A retired four-star U.S. Army general is taking aim at Donald Trump, comparing the commander in chief to fascist dictator Benito Mussolini after Trump took aim at media outlets that give critical coverage of him.
This week, reports emerged that Trump ordered his entire administration to cancel subscriptions to the New York Times and Washington Post, drawing widespread criticism. As the Independent reports, it also caught the attention of former general Barry McCaffrey, who took to Twitter to attack the move.
“The White House Trump statement telling the entire Federal Government to terminate subscriptions to the NYT and Wash Post is a watershed moment in national history,” McCaffrey wrote, via the Independent.
“No room for HUMOROUS media coverage. This is deadly serious. This is Mussolini.”
As the report noted, the Trump administration defended the move this week, with White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham saying it was a “cost-saving move.” But critics say that it is another encroachment on the free press from Donald Trump, who has frequently lashed out at media outlets that cover him critically. The Independent noted that the White House still continues its other newspaper subscriptions, including more conservative-leaning outlets including the New York Post and The Washington Times.
Critics have said that restriction of the press is one of the hallmarks of fascism, with fascist leaders cracking down — often violently — on media that offers differing or critical coverage.
This is not the first time that a top-ranking military figure has leveled sharp criticism at Donald Trump. Last week, the U.S. Navy SEAL who oversaw the raid that killed Osama bin Laden criticized Trump for his decision to withdraw troops from northern Syria and allow Turkey to launch a military offensive against America’s Kurdish allies.
“For everyone who ever served in uniform, or in the intelligence community, for those diplomats who voice the nation’s principles, for the first responders, for the tellers of truth and the millions of American citizens who were raised believing in American values — you would have seen your reflection in the faces of those we honored last week,” McRaven wrote.
Donald Trump’s move to end subscriptions of the New York Times and Washington Post is not the only criticism he has leveled at the press. The president has even turned on normally-friendly Fox News in recent weeks, lobbing attacks at the network as it has offered more critical coverage of him.