President Trump descended into a twitter rant Friday, vilifying the press, calling it “the enemy of the American people” while singling out out several outlets specifically.
“The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!” he wrote.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 17, 2017
Earlier, Trump tweeted and then quickly deleted a slightly different version of the tweet. The revised version includes mentions of ABC and CBS in addition to the other news outlets.
The White House didn’t immediately return a request for comment.
Trump’s tweet drew swift criticism from reporters:
And NBC News presidential historian Michael Beschloss pointed out how Trump’s rhetoric echoed President Richard Nixon’s during the Watergate scandal:
Trump’s tweet came one day after he spent a major chunk of a meandering 77-minute press conference disparaging the press. He called the media “out of control” and “dishonest.” He also blamed what he called the “fake media” for former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s resignation, claiming reporters treated the former general “very unfairly.”
Trump has long had an antagonistic relationship with the press, and often labels news stories he sees as unfavorable as “fake news.”