Trump: ‘We’ve learned how to live with’ the ‘fake news’ media

President Trump on Friday railed against the media, joking that his administration and its supporters have “learned how to live with them.”

“Look at the number of the media back there. Fake news,” Trump said during a rally in Lebanon, Ohio, his third rally this week.

“You go back and they’ll say, did he say this or that or this,” he added. “That’s okay, you know what, we’ve learned how to live with them. We don’t like it, but we’ve learned.”

Trump has repeatedly railed against the press throughout his presidency, continually referring to them as the “enemy of the people” and frequently lashing out at publications and their reporters, including The New York Times and CNN.

Trump escalated his attacks earlier this year, stating that the media can also “cause war.”

His comments on Friday came amid reports that a Washington Post journalist may have been killed after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul earlier this month.

Turkish officials say they believe Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate by a Saudi entourage, but the Saudis have denied those claims.

Trump, before the rally, said he would call King Salman of Saudi Arabia about the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi.

“I will be calling, I will be calling at some point King Salman. I’ll be speaking to him yes,” Trump told reporters in Ohio, where he is attending campaign events.

Trump is facing increasing scrutiny from lawmakers over how he’ll respond to Khashoggi’s disappearance.

[The Hill]

Trump on world leaders laughing during UN speech: ‘They were laughing with me’

President Donald Trump called reports that world leaders laughed during his speech to the United Nations “fake news” during a news conference Wednesday.

“They weren’t laughing at me, they were laughing with me,” Trump told reporters Wednesday.

The president’s speech Tuesday began with him saying his administration “has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country.”

The comment was followed by laughter from diplomats in the crowd and Trump saying, “I didn’t expect that reaction, but that’s OK.”

The president said the laughter was taken out of context and covered unfairly in the media.

“Well that’s fake news,” the president said. “That’s fake news and it was covered that way.”

He said the leaders “respect what I’ve done” and the crowd was having “a good time with me.”

“I said our country is now stronger than ever before, it’s true,” the president said. “And I heard a little rustle and I said it’s true and I heard smiles.”

When laughter was heard, Trump says the crowd was laughing along with him.

“We had fun,” Trump said. “They weren’t laughing at me.”

Trump’s message was an echo of comments made by UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, who said the laughs were made because world leaders love “how honest he is.”

Haley said on Fox News that the press was wrong to portray the laughter as disrespectful to the president.

“They loved how honest he is,” Haley said on the Fox and Friends show. “It’s not diplomatic and they find it funny.”

She said diplomats were “falling over themselves” to get a picture with Trump and tell him “how great his speech was.”

“They love that he’s honest with them and they’ve never seen anything like it, so there’s respect there,” she said. “I saw that the media was trying to make it something disrespectful. That’s not what it was. They love to be with him.

[USA Today]

Reality

Diplomats said they were definitely laughing at Trump at the United Nations.

Trump Responds to Chuck Todd Op-Ed on Anti-Media Rhetoric: I Fought the Press and ‘WON’

Donald Trump attacked Meet the Press host Chuck Todd tonight on Twitter after the NBC correspondant penned an op-ed condemning anti-press rhetoric, as the president told the NBC News reporter that he “won” in the fight against the media.

“Sleepy Eyes Chuck Todd of Fake NBC News said it’s time for the Press to stop complaining and to start fighting back,” the president tweeted at around 11:00 p.m. on Tuesday night. “Actually Chuck, they’ve been doing that from the day I announced for President. They’ve gone all out, and I WON, and now they’re going CRAZY!”

In Todd’s piece for the Atlantic, the reporter called out the late Roger Ailes and Fox News for fanning the flames of anti-media hatred:

“From the very beginning, Ailes signaled that Fox News would offer an alternative voice, splitting with the conventions of television journalism. Take the word balanced. It sounded harmless enough. But how does one balance facts? A reporting-driven news organization might promise to be accurate, or honest, or comprehensive, or to report stories for an underserved community. But Ailes wasn’t building a reporting-driven news organization. The promise to be “balanced” was a coded pledge to offer alternative explanations, putting commentary ahead of reporting; it was an attack on the integrity of the rest of the media. Fox intended to build its brand the same way Ailes had built the brands of political candidates: by making the public hate the other choice more.”

Todd also named Rush Limbaugh, Matt Drudge, Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham, and other conservative media figures as being part of a “new kind of campaign” designed “to destroy the legitimacy of the American news media.”

