Trump bashes ‘Morning Joe,’ cable networks for ratings dip after Mueller conclusion

President Donald Trump chided the MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Thursday for ratings that he claimed have dropped in the wake of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report to the attorney general, crowing that “fake news never wins.”

Mueller, charged with investigating allegations of collusion between the president’s 2016 campaign and the Russian government, delivered to the Justice Department last week a report that said his team was unable to establish that such collusion occurred. Mueller wrote in his report that he was unable to conclude whether Trump obstructed justice, although Attorney General William Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein wrote in their summary it was their conclusion that the president was innocent of those allegations as well.

“Wow, ratings for ‘Morning Joe,’ which were really bad in the first place, just ‘tanked’ with the release of the Mueller Report,” Trump tweeted about the show — hosted by two of his former friends, Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski — where he was once a regular guest. “Likewise, other shows on MSNBC and CNN have gone down by as much as 50%. Just shows, Fake News never wins!”

The former reality TV star frequently harps on ratings, often praising friendly networks like Fox News while pouncing on CNN and MSNBC for their less flattering coverage of him when their ratings dip.

The Associated Press reported Wednesday that MSNBC programs saw their ratings plunge after Barr’s announcement. Ratings for host Rachel Maddow’s show, on which the Russia investigation earned breathless coverage nearly every night, dipped 19 percent from their average for the year the night after Barr made his announcement. The next night, her ratings fell slightly once again.

On Fox, meanwhile, Maddow’s time slot competitor Sean Hannity saw his ratings go up by 32 percent over his average. Hannity, a close friend of Trump and one of his greatest media allies, interviewed the president at length on Wednesday’s show.

Maddow had only recently overtaken Hannity in the ratings fight for the first time, likely buoyed at least in part by her relentless focus on the Mueller investigation. Cable news ratings are prone to news-related dips, as viewers are more likely to tune in when there are developments that align with their political views and less likely to tune in for less favorable developments.

Trump and his aides have pummeled the media for its coverage of the Russia investigation in the wake of Barr’s letter to lawmakers about Mueller’s findings. Earlier Thursday, the president tweeted that media outlets “have ZERO credibility or respect” as a result of their Russia probe coverage and have “never been more corrupt” than in this point in time.

On Monday, his reelection campaign sent out a memo to TV producers urging them to think twice before having certain guests on who had asserted there was a strong likelihood that Trump or his campaign conspired with Russian operatives in the 2016 presidential election.

Barr’s summary of the Mueller report, released Sunday, has prompted a wave of hand-wringing across the media universe, though many in the media have been quick to point out that much of the reporting done on Trump’s ties to Russia over the past two years has been borne out by developments in Mueller’s investigation.

[Politico]

Trump slams media for coverage of investigations into ‘all time favorite duly elected President’

President Trump tore into the media over its coverage of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, which concluded without sufficient evidence that the president’s campaign had colluded with Russia during the 2016 election. 

“The Fake News Media has lost tremendous credibility with its corrupt coverage of the illegal Democrat Witch Hunt of your all time favorite duly elected President, me! T.V. ratings of CNN & MSNBC tanked last night after seeing the Mueller Report statement. @FoxNews up BIG!” Trump tweeted Tuesday evening. 

Trump and his conservative allies on Capitol Hill and in the media seized on Attorney General William Barr’s announcement that Mueller found no evidence of collusion, using it to slam mainstream outlets for what they said was speculative reporting that implied Trump’s guilt.

“The Mainstream Media is under fire and being scorned all over the World as being corrupt and FAKE. For two years they pushed the Russian Collusion Delusion when they always knew there was No Collusion. They truly are the Enemy of the People and the Real Opposition Party!” Trump tweeted early Tuesday morning. 

The president has long had an acrimonious relationship with the press, often hammering outlets that reported negative news of the White House as “fake news” and at times even speculating whether he should revoke the press credentials of certain publications’ employees.

Fox News, a staunch defender of the president in its primetime hours, saw a boost in its viewership in the aftermath of the Mueller news, more than quadrupling CNN’s ratings.

