It would be fair to say that President Donald Trump and Senator John McCain are not the closest of friends. Enmity between the two broke out during the presidential election campaign when Trump attacked McCain’s war record. Since then, McCain has become one of Trump’s most vocal critics. Even the briefest scan of President Trump’s Twitter feed will reveal that he dismisses any story that is not complimentary as “fake news.”
As reported by the Inquisitr earlier this week, Trump was called out on his “fake news” claims earlier this week. The president had posted on Twitter that news networks were full of “fake news” stories about the allegations that he had sexually assaulted a string of women. Trump claimed that the stories were fake news and that he had never met his accusers. As a result of the president’s claims, half of the women Trump is accused of assaulting posted images of themselves with the president.
No one can deny that there has been an epidemic of fake news, in fact, Trump was widely criticized for spreading fake news videos from British far-right anti-Muslim group just a few days ago. However, president Trump has shown on numerous occasions that any story he doesn’t like gets branded as fake news. As reported by Reuters, United Nations human rights chief, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, even went so far as to say that Trump is “undermining the freedom of the press.”
That claim was repeated yesterday by the Committee to Protect Journalists, who said that for the second year in a row, record numbers of journalists have been jailed for their reporting. They criticize Trump for “cozying up” to the oppressive regimes in China, Turkey, and Egypt. Almost all of the journalists imprisoned in these regimes are behind bars for speaking out against the leadership in their country.
“President Donald Trump’s nationalistic rhetoric, fixation on Islamic extremism, and insistence on labeling critical media “fake news” serves to reinforce the framework of accusations and legal charges that allow such leaders to preside over the jailing of journalists.”
As reported by The Hill, Senator John McCain was quick to lend his weight to the report, whilst at the same time being fiercely critical of Trump’s tendency to write off any criticism as fake news. McCain too took Twitter to share the report and to tell Trump that his “harmful rhetoric only empowers repressive regimes to jail reporters and silence the truth.”
.@pressfreedom's annual report shows record # of journalists imprisoned worldwide in 2017, including 21 on "fake news" charges. @POTUS must understand his harmful rhetoric only empowers repressive regimes to jail reporters & silence the truth. https://t.co/S65iPnPBsN
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) December 13, 2017
McCain is a frequent critic of Trump’s belligerent and bombastic style. As recently reported by the Independent, McCain claims that Trump is an opportunist who is bereft of “principles and beliefs.” McCain also made it clear that he was far from happy with the way Donald Trump is “conducting his presidency.”