Donald Trump has branded his critics in the US press "not my enemy" but the “enemy of the American people”, in a tweet that came a day after he launched a sustained attack on the media during a White House press conference.
In his latest barb aimed at US journalists, the Republican billionaire took to Twitter to accuse reporters of publishing “fake news” and singled out several broadcasters for criticism.
Mr Trump wrote: “The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!”
Mr Trump has frequently attacked the media but has never before called it an enemy of the American public.
It comes a day after an astonishing news conference in which the US President criticised the press and commented on the nature of reporters’ questions.
During a 77-minute sparring session with journalists, he claimed coverage based on White House leaks was “fake because so much of the news is fake”, despite admitting that the leaks are “absolutely real”.
Asked by a CNN reporter how “real” leaks could generate “fake” stories, Mr Trump replied: “The reporting is fake. The public read newspapers, they see television. They don’t know if it is true or false because they are not involved.
"But I am involved, so I know when you're telling the truth and when you’re not.”
The New York businessman also responded sarcastically to questions from a number of outlets. He prefaced a question from the BBC’s Jon Sopel by saying, “Here’s another beauty”.
When Mr Sopel insisted his question was “impartial, free and fair”, Mr Trump replied: “Yeah sure, just like CNN”.
He also ordered Jake Turx, a Jewish reporter, who asked a question about anti-Semitism to “sit down”.
When Mr Turx attempted to injected, Mr Trump told him “quiet, quiet, quiet”.
And the Republican told April Ryan, an African American radio reporter, that he would be happy to meet with the Congressional Black Caucus, adding: “Are they friends of yours?”
Earlier in the week Mr Trump attacked newspapers for publishing stories based on a series of leaks from within his administration.
He said: "Information is being illegally given to the failing New York Times & Washington Post by the intelligence community (NSA and FBI?). Just like Russia.
“Leaking, and even illegal classified leaking, has been a big problem in Washington for years. Failing New York Times (and others) must apologize!"
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