It was not clear what provoked Trump’s broadside. A White House spokesman did not immediately respond to a question about what prompted the president’s tweets.
But a couple of hours later, Trump was back on Twitter, taking issue with a New York Times story that reported that his national security adviser, John R. Bolton, had rolled back Trump’s decision to rapidly withdraw U.S. troops from Syria. Bolton told reporters in Israel that American forces would remain in Syria until the last remnants of the Islamic State were defeated.
Trump claimed that Bolton’s comments were no different from his original withdrawal announcement last month, writing that the United States “will be leaving at a proper pace” and “continuing to fight ISIS and doing all else that is prudent and necessary!” ISIS is another name for the Islamic State.
Last month, Trump justified his plans to withdraw about 2,000 troops from Syria by saying the Islamic State had been defeated in the region — a pronouncement that prompted widespread criticism from members of Congress, including Republicans. Other news outlets, including The Washington Post, also reported on Bolton’s comments Sunday.
In earlier tweets Monday, Trump asserted, without citing any specifics, that the “Fake News” knowingly lies and makes up sources to make him look bad.
“The Fake News Media in our Country is the real Opposition Party,” Trump said. “It is truly the Enemy of the People! We must bring honesty back to journalism and reporting!”
Trump has described the news media as the “enemy of the people” in 18 tweets since June. He has said about 80 percent of the media falls into that category.
With all of the success that our Country is having, including the just released jobs numbers which are off the charts, the Fake News & totally dishonest Media concerning me and my presidency has never been worse. Many have become crazed lunatics who have given up on the TRUTH!...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 7, 2019
...The Fake News will knowingly lie and demean in order make the tremendous success of the Trump Administration, and me, look as bad as possible. They use non-existent sources & write stories that are total fiction. Our Country is doing so well, yet this is a sad day in America!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 7, 2019
....The Fake News Media in our Country is the real Opposition Party. It is truly the Enemy of the People! We must bring honesty back to journalism and reporting!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 7, 2019
The Failing New York Times has knowingly written a very inaccurate story on my intentions on Syria. No different from my original statements, we will be leaving at a proper pace while at the same time continuing to fight ISIS and doing all else that is prudent and necessary!.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 7, 2019