- REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
President Donald Trump launched another attack aimed at “the dishonest media” in an extended rant during a rally in Melbourne, Florida, on Saturday, criticizing the publishing of recent stories detailing a chaotic first month in the White House.
During the rally, Trump alleged that recent stories critical of the administration had “no sources” – or fake sources.
“The dishonest media, which has published one false story after another, with no sources, even though they pretend they have them – they make them up in many cases, they just don’t want to report the truth and they have been calling us wrong now for two years – they don’t get it, but they are starting to get it,” Trump said.
Shortly after Trump’s rally wrapped up, CBS News published a segment of an interview with Trump’s chief of staff, Reince Priebus, who told CBS’s John Dickerson that Americans should take “seriously” Trump’s recent comments that the media is “the enemy of the American people.”
While Trump has long attacked the media, Trump’s speech Saturday and Priebus’s interview, due to air in full on Sunday’s “Face the Nation,” demonstrated a new shift in the offensive. Both Trump and Priebus directed their comments at discrediting the anonymously sourced and leaked stories that have plagued Trump’s first month in office.
Priebus called recent stories in the New York Times pertaining to the Trump’s campaign’s and administration’s ties to Russia “bogus.” Reports during the week suggested Trump associates had contact with Russian officials before the election. Priebus then slammed The Wall Street Journal’s report on Thursday that said intelligence officials were withholding sensitive information from Trump over concerns it could be compromised.
“Both stories grossly inaccurate, overstated, overblown, and it’s total garbage,” Priebus said.
When Dickerson pressed Priebus about whether the media was “the enemy,” the chief of staff suggested that anonymous sourcing was the big issue with recent reports.
- REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
“I think that the media should stop with this unnamed source stuff. Put names on a piece of paper and print it. If people aren’t willing to put their name next to a quote, then the quote shouldn’t be listed,” Priebus said.
Trump invoked numerous past presidents to justify his attacks on the media.
“They have become a big part of the problem. They are part of the corrupt system,” Trump said during his rally. “Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln – many of our greatest presidents fought with the media and called them out, often times on their lies. When the media lies to the people, I will never let them get away with it. I will do whatever I can so they don’t get away with it. They have their own agenda and their agenda is not your agenda.”
The president’s attack on the media came several days after a wide-ranging press conference from the White House during which he lambasted news outlets and attempted to discredit negative reporting on his administration as “fake news” and “very fake news.”