[The Hill]

Trump: Media disgraced ‘all over the world’ following Mueller revelations

The conclusion of Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation has discredited media “all over the world,” President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday morning, celebrating the special counsel’s findings by slamming the news coverage of Mueller’s probe.

“The Mainstream Media is under fire and being scorned all over the World as being corrupt and FAKE,” he tweeted. “For two years they pushed the Russian Collusion Delusion when they always knew there was No Collusion. They truly are the Enemy of the People and the Real Opposition Party!”

Trump and his allies have relentlessly attacked the media since Mueller concluded that no one on Trump’s 2016 campaign conspired to work with Russian agents to influence the 2016 presidential election and was unable to conclude whether Trump sought to obstruct justice.

Most of the ire has been focused on pundits on Twitter and cable news, where the Russia investigation was covered extensively, and has drawn mixed calls for introspection and a media reckoning.

On Monday, the president’s reelection campaign urged networks to reconsider the Democrats they invited on their programs, suggesting several familiar cable news faces — including several House committee chairmen — be blacklisted from the airwaves for “lying to the American people by vigorously and repeatedly claiming there was evidence of collusion.”

While the Trump campaign complained this week that the president’s detractors have made “outlandish, false claims,” Trump himself has long faced similar accusations. Several of Trump’s top advisers, too, have faced withering criticism for making false or misleading claims while defending the president and his policies.

While the president’s attack on the media took a more serious tone Tuesday, some of his aides have attempted to inject mockery into their criticisms.

For example, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday shared a mock “Mueller Madness” bracket featuring journalists, celebrities and TV personalities on her Twitter account, asking her 3.8 million followers, “Which of the angry and hysterical @realDonaldTrump haters got it most embarrassingly wrong?”

But while the White House’s attacks on the media are not new, the renewed criticisms have drawn responses from media executives who defended their organizations’ coverage of the Russia investigation. Multiple outlets have noted in recent days that their reporting on Trump and his ties to Russia had been borne out by Mueller’s probe, which resulted in a slew of indictments, convictions and guilty pleas of Trump allies.

[Politico]

Trump blasts ‘fake news media’ as ‘absolute enemy’ in latest attack on press

President Trump on Tuesday said that “Fake News” is the “absolute Enemy” of the people and country as he renewed his attacks on the media.

Trump lashed out at the “Fake News Media” as “dishonest” and “corrupt,” lamenting that “there has never been a time like this in American History.”

“Very exciting but also, very sad!” he tweeted. “Fake News is the absolute Enemy of the People and our Country itself!”

It’s unclear what specifically triggered Tuesday morning’s barb toward the press, but Trump, who regularly derides coverage of his administration he considers unfavorable as “fake news,” has accused the news media of blaming him for last week’s deadly shootings at a pair of mosques in New Zealand.

Some U.S. media coverage has focused on the suspected gunman’s manifesto, which called Trump a “symbol of renewed white identity,” and some pundits have argued the president has stoked white nationalist fervor worldwide.

The president over the weekend lashed out at the media on multiple occasions.

He targeted “Saturday Night Live” after the sketch comedy show aired a rerun that included an opening that imagined the world if he never became president, suggesting the program should face consequences for its jokes at his expense.

In the same tweet on Sunday, he called it “hard to believe” he won the presidency with “such one sided media coverage.”

Later Sunday, Trump chastised a trio of Fox News anchors, suggesting they should work at competitor CNN instead. The message appeared to come after one of the individuals anchored a segment that highlighted economic concerns in parts of the Midwest.

The president routinely labels NBC, CNN and The Washington Post as “fake news” and has called The New York Times an “enemy of the people.” He has rarely targeted Fox News in his attacks.

[The Hill]

Trump says he’s ‘very proud’ to hear Bolsonaro use the term ‘fake news’

President Trump said Tuesday that he was “very proud” to hear Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro use the term “fake news” during a news conference at the White House.

Trump offered praise for his Brazilian counterpart, who has earned the nickname “Trump of the Tropics” for his similarities to the U.S. leader, during a diatribe against tech companies and broadcast networks. Trump suggested that those two groups are biased against him and other conservatives.

