‘No one has to be a hero’: Trump lashes out at media after ‘fake news’
The president of the United States on Tuesday lashed out at journalists for calling him out on his false claims that millions of illegal votes were cast during his election, calling it “a sad commentary on our democracy.”
Trump, who has called the media “fake news,” said in a statement that the “fake media is working overtime to distract from the fact that they lost the popular vote by the largest Electoral College landslide in modern history.”
“They are not only failing, but they are actively working to delegitimize the presidency of Donald J. Trump,” the statement read.
“Fake News media and the Democratic Party are working overtime in order to delegitimate his presidency.
I will not allow this to happen.
I am calling out the media to end their fake news and fake political spin.”
The president’s comments came after a panel of top media executives including CNN, MSNBC, NBC News, Fox News and CBS News held a conference call with top reporters to discuss the administration’s response to the crisis in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend.
On Monday, the president accused CNN and other outlets of fabricating and lying about his role in the violence that erupted at a rally last month.
“It was a horrible, horrible day, but it was also a day of lies,” Trump said at the White House on Tuesday.
“It was fake news.
It was fabricated, the story was a lie, the people who were killed were African Americans.
They were thugs.”
The White House has declined to comment on Trump’s claims.
The president also blamed the media for the “terrible, terrible tragedy” in Charlottesville.
“You’re supposed to say this is all the fault of the media,” Trump told reporters on Tuesday at the briefing.
“Well, that’s a lie.”
Trump and his supporters have pointed to the media’s coverage of the protests in the city of Charlottesville, which led to the death of Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old counterprotester, and injuries to a dozen others when a car plowed into a crowd.
Heyer was killed by a white supremacist with an apparent motive to “get rid of the Jews.”
The unrest was sparked by a neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville earlier this month.
On Saturday, police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse hundreds of people who had gathered to protest the rally.
Trump said Monday that “it was a terrible, terrible day,” adding that “there was no doubt” he had “the answer.”
He continued: “What I’m saying is the answer to the problem is not to have people in the streets, it’s not to get rid of our police officers, but we have to stop the violence.”
But the president’s response appeared to backfire as several media outlets, including The New York Times, CNN and NBC News also called for a boycott of advertisers and distributors of the cable news network MSNBC, which was airing Trump’s first televised address to a joint session of Congress.
Trump also took aim at Fox News for airing the address, calling the network “the most dishonest and distorted news network in the United, period.”
“Fox News, a news network that has lost its credibility in my opinion, is the worst in the entire country, period,” Trump continued.
“They are trying to delegify the presidency.
They’re trying to get it back.
The people are with us.
They are winning.
The fake news is working for them.
It’s working for the president.
And the media is so dishonest.”
Fox News was unable to immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday from The Associated Press.