In the president’s mind, everyone was missing a key distinction.
Not all the media is an enemy of the United States, Trump said, only a “large percentage” of the media is the “enemy of the people.”
“They asked my daughter Ivanka whether or not the media is the enemy of the people. She correctly said no. It is the FAKE NEWS, which is a large percentage of the media, that is the enemy of the people!” Trump wrote on Twitter.
They asked my daughter Ivanka whether or not the media is the enemy of the people. She correctly said no. It is the FAKE NEWS, which is a large percentage of the media, that is the enemy of the people!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 2, 2018
The president first described the press that way in February 2017, where he tweeted that the New York Times, CNN, NBC News, ABC News, and CBS News were not just his “enemy,” but the “enemy of the American people!”
“I’ve certainly received my fair share of reporting on me personally that I know not to be fully accurate, so I have some sensitivity around why people have concerns and gripe, especially when they sort of feel targeted, but, no, I do not feel the media the enemy of the people.”
Also today, when asked several times if the White House believed the press was the “enemy of the American people,” Press Secretary Sarah Sanders declined to answer, only adding that she was there to “speak on behalf of the president” and that Trump had “made his comments clear.”
This is Acosta's second attempt to get Sanders to say the press is not — as Trump has described them — "the enemy of the people," and she declines. pic.twitter.com/YjJVM0Dukg
— Robert Maguire @ #NICAR20 (@RobertMaguire_) August 2, 2018
Trump’s disdain for the press has reached his most ardent supports. During a rally in Florida earlier this week, a reporter posted a video of the crowd shouting at members of media covering the event and giving them the middle finger.