Andrea Mitchell: Trump Is Vilifying The Media Just Like Stalin

(Photo: Screenshot/Comedy Central)

Geoff Harbaugh Contributor
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NBC News chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell said Monday on “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” that President Donald Trump’s criticism of the news media started with Joseph Stalin.

“I do think that he [Trump] has very deliberately set up the press as the enemy of the people,” Mitchell stated. “I don’t feel that I am the enemy of the people. And it’s not benign. This is something that we first heard from Joseph Stalin. This is very dangerous. It undercuts democracy.”

“By talking about fake news — fake news is what Russia did to our election, the propaganda that we see from Russia invading our social media,” she said. “Propaganda is fake news, not what my colleagues at the White House … do every day, sometimes around the world at great peril to their lives.”

In the same interview, however, Mitchell praised Trump multiple times for being “very accessible,” and “answering a lot of questions.”

Noah asked Mitchell, “We hear about Donald Trump and the press and this adversarial relationship that you have. But as a journalist who has covered presidents who have had scandals, who have had wars, who have had issues that have plagued them, is the adversarial relationship with the Trump White House any different to what you’ve experienced?”

Mitchell replied, “I think he is different. Interestingly, he is accessible, or has been until recently. More accessible and more moments where he will answer questions on the fly.”

Noah went on to ask if the president doesn’t like being shouted at but Mitchell responded with more examples of President Trump giving more access than previous administrations. Here’s the exchange:

Noah: “We have seen you, for instance, shouting questions out at Donald Trump. Now this is not new. Journalists have shouted questions at presidents for a very long time, but could it just be that Donald Trump, says hey, I don’t like people shouting out questions at me?”

Mitchell: “Well, he sometimes welcomes it. So you never know, is he going to welcome a question, does he want a question in the Oval Office? My colleagues who are there every day, they shout questions because they often get answers. I mean he’s the first president that I can recall, who wandered out on the North Lawn and engaged in a half hour of free-wheeling questions and answers with the White House press corps one morning. Who knew that was going to happen?”

Noah tried to link Trump’s view on the media with the Capital Gazette shooting asking, “Do you feel that in some way Donald Trump is encouraging people to have a hateful relationship with the media?”

Mitchell rebutted, “I don’t connect the president at all with what happened at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis. That was a horror, and I would believe that was someone mentally deranged who went after that organization. So I don’t think its fair to blame him for that.”