US President Donald Trump again slammed cable network CNN as “fake news” during a meeting with African American leaders Wednesday morning.
Discussing how media coverage of his first days in the Oval Office inaccurately depicted him as a “racist,” Trump went off on “fake news” and threw another jab at the beleaguered network.
“You read all about Dr. Martin Luther King a week ago when somebody said I took the statue out of my office,” Trump said. “And it turned out that that was fake news – from these people [points to media]. Fake news.”
“The statue is cherished, it’s one of the favorite things,” Trump continued, “but they said the statue the bust of Dr. Martin Luther King was taken out of the office, and it was never even touched. So I think that was a disgrace but that’s the way the press is, very unfortunate.”
The president went on to single out reporter Paris Dennard for defending him on CNN, thanking him for performing “an amazing job in a very hostile CNN community.”
“He’s all by himself, you’ll have seven people and Paris, but I’ll take Paris over the seven,” Trump stated. “But I don’t watch CNN so I don’t get to see you as much as I used to. [laughter] I don’t like watching fake news.”
“None of us watch it either anymore,” another person adds.
Later in the meeting, Trump again commented on press bias when a reporter addressed the mainstream media as “the opposition party.”
“It is,” Trump agreed. “A lot of the media is actually ‘the opposition party.’ They’re so biased and really it’s a disgrace. Some of the media is fantastic and fair, but so much of the media is ‘opposition party’ knowingly saying incorrect things, so it’s a very sad situation, but we seem to be doing well. You know, it’s almost like in the meantime we won, so maybe they don’t have the influence they think, but they really are — they really have to straighten out their act.”
Trump had previously slammed CNN as “fake news” at the first press conference of his presidency, when he refused to take a question from Senior White House Correspondent Jim Acosta.
On Tuesday, the Trump administration also confirmed it would no longer send representatives to appear on CNN.
“We’re sending surrogates to places where we think it makes sense to promote our agenda,” a White House official told Politico, but added the ban may not be permanent.