“You look at the networks, you look at the newscasts. I call it fake news,” Trump said. “I’m very proud to hear the president use the term fake news.”

Bolsonaro invoked the term Trump regularly uses to describe unfavorable news coverage during his opening remarks.

“Brazil and the United States stand side-by-side in their efforts to ensure liberties in respect to traditional family lifestyles, respect to God our creator, against the gender ideology or the politically correct attitudes and against fake news,” he said through a translator.

Tuesday’s news conference underscored the similarities and friendly relationship between Trump and Bolsonaro, who took over as president in January. The two men spoke of improving relations between their respective countries, and referenced their closely aligned views.

“I also know that we’re going to have a fantastic working relationship,” Trump said. “We have many views that are similar.”

Bolsonaro later predicted that Trump will win reelection in 2020.

“It’s an internal affair, we will respect whatever the ballots tell us on 2020,” he said through a translator. “But I do believe Donald Trump is going to be reelected.”

[The Hill]

Reality

Bolsonaro promised in his campaign he would shoot political opponents, including the press. Donald Trump is again promoting violence against those who disagree with him.

Trump says he intentionally called Apple’s Tim Cook ‘Tim Apple’

President Trump on Monday claimed he intentionally referred to Apple CEO Tim Cook as “Tim Apple,” seeking to push back on media coverage of his remark, which was mocked online.

Trump wrote on Twitter that he just tried “to save time & words” by referring to the tech industry titan by the wrong name last week at a White House meeting with business leaders.

“The Fake News was disparagingly all over this, & it became yet another bad Trump story!” he tweeted.

Trump made the slip of the tongue while he thanked Cook for investing in his company’s U.S. operations.

“I mean, you’ve really put a big investment in our country. We really appreciate it very much, Tim Apple,” Trump said at the time.

Cook reacted playfully, changing the name on his Twitter profile to Tim with an Apple logo emoji.

While the encounter was a viral moment for only short amount of time, it has stuck with Trump, who is sensitive about the way he is portrayed in the media.

Axios reported Sunday that Trump told a group of Republican donors over the weekend he actually said “Tim Cook, Apple” very quickly but that the “Cook” was said quietly.

A video recording of the event, however, shows Trump said “Tim Apple” and not “Tim Cook, Apple.”

[The Hill]

Media

Trump: I did not break campaign finance laws

President Trump on Thursday doubled down on his assertion he did not break the law when he involved himself in a scheme to pay two women who alleged in the lead-up to the 2016 election that they had extramarital affairs with him.

“It was not a campaign contribution, and there were no violations of the campaign finance laws by me. Fake News!”  Trump tweeted.

The comments come after The New York Times reported Trump signed checks to reimburse his former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, while he was serving as president.

Cohen last year pleaded guilty to breaking campaign finance laws, in addition to other financial crimes, and lying to Congress. He was sentenced to three years in prison. Cohen implicated Trump in the scheme in court and in congressional testimony.

Federal prosecutors in December alleged that Cohen acted at the direction of “Individual-1,” a person widely believed to be Trump, when he committed the campaign finance violations.

Prosecutors said the payments to Stormy Daniels, the adult-film actress who said she slept with Trump, broke the law because they were meant to influence the outcome of the election. Cohen reached the agreement with Daniels in October 2016, one month before Election Day.

During his explosive testimony last week to the House Oversight and Reform Committee, Cohen presented several checks signed by the president he said were meant to reimburse him for payments to Daniels.

The Times reported Wednesday that Trump authorized one of the checks for $35,000 in October 2017, nine months after his inauguration.

While the checks do not prove Trump committed a crime, they could be used as evidence by prosecutors should they pursue a case alleging that the president directed an illegal hush money scheme while in office.

Trump initially denied any knowledge of the payments to Cohen, but then shifted his explanation after Cohen pleaded guilty, saying the payments did not violate the law because they “didn’t come out of the campaign.”

