President Trump launched a fresh attack Monday on the news media, writing in tweets that it consists of many “crazed lunatics,” and he again invoked the derogatory term “enemy of the people.”
“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,” Trump said in the first of the tweets. “Many have become crazed lunatics who have given up on the TRUTH!”
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.