Is Becoming More And More Dishonest!”
Gorka: CNN Has “Created A Crisis Of Credibility For Their Own Lack Of News.” During an appearance on the July 19 edition of Fox News’ Hannity, Gorka again criticized CNN, claiming the news organization “created a crisis of credibility for their own lack of news.” He also said he would go back on CNN “when they want to talk about real news.” [Fox News, Hannity, 7/19/17]
Incoming White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci Refused To Commit To Regular On-Camera Press Briefings. During the first on-camera press briefing in over three weeks, incoming White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci refused to commit to allowing cameras during press briefings, saying he had to consult with Trump about that first. Scaramucci also claimed “there feels like there’s a little bit of media bias” against the Trump administration. [Media Matters, 7/21/17]
Trump Campaign Text: “TRUMP: ‘FAKE NEWS Is The REAL Opposition.” BuzzFeed reporter Dominic Holden tweeted an apparent Trump campaign text message partially quoting Trump declaring “FAKE NEWS is the REAL opposition.”
Trump text sent out during the WH press briefing pic.twitter.com/IUU0zBrnlP
— Dominic Holden (@dominicholden) July 21, 2017
Gorka Referred To White House Press Corps As “Fake News Representatives.” On Fox News' The Fox News Specialists, Gorka explained why he wouldn’t want to work as the White House press secretary, saying, “The idea that I'm supposed to be telepathically linked to somebody else and to stand in that room for a fist fight with fake news representatives, not interested.” [Fox News, The Fox News Specialists, 7/21/17]
Trump Tweet On Spicer’s Resignation: “Sean Spicer Is A Wonderful Person Who Took Tremendous Abuse From The Fake News Media.”
Spicer Disparaged White House Press Corps During Hannity Interview. During an interview on Fox’s Hannity after his eventual resignation as press secretary was announced, Spicer accused the White House press corps of not doing their jobs, and said many reporters have “a very clickbait mentality … where they're more interested in their clip or their click than they are about the truth and the facts.” He later said that many White House reporters are “not there for the facts and the pursuit of the truth. Rather, they are trying to figure out, How do I get on TV, how do I become a YouTube star? And that's disappointing.” [Fox News, Hannity, 7/21/17]
Trump Decried “New INTELLIGENCE LEAK From The Amazon Washington Post,” Declared “These Illegal Leaks, Like Comey’s, Must Stop!”
Trump Accused The New York Times Of Foiling US Attempt To Kill ISIS Leader. In a tweet, Trump suggested, “The Failing New York Times foiled U.S. attempt to kill” the leader of ISIS, claiming the paper chose its “sick agenda over National Security.” Trump’s tweet came moments after Fox & Friends Saturday hyped the same claim. As The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple pointed out, the raid “was announced by the Penatgon .... via press release” before it occurred. The Times wrote a letter to Fox & Friends asking for an “on-air apology and tweet.”
Trump Exclaimed “FAKE NEWS” In Tweet About President’s “Complete Power To Pardon.” After The Washington Post reported on July 21 that “Trump has asked his advisers about his power to pardon aides, family members and even himself in connection with” special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, Trump tweeted, “why think of that when only crime so far is LEAKS again us,” adding, “FAKE NEWS.”
Conway: Media Are Suffering From “Russian Concussion.”
