Trump blasts media amid chants of ‘CNN sucks’

After a day of tension between the White House and CNN, the crowd at President Trump’s Pennsylvania rally on Thursday night broke out into chants of “CNN sucks” when the president blasted “fake news.”

Trump at the rally in Wilkes-Barre cited multiple examples of what he called “fake news,” including saying the “fake news refused to call” Pennsylvania for him during the 2016 presidential election.

The crowd responded with boos and jeers, with some chanting, “CNN sucks.”

Trump later returned to the issue of the media during the rally, asking, “Whatever happened to fair press? Whatever happened to honest reporting?”

He also referred to the media as “disgusting.”

[The Hill]

Reality

Here is NBC at 5:04 PM on November 8th, 2016 calling Pennsylvania and the presidency to Donald Trump.

Media

 

 

 

Sarah Sanders presents the official White House policy: The media is the enemy of the people

When President Trump derides the media as the enemy of the people — as he’s doing more frequently — he’s not just spouting off his momentary frustration. He’s stating official White House policy.

The White House just made that abundantly clear. Four times in two days, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was offered the opportunity by reporters to clarify whether the president really thinks journalists are the enemy of Americans, or that it’s wrong for people to harass journalists doing their job. It wouldn’t be the first time an official White House statement contradicted something the president said or tweeted.

But four times in two days, Sanders refused to say that the media is not the enemy of the people or to condemn people who heckled a CNN reporter Tuesday in Tampa, to the point where he feared someone was going to get hurt.

Instead, the White House press secretary ticked off a list of sometimes-inaccurate and sometimes-unrelated grievances about how these hyperpartisan times have affected her life and the president’s life, and why they blame journalists for that.

“The media continues to ratchet up the verbal assault against the president and everyone in his administration,” Sanders said.

Basically: The White House thinks that journalists are the enemy of the people.

I don’t need to get into here why this is a problem; that’s Democracy 101.

But it’s worth spending a moment on where we are, both because having this debate in the first place is not normal and because it is shaping up to be a front line in the political battle between right and left in 2018.

In a week full of tension between journalists and Trump and Trump supporters, the most heady moment so far came Thursday, when the journalist at the center of so many attacks from the right (including from the president himself), CNN’s Jim Acosta, twice asked Sanders if she would say that the media is not the enemy of the people.

He was following up on an earlier question in the briefing about how Ivanka Trump said she doesn’t agree with her father that the press is the country’s enemy. Trump later tried to square her statement with his own by claiming he doesn’t think all media is the enemy, just most of it.

“… [I]t would be a good thing if you were to say right here at this briefing that the press — the people who are gathered in this room right now, doing their jobs every day, asking questions of the people like the ones you brought forward earlier — are not the enemy of the people,” Acosta said. “I think we deserve that.”

Instead, Sanders looked down at her notes and appeared to read a prepared statement about her perceived grievances with the media; how, among other things, she was cruelly made fun of by a comedian at the 2018 White House Correspondents’ Association dinner. (The association said Michelle Wolf’s performance “was not in the spirit” of the mission of promoting the free press.)

I mention Sanders reading from her notes because it’s a telling detail that she had something ready to go on this. It suggests she knew that she was going to be asked about Trump’s views on the media, she had talked about it with the president, and they decided not to back down, even on the basic question of whether the media contributes a public good to U.S. democracy.

Not that her response was a surprise. On Wednesday, a reporter asked Sanders if she would condemn the heckling of Acosta at Trump’s rally. The president tweeted the heckling to his 53.5 million followers.

Rather than denounce what happened to Acosta, Sanders used that opportunity to rip the media. She didn’t help her contention when she seized on a debunked story about the hunt for Osama bin Laden.