[Mediaite]

Trump Tweets About Firing ‘Enemy of the People’ Jeff Zucker and Andy Lack

President Donald Trump has started his day on social media by attacking two cable news outlets known for their consistent critical coverage of the White House.  Trump tweets talking trash on negative coverage has become standard operating procedure under this administration, but tweets discussing (even suggesting!) the firing of presidents of CNN and MSNBC is a new bar that Trump had to surpass.

Trump opened with another attack on cable news outlet CNN, but his latest salvo takes a personal attack at CNN President Jeff Zucker. Seemingly upset with what he sees as the  “hatred and extreme bias” shown by CNN’s coverage, President Trump suggested that parent company AT&T (which recently acquired Time Warner) fire Zucker to save “credibility.”

Trump tweeted:

Not finished, Trump trained his focus on NBC News and its president Andy Lack:

And in case his Twitter followers didn’t get the gist of what he had just tweeted, he stuck the landing with:

There is no denying that much of MSNBC and CNN’s primetime programming has taken a critical look at the White House, but a long-standing journalistic tradition is speaking truth to power. There have been rumors surrounding Lack’s dismissal, however, it’s worth noting that MSNBC is enjoying terrific ratings under the Trump administration. In fact, just last week MSNBC was the highest rated cable news network in primetime, and Morning Joe enjoyed its greatest ratings week ever.

Trump’s animus towards CNN has existed for some time, but his recent pique is almost certainly focused on recent reports in which Michael Cohen’s lawyer Lanny Davis admitted that he has not been truthful as an anonymous source in a CNN report about Trump knowing about the Trump Tower meeting. CNN has stood by their report citing other sources that have confirmed.

The President of the United States is arguably the most powerful position in the world, and for the commander-in-chief to use his power to suggest the firing of Zucker and Lack because of negative coverage is a stunning turn of events that should not be dismissed nor accepted as a “new normal.”

Are the powers-that-be at AT&T and Comcast (parent companies at CNN and NBC News respectively) likely to take President Trump’s negative rhetoric seriously? Most certainly not, and nor should anyone. But therein lies a much bigger problem than the negative coverage of the Trump administration: we have a sitting president that no one takes seriously.

[Mediaite]

Trump Rips Veteran Reporter Carl Bernstein as ‘Sloppy’ Over CNN Report: ‘Thinks Like a Degenerate Fool’

President Donald Trump tweeted tonight about the scrutiny surrounding CNN right now over Lanny Davis‘ backpedaling raising questions about their Trump Tower report from a few weeks ago.

To recap: the initial CNN report from Carl Bernstein, Jim Sciutto, and Marshall Cohen said that Michael Cohen was claiming President Donald Trump knew about the infamous Trump Tower meeting ahead of time. They cited multiple sources and said David, Cohen’s lawyer, declined to comment.

In recent days Davis has admitted to, behind the scenes, confirming the story when he didn’t know it for a fact. He also claimed to be one of CNN’s sources, something he didn’t mention when criticizing the reporting on CNN’s own air recently. CNN has made clear they are standing by their story, noting the report had more than one source.

Tonight Trump tore into not just CNN, but veteran reporter Bernstein in particular, calling him “sloppy” and a “degenerate fool”:

CNN is being torn apart from within based on their being caught in a major lie and refusing to admit the mistake. Sloppy @carlbernstein, a man who lives in the past and thinks like a degenerate fool, making up story after story, is being laughed at all over the country! Fake News.”

Earlier today Trump attacked the media for stories citing anonymous sources, saying, “The fact is that many anonymous sources don’t even exist. They are fiction made up by the Fake News reporters. Look at the lie that Fake CNN is now in. They got caught red handed! Enemy of the People!” and “When you see ‘anonymous source,’ stop reading the story, it is fiction!”

[Mediaite]

Trump blasts CNN over anonymous sourcing in Cohen report, hours after citing an anonymous source

President Donald Trump took aim Wednesday at CNN over information it reported last month that relied on anonymous sources, slamming all outlets that rely on such sources and labeling reports based on them “fiction made up by the Fake News reporters.”

Trump made specific reference to a CNN story published last month with the headline “Cohen claims Trump knew in advance of 2016 Trump Tower meeting,” a reference to a meeting between Trump campaign officials and a Russian attorney who had been billed as possessing damaging information about Hillary Clinton sourced from the Kremlin. That report attributed its information to unnamed “sources with knowledge.”

