President Trump said Friday that he considers the media to be “the opposition party in many ways,” echoing a controversial assessment earlier this week by his chief White House strategist, Stephen K. Bannon.
Trump was asked about Bannon’s comments during a morning interview at the White House with David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network.
“Yeah, I think the media is the opposition party in many ways,” Trump told Brody. “I’m not talking about all of them … but a big portion of the media, the dishonesty, total deceit and deception. It makes them certainly partially the opposition party, absolutely.”
Trump, who routinely criticized the media during his campaign and has continued the practice since taking office, also accused the media of being “on the opposition party’s side.”
“They treat me so unfairly, it’s hard to believe that I won” the election, Trump said. “But the fortunate thing about me is I have a big voice. I have a voice that people understand. … But yes, the media is a disgrace, and they’ve called me wrong from the beginning.”
Trump singled out the New York Times, claiming the paper lost subscribers “because their readers even like me.”
The Times has said it experienced a sharp uptick in paid subscriptions online and in print after Election Day.
In an interview Wednesday with the Times, Bannon repeatedly described the media as “the opposition party” and said: “The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while.”
Until August, Bannon ran the right-wing website Breitbart News.
A Washington Post-ABC News poll released this month found Americans divided on the issue of whether the media is treating Trump fairly. Forty-nine percent said they believe Trump is being treated fairly, while 47 percent disagreed.
Meanwhile, more Americans thought Trump was treating the media unfairly (57 percent) than though he was treating it fairly (38 percent).
Polling director Scott Clement contributed to this story.