Acosta tried again. His question is worth sharing in full because it felt like a moment that may stand out in the dozens of daily contentious moments between the Trump White House and journalists:

You did not say in the course of your remarks you just made that the press is not the enemy of the people. Are we to take it from what you just said — we all get put through the ringer, we all get put in the meat grinder in this town, and you’re no exception. I’m sorry that happened to you; I wish that would not have happened — but for the sake of this room, the people who are in this room, this democracy, this country, all the people around the world who are watching, what are you saying Sarah, and the White House for the United States of America, the president of the United States should not refer to us as the enemy of the American people. His own daughter acknowledged that and all I’m asking you to do, Sarah, is to acknowledge that right now and right here.

Sanders did not take him up on that: “I appreciate your passion, I share it. I addressed this question, I addressed my personal feelings. I’m here to speak on behalf of the president. He’s made his comments clear.”

Acosta walked out of the press briefing before it was over. He was downright exasperated.

Bashing the media to gain leverage with one’s supporters is a tactic as old as American politics. But Trump has taken it to new heights by using language that dictators of history also have seize on. He’s exploited heavy public skepticism in journalism to cast journalists as the main villains when things go wrong in his administration. As The Fix’s Eugene Scott wrote after a man gunned down journalists at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis in June:

Those disinclined to trust the media get reinforcement when highly influential politicians and partisan media figures elevate the critiques, sometimes making personal jabs at journalists’ motives and their character. What may start as a difference of opinion eventually becomes a direct assault on the humanity of those in the media — something that those following press freedom issues have witnessed in other parts of the world.

A sitting Republican senator, Jeff Flake (Ariz.), started out 2018 by comparing Trump to Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin over his attacks on the media.

At the same time, there is less room for journalists to make mistakes now that Trump has made them a central character in his own political story. On Wednesday a Politico reporter apologized for calling the Trump supporters cursing out Acosta “garbage people.” His apology made national headlines.

None of this is fading anytime soon. It’s a safe bet things are only going to get worse between journalists and the White House and some of Trump’s supporters before — if — they get better. What that will do to journalism, to politics, to democracy is an open, even scary question.

[Washington Post]

Protesters Escorted Out of Trump Rally in Tampa

President Donald Trump‘s rally in Tampa tonight was briefly disrupted by two protesters.

Rallygoers booed and cameras picked up the protesters being escorted out of the venue.

The President briefly riffed and said, “One person. And tomorrow the headlines will be MASSIVE PROTEST.”

[Mediaite]

Trump says ‘polls are fake’ before bragging about poll showing his popularity

President Trump declared during a rally in Florida on Tuesday night that “polls are fake” before bragging about a poll that he claims found he is the most popular Republican president since Abraham Lincoln.

Trump at the campaign-style rally first accused the news media of suppressing polls that indicate positive numbers about his presidency.

“Polls are fake, just like everything else,” Trump declared during the rally in Tampa, echoing his attacks on “fake news.”

He said if the “fake news” did a poll, they would report only 25 percent of Americans have 401(k) accounts, though the correct number is around 44 percent.

He paused, then launched into a tirade about the poll that he says indicates his popularity as a Republican president.

“They just came out with a poll – the most popular person in the history of the Republican Party is Trump! Can you believe that?” he said.

“So I said, does that include Honest Abe Lincoln? He was pretty good, huh?” he continued.

It is unclear which poll Trump is referring to for his claim, which he has repeated several times in recent weeks.

While Trump’s overall approval has remained well below his predecessors, a Gallup poll released in July found that 90 percent of Republicans approved of Trump, which would make him one of the most popular modern presidents with his own party during his first term.

Still, former President George W. Bush had a higher approval rating among Republicans after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, according to the poll, which stretches back to the Eisenhower administration.

[The Hill]

Media

Trump shares son’s tweet backing supporters chanting ‘CNN sucks’

President Trump on Tuesday night shared his son Eric Trump‘s tweet backing supporters chanting “CNN sucks.”

“#Truth @Acosta,” Eric Trump wrote, in reference to CNN’s Jim Acosta. Eric Trump wrote the message in his retweet of a video with the caption “WATCH: Supporters of President Trump Chant ‘CNN Sucks’ During Jim Acosta’s Live Spot at Florida Rally.”

The president retweeted Eric shortly afterward. His retweet came after a campaign-style rally on Tuesday night in Florida, in which he made fun of the press several times, falsely claiming they “suppress” polls that indicate positive approval ratings for his presidency.