Now compare this to % of media coverage for each issue. Russian Concussion. https://t.co/6mbm1o8dg6
— Kellyanne Conway (@KellyannePolls) July 22, 2017
Conway: “This Is A Media That Has Decided It’s Going To Be Very Hostile.” In an interview on Fox’s Justice with Judge Jeanine, Conway argued in favor of Anthony Scaramuuci’s appointment as White House communications director by saying “we’re going to go out there and play offense,” because the media “has decided it’s going to be very hostile and stop every chance it gets -- just wear a stop sign constantly when we try to get our message out.” [Fox News, Justice with Judge Jeanine, 7/22/17]
Scaramucci: “There Is Some Fake News” About Trump Being Produced By News Organizations. In an interview on Fox News Sunday, incoming White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci was asked by host Chris Wallace: “Do you believe that the mainstream media deliberately puts out fake news about this president?” Scaramucci replied “there is some fake news, unfortunately,” declining to name any journalists or outlets, but saying, “there are specific individuals that do stretch stories or do fabricate things.” [Fox Broadcasting Co., Fox News Sunday, 7/23/17]
Conway Accused CNN Of Making A “Business Decision” To Be “Incredibly Unfair And Systematically Against” Trump. Conway attacked CNN at the beginning of an interview on CNN’s Reliable Sources, accusing the network of being “incredibly unfair and systematically against this president.” She added, “I guess you made a business decision to do so.” [Washington Examiner, 7/23/17]
Trump: “It’s Hard To Read The Failing New York Times Or The Amazon Washington Post Because Every Story/Opinion, Even If It Should Be Positive, Is Bad!”
Trump: “Drain The Swamp Should Be Changed To Drain The Sewer -- It’s Actually Much Worse Than Anyone Ever Thought, And It Begins With The Fake News!”
Trump To Reporter Who Asked A Question About Health Care During Photo Opportunity: “Quiet.” When asked about health care during a photo session, Trump responded by simply telling the reporter “quiet.” [Twitter, 7/24/17]
Gorka: “The #FAKENEWSindustrialComplex’s Collusion Delusion Has Led To ‘Russian Concussion.’”
Gorka Described The Media’s Russia Coverage As “The Obsessive Phantasmagorical Obsession Of The Media.” In an interview on MSNBC’s The Beat with Ari Melber, Gorka dismissed media coverage of the various Russia investigations as “the obsessive phantasmagorical obsession of the media.” He later referred to the media as “the fake news industrial complex.” [MSNBC, The Beat with Ari Melber, 7/24/17]
Trump Referred To The Media As “Fake Media” And “Fake News” In A Speech At The National Scout Jamboree. Trump politicized his speech to the annual gathering of Boy Scouts, complaining about “fake media” and “fake news” during the speech:
THE PRESIDENT: By the way, what do you think the chances are that this incredible, massive crowd, record-setting is going to be shown on television tonight? One percent or zero? (Applause.)
The fake media will say: President Trump -- and you know what this is -- President Trump spoke before a small crowd of Boy Scouts today.
That's some -- that is some crowd. (Applause.)
Fake media. Fake news. Thank you. And I’m honored by that, by the way, all of you people they can't even see you. So thank you. I hope you can hear. [WhiteHouse.gov, 7/24/17]
Trump Repeatedly Attacked “Fake News Washington Post" In Series Of Tweets.
Trump: The Washington Post Doesn’t Write “Truthful” Stories. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Trump complained about a Washington Post story on ending arms shipments to rebels in Syria, saying: “They didn’t write the truthful story, which they never do.” [The Wall Street Journal, 7/25/17]
Scaramucci: Left-Leaning Media Outlets Are “So Nasty.” In an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, Scaramucci suggested he wouldn’t do any interviews with left-leaning outlets “because they’re just so nasty.”
[Hugh Hewitt]: It worked in the primaries. When is he going to start doing CNN, NBC, my show on Saturday mornings?
[Anthony Scaramucci]: Well…
HH: You’re the comms director. Get him out there.
AS: Well, let me say a couple things about that. I want to get the ship right inside. I obviously did a press conference and did a couple morning shows, but what I really want to do is subordinate myself to the job of restructuring and reorganization. So I can talk on TV, and it’s, you know, I have a face for radio, so this is probably easier to talk on radio, but let me just say this to you. My real job for the President is act as a business executive to restructure what’s going on, and reset the culture inside the place. Once we do that, my, our mission is to go to Breitbart all the way down the food chain to you tell me. I don’t know who the leftist leaning people are.
HH: Talking Points Memo.
AS: Whatever it might…
HH: Don’t do Media matters.
