White House chief of staff Reince Priebus said Saturday that people should take President Donald Trump’s remark that several media outlets are the “enemy of the American people” seriously.
In his fourth week in office, President Trump ratcheted up his attacks on the press after several stories were published citing unnamed sources about alleged connections between Trump associates and Russia. National Security Adviser Michael Flynn also stepped down from his position after a news report said he discussed sanctions with the Russian ambassador before taking office.
“The FAKE NEWS media (failing [New York Times], [NBC News], [ABC News], [CBS News], [CNN]) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People,” Trump tweeted Friday. The day before the president said that the “level of dishonesty” in the press is “out of control” during a lengthy news conference. Then on Saturday President Trump held a rally in Florida partly because he wanted to speak to supporters “without the filter of the fake news.”
CBS’ John Dickerson asked Priebus on “Face the Nation” Saturday about Trump’s recent tweet about the press being the enemy of the American people. “Should we take that seriously from him?” Dickerson said.
“Well, I think you should take it seriously. I think that the problem we’ve got is that we’re talking about bogus stories like the one in the New York Times, that we’ve had constant contact with Russian officials,” Priebus replied. “The next day, the Wall Street Journal had a story that the intel community was not giving the president a full intelligence briefing. Both stories grossly inaccurate, overstated, overblown, and it’s total garbage.”
The White House chief of staff went on to say in the interview that the “American people suffer” because of the current news coverage of the Trump administration. “I think that the media should stop with this unnamed source stuff. Put names on a piece of paper and print it. If people aren’t willing to put their name next to a quote, then the quote shouldn’t be listed,” Priebus added.