Trump launches unprecedented attack on media

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In a news conference, he said: “The media is trying to attack our administration because they know we are following through on pledges we made and they’re not happy about it.”

“But a lot of people are happy about it.”

“I turn on the TV, open the newspapers, I see stories of chaos. Yet it is the exact opposite. This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine.”

Donald Trump attacks the media at White House news conference. Pic: Getty.


Video:Trump’s heated Q&A with media

Sky’s US correspondent Cordelia Lynch described the attack on the media as “unprecedented”.

She said: “The White House has criticised media in past plenty of times, but this kind of attack on journalists is unprecedented.”

:: Analysis by Cordelia Lynch: This is Trump trying to take back control

In the news conference, which went for 1 hour and 16 minutes, Mr Trump also said: “Many of our nation’s reporters will not tell you the truth. And will not treat the wonderful people of this country with the respect they deserve.

“I hope going forward things can be a little bit different and maybe get along a little bit better. Maybe it’s not. That’s okay too.

“Many of our nation’s reporters will not tell you the truth.” – President Trump

— Cordelia Lynch (@CordeliaSkyNews) February 16, 2017

Trump “the press, the level of dishonesty is out of control.”

— Cordelia Lynch (@CordeliaSkyNews) February 16, 2017

“Much of the media in Washington DC, along with New York, Los Angeles, in particular, speaks not for the people but for those profiting off a obviously very broken system.

“The press has become so dishonest and if we don’t talk about it we are doing a tremendous disservice to the American people, because the press is out of control. The level of dishonesty is out of control.

“I am here to change the broken system so it serves their families well. I am talking about this entrenched power structure.

“When you call stories you don’t like #fakenews“: Reporter asks the @POTUS about his use of the phrase #Trumppic.twitter.com/wCQrPDIxiK

— Sky News (@SkyNews) February 16, 2017

“Too often times the media distort. And some of the media’s fantastic but much of it is not.

“But we’re not going to let it happen.

“Our administration inherited many problems. I inherited a mess. At home and abroad, a mess. Jobs are pouring out of the country, mass instability oversees.”

Many of his comments focused on the media’s stories about the administration’s dealings with Russia, singling out the New York Times for a “discredited” front page.

Trump on finding out reporter is from BBC: “Here’s another beauty.”

Reporter says, “Impartial, free & fair.”

Trump: “Just like CNN right?” pic.twitter.com/x6pE8ZTewC

— Sky News (@SkyNews) February 16, 2017

He attacked the leaks that had come from inside his administration because of their “classified” nature, much of which, he claimed, was “fake news”.

He said: “I called, as you know, Mexico. It was a very confidential, classified call. All of a sudden it’s out there for the world to see. It’s supposed to be secret. Same thing with Australia.

“All of a sudden people are finding out exactly what took place. The same thing happened with General Flynn.

President Trump


Video:Trump hits out at ‘hatred’ on CNN

“The first thing I thought when I saw this was how does the press get this classified information? You know why, because it’s an illegal process. And the press should be ashamed of themselves.

“What happens when I’m dealing with North Korea? What happens when I’m dealing with the Middle East? Are you folks going to be reporting all that?

“We are going to stop it. That’s why it’s a criminal penalty.

“The leaks are real, but the news is fake because so much of the news is fake.”

“I’m really not a bad person… I do get good ratings” says the @POTUS#Trumppic.twitter.com/rlXV5IfFDN

— Sky News (@SkyNews) February 16, 2017

He was then asked by a reporter from CNN, another of the targets of his attacks, whether he accepted that his earlier campaign calls for Russia to release hacked Hillary Clinton emails and admissions that he worked with Wikileaks left him with little credibility.

Mr Trump replied: “In one case you are talking about highly classified information. In the other you are talking about what John Podesta (Mrs Clinton’s campaign chairman) said, but it wasn’t classified.

“The public, they read newspapers and watch television, they don’t know if its true or false because they are not involved. I’m involved.

President Trump and reporter


Video:Trump slams ‘insulting’ question

“I know when you are telling the truth and when you’re not and I see tone. The tone is hatred. I’m really not a bad person.

Addressing his comments directly to the CCN reporter, he added: “You look at your 10 o’clock show. The panel is almost exclusive anti-Trump and the hatred and venom coming from his mouth. The public gets it. They turn around and want to throw their placards at CNN.

“Tomorrow they will say ‘Donald Trump rants and raves about the press’. I’m not ranting and raving. I’m just telling you, you are dishonest people.

“The public doesn’t believe you anymore. If you were straight and told it like it is, I would be your biggest fan in the world, including stories about me.

“But with CNN, it is story after story that is bad. I won and this is a fine-tuned machine. That’s why the public sees it. They see the bias and the hatred.”

He said one of the reasons why he had such a problem with the media was because the stories they publish and broadcast make it harder to get along with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

He said what could be interpreted as Russian actions designed to test the new administration, such as a Russian ship coming close to the US, are not tests, they are because Mr Putin “assumes he can’t make a deal with me anymore”.

He also said he did not have to say what he was going to do about Russia, Mosul, Iran or North Korea.

“You guys are going to ask but I’m not going to tell you,” he said.

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