AS: Whatever it might be. I probably won’t do those, because they’re just so nasty. [HughHewitt.com, 7/25/17]
Trump At His Ohio Rally Speech: “I’m Here This Evening To Cut Through The Fake News Filter And Speak Straight To The American People.” Trump repeatedly used the phrase “fake news” during his campaign rally speech in Youngstown, Ohio. He also called the media “a dishonest group of people” and claimed they don’t “want to see our country be great again”:
I'm here this evening to cut through the fake news filter and to speak straight to the American people. fake news. fake, fake, fake news. [Chants of "drain the swamp" from arena]. Boy oh boy, people. Is there anyplace that's more fun, more exciting and safer than a Trump rally?
Every single President on Mt. Rushmore — now here's what i do. I'd ask whether or not you think I will some day be on Mt. Rushmore, but, but here's the problem. If I did it joking, totally joking, having fun, the fake news media will say, "he believes he should be on Mt. Rushmore." So I won't say it, okay? I won't say it. But every president -- they'll say it anyway tomorrow. "Trump thinks he should be on Mt. Rushmore." Isn't that terrible? What a group. What a dishonest group of people, I'll tell you. [Cheers from crowd] And you know the funny thing is that you would think they'd want to see our country be great again. You would really think so. But they don't. Some day they'll explain it to me why. [Time, 7/26/17]
Huckabee Sanders Threatened To End Press Briefing If Reporters Kept Asking Questions About Trump’s Announced Ban On Transgender Military Service Personnel. After receiving a question from Urban Radio Networks’ April Ryan about Trump’s announced ban on transgender Americans from serving in the military, Huckabee Sanders said: “Guys, I really don't have anything else to add on that topic. As I do, I'll keep you posted. But if those are the only questions we have, I'm going to call it a day. But if we have questions on other topics, I'll be happy to take them.” [White House press briefing, 7/26/17]
Trump On Reporter Who Shouted Question About His Transgender Military Personnel Policy: “She’s Very Rude.” After a reporter shouted a question to Trump at the conclusion of an outdoor event at the White House about his ban on transgender Americans from serving in the military, Trump commented, “she’s very rude.” [CNN, CNN Newsroom, 7/26/17]
Trump Comment On Washington Post Story: “More Fake News From The Amazon Washington Post.” Trump responded to a Washington Post report on his private talks about replacing Attorney General Jeff Sessions with a recess appointment with a statement that read, “More fake news from the Amazon Washington Post.” [The Washington Post, 7/26/17]
Scavino: CNN’s Don Lemon And His Guests Are A “Bunch Of CLOWNS.”
Trump Again Referred To The New York Times As “Failing.”
Scaramucci Reportedly Told The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza He Was Unpatriotic For Not Disclosing Identity Of A Leaker To Him. Newsweek reported that “Scaramucci apparently told” The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza “that not disclosing” a suspected leaker “was unpatriotic.” [Newsweek, 7/27/17]
Trump Accused “Fake News” Media Of “Purposely Phony Reporting” About Russian Election Interference.
Huckabee Sanders Reiterated Trump Comment That Washington Post Report On Consideration Of A Recess Appointment To Replace Sessions Is “More Fake News From The Washington Post.” When asked by CBS’ Major Garrett about why she won’t offer more reassurance to Republicans that Trump won’t fire Sessions and won’t seek a recess appointment to replace him, Huckabee Sanders said: “I've answered your question, and yesterday you probably saw a statement come out from here that that was more fake news from The Washington Post on the fact that we were considering a recess appointment. I think that sums that up pretty clearly.” [White House press briefing, 7/27/17]
Conway Criticized Media Coverage Of Obamacare “Victims” And Highlighted Media’s Low Approval Numbers. On Fox’s Hannity, Conway criticized the media for their coverage of Obamacare “victims” and criticized the media’s approval ratings:
KELLYANNE CONWAY: You know, the mainstream media still puts them in quote, "Obamacare," quote, victims. Folks, they're real. You want to go cover intrigue? Go talk to those people, ask them what's happened to them and their families since they had their hours cut, their wages cut, their jobs cut, their health care benefits cut.
