President Donald Trump made it clear he intends to continue to hold the “dishonest” media’s feet to the fire, in his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Maryland on Friday.
“I want you all to know we are fighting the fake news,” he said. “A few days ago I called the fake news the enemy of the people, and they are. They are the enemy of the people. Because they have no sources, they just make them up when there are none.”
He lamented coverage of him by some media misconstruing and changing the meaning of his words. “[They] did not explain that I called the fake news the enemy of the people—the fake news. They dropped off the word ‘fake.’ And all of a sudden the story became ‘the media is the enemy.'”
Trump mentioned polling from major media that he said was dishonest, going all the way back to the election season, calling out CBS, ABC, NBC, and even mentioning CNN by his pet-name for them, the “Clinton News Network.”
“Who knows, maybe they’re just bad at polling. Or maybe they’re not legit. But it’s one or the other,” he said.
He also talked about the “false narrative” the media had created during the election season to discourage his supporters from voting, saying, “We have to fight it, folks. We have to fight it.”
“I’m not against the media, I’m not against the press. I don’t mind bad stories if I deserve them,” he said. “I’m against the people that make up stories and make up sources. They shouldn’t be allowed to use sources unless they use somebody’s name.”
Trump did take note of a story written for Reuters by a “very honorable man” the previous day that he said was fair.
“There are some great reporters around, they are talented and honest as the day is long; that is great. But there are some terrible, dishonest people that do a tremendous disservice to our country, and to our people.”
Trump noted the crowd size, predicting that the media would not report on it.
“The place is packed. There are lines that go back six blocks, and I tell you that because you won’t read about it, okay?”
Later that day, the White House blocked journalists from CNN, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Buzzfeed from attending a press gaggle with press secretary Sean Spicer, which replaced his usual daily briefing.
Reporters at those outlets were taken by surprise when they were barred at the entrance, leading to a rash of angry tweets, and even boycotts by other media at the gaggle.
— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) February 24, 2017
Other outlets that were admitted to the gaggle were The Wall Street Journal, ABC, CBS, NBC, Bloomberg, Breitbart, Fox News, and the Washington Times. The Associated Press and TIME boycotted the event.