President Trump lashed out anew at the news media on Thursday, suggesting that reporters are slanting their coverage of his relationship with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin with the aim of provoking a possible war.

“The Fake News Media wants so badly to see a major confrontation with Russia, even a confrontation that could lead to war,” the president wrote amid a series of morning tweets. “They are pushing so recklessly hard and hate the fact that I’ll probably have a good relationship with Putin.”

His unfounded assertions come days after a summit with Putin in Helsinki, after which Trump was widely condemned for seeming to side with Putin over U.S. intelligence officials, who have concluded that Russia interfered in the U.S. 2016 presidential election.

Trump has since sought to walk back those comments, as well as an assertion Wednesday that Russia is no longer targeting the United States.


President Trump walks back to the Oval Office on Wednesday after paying his respects at Joint Base Andrews to the family of Secret Service special agent Nole Edward Remagen, who died of a stroke the day before. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

Some of the harshest criticism of Trump’s interactions with Putin have come from fellow Republicans, including Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who characterized his time in Helsinki as “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory.”

In another tweet Thursday, Trump claimed that his summit with Putin “was a great success, except with the real enemy of the people, the Fake News Media.”

Since taking office, Trump has done little to hide his animosity for the media, which he has called “the enemy of the people” on multiple occasions. He has also floated the idea of revoking White House credentials for reporters who provide negative coverage.

In his tweets Thursday, he also asserted that reporters “make up stories without any backup, sources or proof.”

“Many of the stories written about me, and the good people surrounding me, are total fiction,” he said. “Problem is, when you complain you just give them more publicity. But I’ll complain anyway!”

In a separate tweet, he praised Fox News for having reported that he has acknowledged Russian interference in the 2016 election several times previously.