United States President Donald Trump on Thursday described journalists as his true political opponents and stepped up his attack on the press while dubbing reports as “fake, fake, disgusting news”, AP News reported. Trump was speaking at a campaign rally in Pennsylvania.
His latest attack follows criticism from United Nations experts who said that the president’s rhetoric could lead to violence against journalists. “These attacks run counter to the country’s obligations to respect press freedom and international human rights law,” David Kaye and Edison Lanza, appointed by the organisation’s Human Rights Council, had said in a joint statement.
Trump referred to the journalists present at the Thursday rally as “horrible, horrendous people” and accused them of underselling his accomplishments. The crowd gathered at the event responded by jeering the journalists seated in the section allocated for the press. “Whatever happened to the free press? Whatever happened to honest reporting?” Trump asked, pointing to the media in the back of the hall. “They don’t report it. They only make up stories.”
Trump’s vitriolic statements follow White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders’s attempts to defend his claims that the media is the “enemy” of the American people. Trump’s daughter Ivanka subsequent statement appeared to be at odds with the president when she said that “fake news, not the media, was the real enemy of the people”.
Trump took to Twitter to back her. “It is the FAKE NEWS, which is a large percentage of the media, that is the enemy of the people!” Trump tweeted .