President Trump addressed CIA employees at the agency's headquarters, on Jan. 21 in Langley, Va. (The Washington Post)

In a speech at the CIA on Saturday afternoon, Donald Trump spoke of a “running war with the media.” He ripped the nation’s press corps for allegedly underreporting the turnout for his inauguration speech and, in so doing, claimed that his crowd exceeded 1 million (which seems like a stretch, though the National Park Service doesn’t measure audience size); he savaged a reporter for falsely reporting that a bust of Martin Luther King Jr. had been removed from the Oval Office.

And in addressing a group of people trained to sift through propaganda, to disregard red herrings, to identify disinformation, to trust original sources, he came out and said this:

I believe that this group is going to be one of the most important groups in this country — toward making us safe, toward making us winners again, toward ending all of the problems…. I can only say that I am with you 1,000 percent. And the reason that you’re my first stop is that, as you know, I have a running war with the media. They are among the most dishonest human beings on Rarth. [Chuckles and applause] And they sort of made it sound like I have a feud with the intelligence community. And I just wanted to let you know, the reason you’re the No. 1 stop, it is exactly the opposite. Exactly, and they understand that too.

Bolding inserted to highlight a true point: The media made it sound like Trump had a feud with the intelligence community — precisely because Donald Trump started a feud with the intelligence community. After intelligence officials concluded that Russia had attempted to swing the presidential election in his favor, Trump’s transition team in December put out this statement: “These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It’s now time to move on and ‘Make America Great Again.’ ”

As the transition wore on, Trump suspected intelligence officials of leaking stuff to the media, and he tweeted his concerns to the whole world:

So there are a couple of possibilities here. One is that Trump genuinely feels that he can trick a roomful of spies into believing that his hard feelings about the intelligence community really were a concoction of a corrupt media. Another is that media-blaming is actually Trump’s way of saying, “I’m sorry for my childish behavior.” Choose your weapon.