Acosta himself replied to Eric Trump. “No, Eric,” Acosta tweeted. “Not the truth. And you know better.”

The president frequently incites his supporters in chants against the news media, decrying them as “fake news” and the “enemy of the people.”

Trump often specifically targets CNN, the New York Times and the Washington Post. Last week, the Trump administration came under fire for refusing to allow CNN’s Kaitlan Collins to attend a press event because they said she asked questions inappropriately.

Trump has refused to take questions from Acosta, CNN’s chief White House correspondent, several times.

During his European trip in July, Trump refused to answer a question from Acosta, claiming that he does not support “fake news.” He instead took questions from Fox News’s John Roberts.

Last year, Trump said he would not take a question from Acosta during a press conference.

“Your organization is terrible,” Trump told Acosta.

Earlier in the day, Acosta tweeted a video of a crowd of Trump supporters jeering, holding up their middle fingers and yelling “stop lying!” at him.

[The Hill]

Mike Pence Defends White House Banning CNN Reporter From Press Event

Vice President Mike Pence stood by the White House’s decision to ban a CNN reporter from a press event last week, citing the need to maintain “decorum.”

“This administration believes in the freedom of the press,” Pence told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo in an interview airing Sunday. “But maintaining the decorum that is due at the White House… is an issue that we’ll continue to work forward.”

The White House was hit with intense backlash from dozens of journalists and media outlets on Wednesday after it disinvited CNN’s Kaitlan Collins, representing five television networks as the day’s chosen pool reporter, from a press event.

Collins was told by the White House that at a brief gathering earlier in the day, she had asked President Donald Trump “inappropriate” questions and had refused to leave the Oval Office, according to CNN. Collins and other reporters present at the time disputed the White House’s claim.

Several cable news networks, including Fox News, issued statements expressing solidarity with CNN and calling for reporters’ full access to press events.

Despite Trump’s repeated attacks on the press, including falsely accusing outlets of publishing “fake news” and calling journalists the “enemy of the people,” Pence told Bartiromo that the administration has provided “extraordinary access to the media.”

“The president answers so many questions in so many different settings, and I can assure that we’ll continue to do that,” Pence said.

While Trump occasionally takes impromptu questions from reporters at various gatherings, he hasn’t held a solo press conference since February 2017.

Pence deflected when asked by Bartiromo whether shutting out Collins was like shutting out “everybody” from the press event.

“I would leave that decision to the White House staff,” he said. “We’ll make sure that every network, every major news organization, continues to have access because we stand for the freedom of the press in this White House.”

Trump and New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger, meanwhile, found themselves offering vastly different takes on a meeting they had earlier this month at the White House that focused on journalistic matters.

The president tweeted on Sunday that they spent “much time” discussing “the vast amount of Fake News being put out,” his erroneous phrase for stories that displease him.

But Sulzberger, in a statement to HuffPost, said his “main purpose for accepting the meeting was to raise concerns about the president’s deeply troubling anti-press rhetoric.” He said he told Trump “directly that I thought that his language was not just divisive but increasingly dangerous.”

[Huffington Post]

Reality

Here is a list of over 300 times Trump has not held the same decorum he wants the press to be held to:

http://www.stopthedonaldtrump.com/category/unpresidential/attack-the-press/

Trump Goes On Anti-Media Tweetstorm, Attacks Reporting He Says Puts Lives ‘At Risk’: ‘Very Unpatriotic!’

President Donald Trump is going on yet another Twitter tirade about the media, this time attacking certain reporting as “very unpatriotic!”

To recap: Trump tweeted this morning that he recently met with New York Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger and talked about the “fake news.” Sulzberger shot back by saying he specifically told the President he’s concerned about his “dangerous” attacks on the media.

Well, um, he’s still doing it (not that he ever stopped).

And not only that, but Trump is now accusing reporters of putting lives at risk by reporting on “internal deliberations of our government”:

You will also notice that Trump, hours after revealing his meeting with Sulzberger, is back to attacking the Times again.

