President Donald Trump took to Twitter early Tuesday to ratchet up the administration’s attacks on the president’s critics in the wake of the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller.
According to a report from Politico, the president continued the Republican portrayal of the report coming out with no further indictments as a complete vindication, even though Mueller explicitly wrote that that was not the case. The president turned his ire on the press, accusing the media of biased coverage of the Russiagate conspiracy and subsequent investigation, reverting to his tendency to attack the media as the “enemy of the people.”
“The Mainstream Media is under fire and being scorned all over the World as being corrupt and FAKE,” wrote the president on Twitter. “For two years they pushed the Russian Collusion Delusion when they always knew there was No Collusion.”
The Tuesday attacks on the press were just the latest salvo from a White House that has spoken out against the media and the Democrats in the wake of the 22-month long investigation by Mueller turning up no indictable evidence of collusion between the Trump 2016 campaign and Russian operatives. On Monday, White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders shared a mock NCAA tournament “Mueller Madness bracket,” featuring media figures and critics of the president, and asked her followers to select “which of the angry and hysterical @realDonaldTrump haters got it most embarrassingly wrong?”
Trump’s re-election campaign also reached out to media outlets and asked them to consider blackballing numerous media figures, analysts and even Democratic Party leaders from their programs, citing what they termed “lying to the American people” by the Democrats claiming that the collusion accusations were going to be proven true.
“They truly are the Enemy of the People and the Real Opposition Party!”
Despite Trump’s strongly worded comments, numerous media higher-ups were quick to defend their work over the last two years in covering the investigation, pointing out that the probe did result in dozens of indictments and several convictions. Even so, many in media noted that they are tasked with reporting what’s going on in the investigation, not to actually do the investigating themselves.
“Our job is to bring facts to light,” said Washington Post executive editor Martin Baron, as quoted in a report by The New York Times. “Others make determinations about prosecutable criminal offenses.”
Regardless, some see the president’s use of the phrase “enemy of the people” to describe the media as troubling, harking back to Trump rallies where members of the media were threatened. And indeed, that threatening tone was echoed by Trump’s supporters in the right-wing media.
“We will hold every fake news media liar member accountable,” tweeted Fox News‘ Sean Hannity on Sunday.