President Donald Trump lashed out at the press during a news conference Thursday, saying that the “level of dishonesty” is out of control.
“Many of our nation’s reporters and folks will not tell you the truth,” Trump added after saying that he is taking his message directly to the American people. The president added that journalists “will not treat the wonderful people of our country with the respect they deserve.”
The president has attacked the press in recent days after reports have cited intelligence officials saying that there was contact between associates of Trump and Russian intelligence officials during the presidential campaign. Multiple reports have also cited people close to Trump and said that the White House is in disarray. Trump tweeted Thursday morning, “FAKE NEWS media, which makes up stories and ‘sources,’ is far more effective than the discredited Democrats – but they are fading fast!”
He said during the press conference that he hopes “going forward maybe we can get along a little better if that’s possible, maybe it’s not, and that’s okay too.”
“Unfortunately much of the media in Washington, D.C., along with New York, Los Angeles, in particular speaks not for the people but for the special interests and for those profiting off a very, very obviously broken system. The press has become so dishonest that if we don’t talk about it we are doing a tremendous disservice to the American people,” Trump said. “We have to talk about it. We have to find out what’s going on because the press honestly is out of control. The level of dishonesty is out of control.”
The president later took questions from journalists and continued his combativeness. Trump said that the stories about a connection between him and the Russian government are “fake.” He told CNN’s Jim Acosta that the “leaks are real,” but “the reporting is fake.”
President Trump also complained about television coverage saying that the “tone is such hatred.” Trump said that CNN panels are almost exclusively “anti-Trump,” spoke about the “venom” coming out of the mouths of CNN anchors, and personally attacked CNN president Jeff Zucker.
He said it’s important to have an honest press because “the public doesn’t believe you people anymore.” Trump said he’d even be the “biggest fan in the world” of the press if they just covered him straight.
Trump defended himself and said that coverage of the press conference will say that he is “ranting and raving” against the press, but that instead he actually is just “having fun.” After the news conference, MSNBC’s Katy Tur said that Trump engaged in a “meandering rant.”