The Times report on this meeting features Sulzberger making one very serious point to the President:

Mr. Sulzberger recalled telling Mr. Trump at one point that newspapers had begun posting armed guards outside their offices because of a rise in threats against journalists. The president, he said, expressed surprise that they did not already have armed guards.

[Mediaite]

Trump calls press the ‘Enemy of the People’ after claiming he confronted publisher of New York Times over ‘fake news’

On Sunday morning, Donald Trump tweeted that he met with the publisher of the New York Times and confronted him over what the president calls “fake news,” adding that the free press is becoming the “Enemy of the People.”

According to Trump, “Had a very good and interesting meeting at the White House with A.G. Sulzberger, Publisher of the New York Times. Spent much time talking about the vast amounts of Fake News being put out by the media & how that Fake News has morphed into phrase, ‘Enemy of the People.’ Sad!”

Earlier in the morning Trump bizarrely boasted that he had higher polls number than even President Abraham Lincoln — who served when there was no polling

You can see the tweets below:

[Raw Story]

White House faces claims of fake weather news

A small change in President Trump’s travel plans on Thursday morning left some members of the press corps suggesting the White House literally lied about whether the sky was blue to avoid facing questions. The debate over the day’s weather was a dramatic illustration of the mounting tensions between the Trump administration and the reporters who cover it.

The latest controversy centers around whether canceling Trump’s helicopter ride to Andrews Force Base was a ruse to keep reporters away from the president. Trump’s walks to the presidential helicopter are one of the increasingly few venues where he takes questions from reporters.

Trump spent Thursday in Iowa, Missouri and Illinois, where he toured local businesses, participated in a roundtable discussion on workforce development and delivered a speech on trade. His departure from Washington came after 9 a.m. on a gorgeous morning with blue skies, but the White House said bad weather forced Trump to skip the planned helicopter ride and instead travel by motorcade to Joint Base Andrews for his flight.

The White House’s claim that Trump was grounded by bad weather on what appeared to be a beautiful day prompted consternation from the press corps. Several reporters strongly hinted the travel arrangements were an effort to limit press access as the president faces a slew of issues, including the emergence of a taped conversation between Trump and his former attorney Michael Cohen where they discussed a payment to a former Playboy Playmate who has alleged she had an affair with Trump.

McClatchy Newspapers White House correspondent Anita Kumar expressed skepticism in her press pool report announcing the president’s change of plans.

“On what appears to be the nicest day Washington has had all week, the White House has informed the pool that POTUS will motorcade to JBA because of bad weather,” Kumar wrote.

On Twitter, several other reporters speculated that the change was part of an effort to shield Trump from the shouted questions he would have faced if he had taken the presidential copter.

“The official reason, per the TV pool, is fog. But not having a Marine One departure to Andrews also means there won’t be an open press opportunity to try to ask the president questions on his way out,” wrote CBS News’ Steve Portnoy.

ABC White House reporter John Parkinson posted a photo of the clear blue skies outside the White House along with a pair of hashtags, “#noquestions #badweathercall.”

While the skies were clear when Trump left after 9 a.m., White House deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters told Yahoo News the decision to nix his helicopter flight was made earlier.

“Weather calls are made over an hour in advance of the planned departure time. Following a routine test flight this morning, a bad weather call was made at 7:39 a.m. due to ground fog at JBA,” Walters said.

Though the skies did appear clear, satellite maps showed there was low cloud cover — which can be dangerous for helicopters — in the area during the 7 a.m. hour. Thursday’s weather forecast for the D.C. area from the Washington Post also noted there would be “morning clouds.” CNN senior White House correspondent Jeff Zeleny, who initially accused Trump of dodging questions in a tweet, later posted a follow-up saying “our meteorologists note low cloud cover as well.”

In the end, Trump didn’t entirely dodge questions from the press corps. Before he boarded Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews. Members of the traveling press pool were allowed to wait by the plane’s wing and lobbed questions at the president as he boarded the aircraft. According to a pool report from HuffPost senior White House correspondent S.V. Date, Trump “ignored shouted questions about Michael Cohen, etc.” as he got on the plane.