Then in December, Trump said he “never directed Michael Cohen to break the law” while repeating his assertion that Cohen’s actions in the hush money scheme were not illegal.

[The Hill]

Trump Quotes Tucker Carlson to Bash ‘Fake News’ as ‘Enemy of the People’ Again

President Donald Trump quoted Tucker Carlson‘s opening monologue on how far the media has fallen tonight to bash the “fake news” as the “enemy of the people” once again.

Carlson tonight opened by blasting BuzzFeed, mocking their cat coverage, ripping their Russia reporting after Michael Cohen‘s testimony last week, and facing off with editor-in-chief Ben Smith, but before all that he said this:

“We’ve seen an awful lot of change during the two years Trump has been president. American politics has been completely reordered. But also the American media has changed forever. News organizations that seemed like a big deal just five years ago are now extinct. Some of them are totally forgotten. Those that remain have either degraded themselves beyond recognition––like the New Yorker––or they’ve been purchased like Jeff Bezos to conduct unregistered lobbying for Amazon.com, like the Washington Post. It’s hard to remember that not so long ago, America had prestige media outlets.”

He went on to deride BuzzFeed as a “New York-based cat blog.”

And after Carlson’s show finished tonight, the president approvingly quoted him to once again bash the “enemy of the people”:

This morning the New Yorker––one of the news outlets Carlson name-dropped––published a report on the president’s relationship with Fox News, including how he “frequently posts about points that he agrees with” while watching.

[Mediaite]

Trump ramps up attacks on media: ‘Crazed lunatics’

President Trump on Monday ramped up his attacks against the press, calling the media “crazed lunatics” that have “given up on the TRUTH.”

Trump also said in a trio of tweets that the “Fake News” has “never been worse” and accused members of the press of intentionally making up stories to make him and his administration look bad.

“With all of the success that our Country is having, including the just released jobs numbers which are off the charts, the Fake News & totally dishonest Media concerning me and my presidency has never been worse. Many have become crazed lunatics who have given up on the TRUTH!” he tweeted.

“The Fake News will knowingly lie and demean in order make the tremendous success of the Trump Administration, and me, look as bad as possible. They use non-existent sources & write stories that are total fiction. Our Country is doing so well, yet this is a sad day in America!” Trump continued in a subsequent tweet.

In a third tweet, Trump labeled the press the “enemy of the people” and the “opposition party,” comments he has made before.

“The Fake News Media in our Country is the real Opposition Party. It is truly the Enemy of the People! We must bring honesty back to journalism and reporting!” he wrote.

Trump did not specify what reporting sparked the series of tweets.

His tweets come as an ongoing partial government shutdown, which is now in its third week, has continued to dominate the news cycle.

The shutdown was prompted when Trump refused to sign a spending bill last month that didn’t include his requested $5 billion in funding for a wall along the southern border. Democrats have vowed not to approve any funding for the wall and have offered $1.3 billion for border security.

The president has frequently lashed out against the press during his presidency, labeling negative stories “fake news” while targeting some media organizations as “the enemy of the people.”

He tweeted or retweeted the phrase “fake news” nearly 200 times last year and has already used the phrase several times on Twitter in the first days of 2019.

[The Hill]

Trump continues manic Twitter assault on the press by calling the New York Times the ‘Enemy of the People’

President Donald Trump attacked The New York Times on Saturday, only one hour after attacking CNN.

“Horrible and totally dishonest reporting on almost everything they write,” Trump argued.

“Hence the term fake news, enemy of the people, and opposition party,” he said, while listing multiple terms.

[Raw Story]

Reality

Trump isn’t quoting Jill Abramson, he is quoting Fox News’ Howard Kurtz quoting Jill Abramson, which means her words are being twisted and taken out of context to fit a Republican narrative.

Abramson told the Associated Press Kurtz misrepresented her comments in an attempt to “Foxify” her.

Per the AP:

In her email, Abramson notes that Kurtz ignored her passage in the book saying that under Baquet’s leadership, the depth and intensity of its accountability coverage of Trump “was masterful. On most days it outshone the Post’s. The news report as a whole had never been stronger.”

 

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