You know, the Congress' approval rating and the media's approval rating are far below the president's approval rating. They just don't cover it as much. [Fox News, Hannity, 7/27/17]
Conway: “They Built TV Sets And Fancy Graphics Screaming ‘Russian Collusion’ Incessantly. Were Salivating; Now Slinking Away. Any Regrets/Apologies?”
Trump: “Only The Fake News Media And Trump Enemies Want Me To Stop Using Social Media (110 Million People). Only Way For Me To Get The Truth Out!”
Gorka Asked If BBC Interview Of Him Was Part Of The “#FAKENEWSindustrialComplex."
Media Were Not Permitted To Witness Trump Signing Russia Sanctions Bill.
Huckabee Sanders During CBN Interview: “I’ve Never Seen The Level Of Hostility That We Have With Today’s Mainstream Media.” New York Times media correspondent Michael Grynbaum tweeted transcript from part of Huckabee Sanders’ interview with Christian Broadcasting Network where she slammed the media’s coverage of Trump:
Miller Personally Attacked CNN’s Jim Acosta As “Ignorant” And “Foolish” During A Press Briefing. After CNN senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta challenged Miller saying, “it just sounds like you're trying to engineer the racial and ethnic flow of people into this country through this policy,” Miller replied: “Jim, that is one of the most outrageous, insulting, ignorant, and foolish things you've ever said, and for you, that's still a really -- the notion that you think that this is a racist bill is so wrong and so insulting.” [Media Matters, 8/2/17]
Trump Denied “Fake News” Story From Golf Magazine, Calling It “TOTALLY UNTRUE.”
Huckabee Sanders: There Is “Absolutely” “A Lot Of Fake News,” Including Coming From Reporters In The Press Briefing. Huckabee Sanders agreed with Hannity that some of the White House press corps she addresses daily as press secretary are “fake news”:
SEAN HANNITY (HOST): Am I correct, is the president correct, there is a lot of fake news today?
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS: Absolutely.
HANNITY: There really is. And is some of the fake news in that room every day with the people that you have to deal with?
HUCKABEE SANDERS: You bet it is. I'm not going to name names, but I think most Americans are certainly smart enough to figure it out. And I think that’s the reason that Donald Trump’s sitting in the White House, and that they were wrong then and they’re wrong again every single day. And you know, I think America is much smarter than the media gives them credit for. And I think that’s certainly working to our advantage. [Fox News, Hannity, 8/2/17]
Gorka Criticized CNN’s Jim Acosta, Calling Him A “Grandstanding Reporter.” The Daily Caller reported that Gorka said in a radio show interview that White House staffers were “high-fiving” Miller after his exchange with CNN’s Jim Acosta. Gorka said Miller’s response to Acosta “was a masterful, masterful example of how we are interested in the facts and the truth and the prosperity of the nation and how we have to deal with grandstanding reporters who think it’s their press briefing and not the White House’s.” He added, “It is a sad indictment. We are there to serve the American people, not Jim Acosta. It is not the Jim Acosta show, it is the White House press briefing.” [The Daily Caller, 8/3/17]
Trump’s Campaign Reportedly Went Back To “Penning In Reporters” At Trump’s West Virginia Rally.
Conway: Media And Others Are “Trying To Cheat” Trump Supporters “Out Of Their Rightful Presidency.” In a Fox & Friends interview, Conway explained what Trump meant when he said “they’re trying to cheat you” during his West Virginia rally:
KELLYANNE CONWAY: That was one of my favorite lines of the night, or passages of the night, where basically the president is telling the people of West Virginia, and by extension the country, that the media, the investigators, the Democratic Party -- they’re not just denying the election results for Donald Trump, they’re denying the American people who put him here. And they’re trying to cheat them out of their rightful presidency, but also all of the good that’s going to come from this presidency. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 8/4/17]
Pence: NY Times Article Reporting On His Positioning For 2020 Election Is “Disgraceful And Offensive To Me, My Family, And Our Entire Team.” Pence denounced what he called an “absurd” August 5 New York Times report that he may be planning to run for president in 2020, saying it was “disgraceful and offensive to me, my family, and our entire team.” He also said the reporting is “categorically false and represents just the latest attempt by the media to divide this administration.” He concluded the statement by invoking “fake news.” [The New York Times, 8/5/17; Twitter, 8/6/17]
Trump: “The Fake News Refuses To Report The Success Of The First 6 Months.”