Lanny Davis, an attorney for Cohen, Trump’s former personal lawyer, has since told BuzzFeed that he was a source for the CNN article and has told The Washington Post that he is no longer sure about assertions he made to CNN and other outlets.

“The fact is that many anonymous sources don’t even exist. They are fiction made up by the Fake News reporters,” the president wrote on Twitter. “Look at the lie that Fake CNN is now in. They got caught red handed! Enemy of the People!”

“When you see ‘anonymous source,’ stop reading the story, it is fiction!” he added in a second post.

CNN, in a statement to BuzzFeed, said “we stand by our story, and are confident in our reporting of it.” The network said Davis was not the only source to confirm the information contained in the story. At the time of the report, CNN noted Cohen did not have evidence to back up his claim.

Special counsel Robert Mueller is deep into an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, including allegations that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia. The president has labeled Mueller’s probe a “witch hunt” and insists there was “no collusion.”

Davis made the rounds on the TV news circuit last week after Cohen pleaded guilty to eight federal charges, including campaign finance violations, in a Manhattan court. Cohen pleaded guilty to making hush money payments to two women “at the direction of” a candidate for federal office, Trump.

While Trump has long complained about news outlets’ use of anonymous sources, the practice is common and accepted at news organizations across the country. Government officials, including at the White House, often ask to be quoted “on background,” meaning not by name, in order to speak candidly and protect their jobs and personal relationships.

[Politico]

Reality

Try googling “@realDonaldTrump extremely credible source“.

Trump Takes Aim at Google, Claims Search Results ‘RIGGED’ Against Him: ‘Illegal?’

President Donald Trump unleashed some unusually early morning tweets on Tuesday, citing a report from a conservative website to rip Google for allegedly biased search results.

Trump first claimed that “Google search results for ‘Trump News’ shows only the viewing/reporting of Fake New Media.”

“In other words, they have it RIGGED, for me & others, so that almost all stories & news is BAD,” he continued. “Fake CNN is prominent. Republican/Conservative & Fair Media is shut out.”

Trump then asked if the search results were “Illegal”, before elaborating: “96% of… results on ‘Trump News’ are from National Left-Wing Media, very dangerous.”

“Google & others are suppressing voices of Conservatives and hiding information and news that is good,” he added. “They are controlling what we can & cannot see. This is a very serious situation-will be addressed!”

The president appears to be referencing a report by conservative blog PJ Media, which claimed that “96 Percent of Google Search Results for ‘Trump’ News Are from Liberal Media Outlets.”

The report tested out results from searching “Trump” in the news section of Google, analyzing the results using Sharyl Attkisson‘s “media bias chart.” The report looked at the first 100 items that appeared, and found that supposedly “left-leaning sites” made up “96 percent of the total results.” CNN — one of the highest trafficked news websites in the world — appeared the most frequently by a “large margin”, the report said, while conservative websites like National Review or Breitbart did not.

[Mediaite]

Reality

The author of the report has since distanced herself from the claims, calling them “not scientific” and “based on only a small sample size” of 100 results.)

Trump Lashes Out At NYT’s Bombshell McGahn Report, Calls It ‘Fake News’

President Donald Trump fired off several angry Tweets on Sunday aimed at discrediting a report that White House counsel Donald McGahn is cooperating with the Russia investigation to protect himself, with Trump insisting that it is “just the opposite.”

“I have demanded transparency so that this Rigged and Disgusting Witch Hunt can come to a close,” Trump tweeted. “I allowed [McGahn] and all others to testify ― I didn’t have to. I have nothing to hide.”

Trump also said “some members of the media” were angry about the Times’ report and have called to “complain and apologize.” He did not identify who those members are

His outburst came the day after The New York Times reported that McGahn is extensively cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible links between Trump’s campaign and Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and whether the president has obstructed justice. McGahn, according to the Times story, has voluntarily provided Mueller’s team a wealth of information about Trump’s behavior, beyond what might be expected from someone in his position.

Any suggestion that McGahn has turned on him is false, Trump insisted on Sunday.

″In fact it is just the opposite,” he tweeted. “This is why the Fake News Media has become the Enemy of the People. So bad for America!”

The Times reported that McGahn’s cooperation in the investigation began in part because the president’s initial team of lawyers insisted that Trump had nothing to hide and they wanted the investigation to end quickly.

