Early Wednesday, President Donald Trump floated the idea of taking away news networks’ press credentials over “negative” coverage, revealing that to his way of thinking, all negative news is, by definition, fake news.
The Fake News is working overtime. Just reported that, despite the tremendous success we are having with the economy & all things else, 91% of the Network News about me is negative (Fake). Why do we work so hard in working with the media when it is corrupt? Take away credentials?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 9, 2018
“The Fake News is working overtime. Just reported that, despite the tremendous success we are having with the economy & all things else, 91% of the Network News about me is negative (Fake),” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Why do we work so hard in working with the media when it is corrupt? Take away credentials?”
The president’s latest threat comes in the wake of Tuesday’s widespread news coverage of claims made by Stormy Daniels’ attorney Michael Avenatti, who took to Twitter to reveal that Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen was paid half a million dollars by a Putin-tied Russian oligarch after the 2016 election.
Avenatti hinted that part of the funding might have been used to reimburse the $130,000 payment Cohen made to Daniels to silence her about her affair with Donald Trump.
This is not the first time Donald Trump has threatened to revoke press credentials for purveyors of “fake” (negative towards him) news. According to Axios, Trump has tweeted the words “fake news” over 66 times since December 10th, referring to everything from specific outlets (including but not limited to CNN, The New York Times, and The Washington Post), the Russia connection, and disfunction within the White House.
During his election campaign in 2016, Trump successfully blacklisted several news outlets from all press conferences.
Perhaps what is most disturbing about this entire scenario is not that Donald Trump’s personal lawyer funneled Russian oligarch money into a slush fund for who knows what purpose— it’s that the President of the United States is advocating to shut down all media he views as adversarial.