WASHINGTON—US President Donald Trump on Friday slammed the country’s five mainstream media organizations as “the enemy of the American people”.
“The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!” he tweeted shortly after arriving at his Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach, Florida Friday afternoon.
He had posted and then quickly deleted a slightly different version of the tweet just a few minutes earlier, which omitted ABC and CBS. He also included the word “SICK!” at the end of the original post.
“Mr. Trump’s tweet was a striking escalation in his attacks on the news media,” a New York Times report commented.
Hours earlier, US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said at a press conference on Friday that “I’ve been pretty candid with him and all of you that I’m not a fan of the daily tweets.”
Trump’s latest tweet came one day after Trump’s first solo press conference in the White House, in which he criticized the US media as “very fake news” and “out of control”, while denying news reports about chaos in his White House and alleged possible contacts of his team with Russia.
After the lengthy press conference, Trump’s team sent out an email survey asking people to respond with how they feel about the media.
“Instead, you — the American people — are our last line of defense against the media’s hit jobs,” one line in the email read.
Steve Bannon, Chief White House Strategist, called media people the “opposition party” in an interview with the New York Times last month, asserting that “the media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while”.
“They don’t understand this country,” Bannon said in the interview. “They still do not understand why Donald Trump is the president of the United States.”
Echoing Bannon’s remarks at the time, Trump said in a TV interview that “the media is the opposition party in many ways”.
Since the 2016 US presidential election, Trump has frequently exchanged fire with many US mainstream media groups, especially the New York Times and CNN.
Many local analysts regards the anti-media rhetoric as a key part of his anti-elite and anti-establishment strategy.
A Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey found earlier last month that 48 percent of all Likely US Voters believe most reporters are biased against Trump. Only 12 percent think they are biased for Trump, while 31 percent feel most reporters try to be fair and balanced.