But according to sources close to McGahn, cited in the Times’ report, both McGahn and his lawyer, William Burck, were confused by Trump’s willingness to allow him to speak so freely to the special counsel. Trump’s attitude reportedly led McGahn to suspect that the president was setting him up to take the blame for any possible illegal acts of obstruction.

Nixon administration attorney John Dean, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to obstruct justice during the 1970s Watergate scandal, told Slate on Saturday that McGahn did the “right thing” to cooperate “extensively” with Mueller’s investigation.

McGahn is “doing exactly the right thing, not merely to protect himself, but to protect his client. And his client is not Donald Trump; his client is the office of the president,” said Dean, who was White House counsel under Richard Nixon.

Trump, in his tweets on Sunday, referred to Dean as a “rat.”

Although Dean was part of the White House-led efforts under President Richard Nixon to cover up the crimes committed Watergate scandal, his decision to testify to Congress about it was crucial to exposing the affair and causing Nixon to resign from office 44 years ago.

[Huffington Post]

Trump says WH lawyer McGahn isn’t ‘a John Dean type ‘RAT”

President Donald Trump insisted Sunday that White House lawyer Don McGahn isn’t “a John Dean type ‘RAT,'” making reference to the Watergate-era White House attorney who turned on Richard Nixon.

Trump, in a series of angry tweets, blasted a New York Times story reporting that McGahn has been cooperating extensively with the special counsel team investigating Russian election meddling and potential collusion with Trump’s Republican campaign.

“The failing @nytimes wrote a Fake piece today implying that because White House Councel Don McGahn was giving hours of testimony to the Special Councel, he must be a John Dean type ‘RAT,'” Trump wrote, misspelling the word “counsel,” as he often does. “But I allowed him and all others to testify – I didn’t have to. I have nothing to hide……”

The New York Times said in a tweet that it stands by the story.

Trump’s original legal team had encouraged McGahn and other White House officials to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller, and McGahn spent hours in interviews.

Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, said in an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that Trump didn’t raise executive privilege or attorney-client privilege during those interviews because his team believed — he says now, wrongly — that fully participating would be the fastest way to bring the investigation to a close.

“The president encouraged him to testify, is happy that he did, is quite secure that there is nothing in the testimony that will hurt the president,” Giuliani said.

McGahn’s attorney William Burck added in a statement: “President Trump, through counsel, declined to assert any privilege over Mr. McGahn’s testimony, so Mr. McGahn answered the Special Counsel team’s questions fulsomely and honestly, as any person interviewed by federal investigators must.”

Trump, in his tweets, continued to rail against the Mueller investigation, which he has labeled a “witch hunt.”

“So many lives have been ruined over nothing – McCarthyism at its WORST!” Trump wrote, referencing the indiscriminate and damaging allegations made by Sen. Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s to expose communists.

“Study the late Joseph McCarthy, because we are now in period with Mueller and his gang that make Joseph McCarthy look like a baby! Rigged Witch Hunt!” he later tweeted.

Dean was White House counsel for Nixon, a Republican, during the Watergate scandal. He ultimately cooperated with prosecutors and helped bring down the Nixon presidency, though he served a prison term for obstruction of justice.

Dean, a frequent critic of the president, tweeted Saturday night in response to the Times story: “McGahn is doing right!” He later wrote, “Nixon, generally very competent, bungled and botched his handling of Watergate. Trump, a total incompetent, is bungling and botching his handling of Russiagate. Fate is never kind to bunglers and/or botchers! Unlike Nixon, however, Trump won’t leave willingly or graciously.”

Critics of the president have recently compared his decision to target the security clearances of critics and those involved in the Russia investigation to the “enemies list” created by the Nixon White House to keep track of political opponents they intended to target with punitive measures.

[PBS]

Trump says Trump Tower meeting meant to obtain information on Clinton

President Trump tweeted Sunday morning about the now-infamous June 9, 2016 meeting at Trump Tower between Russians and Trump campaign officials, including his son, Donald Trump Jr.

“Fake News reporting, a complete fabrication, that I am concerned about the meeting my wonderful son, Donald, had in Trump Tower. This was a meeting to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics – and it went nowhere. I did not know about it!”

Why it matters: Trump and his son have repeatedly changed their stance on the purpose of the 2016 meeting. In a statement to The New York Times last July, which investigators now know was dictated by President Trump, Don Jr. said the meeting was primarily about Russian adoptions. Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen has also claimedthat the president approved the meeting ahead of time, contradicting continued denials by Trump and his legal team.

[Axios]

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