President Donald Trump reupped his attack Wednesday against what he believes to be unfair media coverage, labeling The New York Times a “fake news joke” and suggesting that the media has portrayed him as being disengaged from the legislative process of repealing and replacing Obamacare when the opposite is true.
“The failing @nytimes writes false story after false story about me. They don’t even call to verify the facts of a story. A Fake News Joke!” Trump wrote on Twitter Wednesday morning. Minutes later, he added a second post, writing that “some of the Fake News Media likes to say that I am not totally engaged in healthcare. Wrong, I know the subject well & want victory for U.S.”
Trump’s post to Twitter appeared to come in response to a Times story published Tuesday headlined “On Senate health bill, Trump falters in closer’s role.” Glenn Thrush, one of two Times reporters whose byline appears on the story, responded to the president on Twitter, urging him to “Call your office, sir. @nytimes spoke to many, many, many members of your staff yesterday – & ran everything by your team.”
The president’s promise to undo Obamacare was dealt a setback Tuesday when Republican leaders in the Senate postponed a vote on repeal-and-replace legislation until after the upcoming recess in order to shore up support for the bill. Multiple Republican senators have expressed varying degrees of concern about the measure, which can afford to lose just two GOP votes and still pass.
Trump hosted Republican senators Tuesday afternoon at the White House for a meeting on the legislation. “This will be great, if we get it done,” he told GOP lawmakers.
Trump’s media tirade is nothing new, nor are his specific frustrations with the Times, one of his most frequent press targets. But the president’s anger toward the media has stepped up in recent days after CNN was forced to retract a report that congressional investigators were looking into a meeting between Trump transition team member Anthony Scaramucci and the head of a Russian investment fund.
Three CNN journalists, including a Pulitzer Prize-winner, resigned from the cable network as a result of the story. Scaramucci himself said “CNN did the right thing” and called their retraction a “classy move.” But Trump still latched on to the episode as an opportunity to attack CNN and other media outlets he perceives as his foes.
“Wow, CNN had to retract big story on ‘Russia,’ with 3 employees forced to resign. What about all the other phony stories they do? FAKE NEWS!” Trump wrote online Tuesday. “They caught Fake News CNN cold, but what about NBC, CBS & ABC? What about the failing @nytimes & @washingtonpost? They are all Fake News!”