The forecast fracas highlighted just how toxic the relationship has become between the White House and a press corps that Trump routinely derides as “fake news.”

Thursday morning’s cloud controversy came on the heels of an incident where a CNN reporter was banned from covering one of Trump’s appearances because the White House objected to questions she asked in the Oval Office. On Wednesday, CNN White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins was brought into the Oval Office to witness a meeting between Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker as a pool reporter for the television networks. While there, Collins questioned Trump about Cohen and his invitation to Russian President Vladimir Putin to come to Washington for a summit. Trump did not answer the questions, and afterward Collins said she was informed by White House communications director Bill Shine that she was “dis-invited” from a subsequent appearance with Juncker that Trump made in the Rose Garden.

Press secretary Sarah Sanders issued a statement about the incident saying the administration took issue with Collins’s conduct, claiming she “shouted questions.” Sanders insisted, “We support a free press and ask that everyone be respectful of the presidency and guests at the White House.”

Reporters typically ask questions of Trump when they are allowed in the Oval Office.

The issues involving Trump’s Thursday White House departure and his meeting the day before in the Oval Office come as the White House has curtailed press access in other venues. Sanders has been holding few press briefings in recent weeks, and the ones that have taken place have been shorter than in prior administrations. Trump also has not held a solo press conference on U.S. soil since February 2017.

While the Trump administration has cut down engagement with the media in presidential press conferences and briefings, the president has regularly taken questions from reporters when he walks to helicopter flights and during pool visits to the Oval Office and Cabinet Room. The White House crackdown on Collins and the canceled flight raised the specter that the administration might be cutting down on these venues.

Yahoo News reached out to Sanders to ask if Trump will continue to take questions in the Oval Office and as he walks to Marine One.

“President Trump is the most accessible president in modern history,” Sanders said in response. “It’s absurd to suggest anything otherwise.”

[Yahoo News]

Reality

Weather.com put the day in DC as partly cloudy and sunny with a high of 89 degrees/

White House disputes that CNN’s Kaitlan Collins was ‘banned’

The White House took issue with the characterization that they banned CNN’s Kaitlan Collins from covering a White House event Wednesday after the White House informed her that she was not welcome to attend.

White House deputy chief of staff for communications Bill Shine challenged reporters on Thursday about whether the administration had ever used the word “ban.”

On Wednesday, Collins was representing the television networks in an Oval Office event where she shouted several questions to the president related to his former lawyer Michael Cohen and about a White House invitation to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Could you ask her if we ever used the word ban?” Shine said to reporters on Thursday, referring to Collins, standing outside the West Wing and addressing reporters standing several feet away.

Even as he refuted that Collins’ denied access amounted to a ban, Shine repeatedly declined to tell reporters what word he would use to characterize the White House’s decision to block her from attending the event.

“When you ask her if we ever used the word ban, then I will answer that question,” Shine said in reply to reporters inquiring about what word he would use. “You ask her, focus now, you ask her if we ever used the word ban.”

The White House statement issued yesterday said Collins was “informed…she was not welcome to participate in the next event.”

The White House Correspondents’ Association issued a statement condemning the White House’s decision.

“This type of retaliation is wholly inappropriate, wrong-headed, and weak. It cannot stand,” WHCA President Olivier Knox said.

While Shine did not engage in a full conversation with reporters on Wednesday’s incident, counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway told reporters that the White House doesn’t object to reporters asking questions of the president but that she felt Collins’ exchange didn’t demonstrate a necessary level of civility and politeness.

“The question isn’t are the press allowed to ask questions, this president obviously isn’t afraid of taking questions,” said Conway, who said it’s about “being polite and not shouting questions long after the press has politely been asked to leave.”

Collins’ behavior was not out of order from the standard procedure of White House reporters who regularly pose questions to the president at the conclusion of press events. The president has, on numerous occasions, responded to these shouted inquiries.

[ABC News]

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