Trump Wrote Series Of Tweets Attacking “Failing @nytimes,” “Phony Fake News Polling,” And The “24/7 #Fake News On CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, NYTIMES & WAPO.”
Pence Press Secretary Marc Lotter: NY Times Article On Pence’s 2020 Plans Was “Speculation, Conjecture, Half Truths Masquerading As News On The Front Page Of The Never Trump New York Times.” Appearing on Fox & Friends, Marc Lotter, the vice president’s press secretary, denounced the New York Times report on Pence positioning for a possible 2020 presidential runas “absurd,” and “speculation, conjecture, half truths masquerading as news on the front page of the never-Trump New York Times." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 8/7/17]
Trump: “The Fake News Media Will Not Talk About The Importance Of The United Nations Security Council's 15-0 Vote In Favor Of Sanctions On N. Korea!”
Trump: “How Much Longer Will The Failing Nytimes, With Its Big Losses And Massive Unfunded Liability (And Non-Existent Sources), Remain In Business?”
Gorka Responded To NY Times Article On Pence’s 2020 Planning: “The #FAKENEWSindustrialComplex Have No Shame. NONE.
Gorka Again Invoked The “Fake News Industrial Complex”. When asked on MSNBC why Trump hadn’t tweeted about a bombing at a mosque in Minnesota or the deaths of three U.S. Marines near Australia, Gorka replied, “I'm not going to give social media advice to a man who basically won the election in large part thanks to his understanding of social media, and to destroy the fake news industrial complex’s predictions about who would win the last election. So just hold your horses, count to 10, and the president will do what he deems fit.” [MSNBC, MSNBC Live, 8/8/17]
Trump: “E-Mails Show That The AmazonWashingtonPost And The FailingNewYorkTimes Were Reluctant To Cover The Clinton/Lynch Secret Meeting In Plane.”
After CNN Poll Showed Trump At A New Low Approval Rating Of 38 Percent, He Tweeted: “Don’t Believe The Fake News Suppression Polls!” Following CNN reporting that according to its polling Trump’s approval rating had sunk to a new low of 38 percent, Trump tweeted, “Don’t believe the Fake News Suppression Polls!”
Gorka Called Out “The Journalists Of The Fake News Industrial Complex,” And Complained About “Fake News 101.” In defense of coments he made that were critical of the secretary of state Gorka claimed he was really just "admonishing the jouranlists of the fake news industrial complex." He also called reporting on his comments “fake news 101":
ELIZABETH CLAMAN (GUEST HOST): I would be remiss if we didn’t bring up what just happened at the secretary of state’s spokesperson’s meeting before the press. This morning, and let me just back up here for our viewers who might not know, I believe this morning you gave an interview to BBC Radio during which you said that “it was nonsensical for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to discuss military matters” and that he was “out of line.” Let’s hear what –
SEBASTIAN GORKA: Never said that.
CLAMAN: You’ve never said –
GORKA: I never said that secretary of state was -- that’s fake news 101.
GORKA: I was admonishing the journalists of the fake news industrial complex who are forcing our chief diplomat into a position where they are demanding he makes the military case for action when that is not the mandate of the secretary of state. That's why we have a Department of Defense. If a journalist doesn't know the difference between the secretary of state and the Department of Defense they should hand in their credentials, it's just absurd lack of understanding. He is our most senior diplomat and he has done an amazing job to get 15 nations of the U.N. Security Council to tell North Korea enough is enough. But when reporters try to force him to make statements regarding military options, they have no idea what they're talking about and if they think that's a story, they're not journalists. [Media Matters, 8/10/17]