President Donald Trump clarified his remarks about the media being the “enemy of the people,” saying that he was only talking about the “fake news” media. Trump added that the figure accounted for “80 percent” of all media.
Trump made the comment during an interview with “Fox & Friends” host Ainsley Earhardt on Thursday.
“Is the press the enemy of the people?” asked Earhardt.
“No, not at all but the fake news is and the fake news is comprised of — it’s a lot — it’s a big chunk, OK? Somebody said what’s the chunk. I said 80 percent. It’s a lot. It’s a lot,” said Trump.
“If I do something well, it’s not reported. Other than in the 20 percent,” he added. “I mean, The New York Times cannot write a good story about me. They’re crazed. They’re like lunatics. If I do something well, I often joke, I’ll do some great thing like meeting with Kim Jong Un.”
The president has said in the past that he wasn’t talking about everyone in the media when he uses the phrase, but his comments to Earhardt is the first time that he has quantified his view of exactly what percentage of the media falls into the “fake news”/”enemy of the people” category.
In the past, Trump has labeled outlets like the New York Times, NBC News, ABC, CBS and CNN as members of the “fake news media.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 17, 2017
Fox News has generally been included in the 20 percent of coverage the president likes and Trump has returned the favor by giving the network with dozens of interviews since he took office and the regular promotion of Fox News hosts and shows on Twitter. He is also known to be personally close to Sean Hannity and they reportedly speak regularly.
Still, not everyone in the president’s orbit is fond of the term. His daughter and White House adviser Ivanka Trump publicly broke with her dad over the issue.
“No, I do not feel that the media is the enemy of the people,” she told an audience at the Axios Newsmakers conversation on workforce development at the Newseum earlier this month.
“I’ve certainly received my fair share of reporting on me personally that I know not to be fully accurate,” she explained. “I’ve had some sensitivity around why people have concerns and gripes especially when they sort of feel targeted.”